|HOBART, 08:30 AM AEDT-(2-1-2005) With the arrival early today of Magic and Berrimilla, only one yacht, Gillawa, remains still racing in the 60th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Out of the fleet of 116 boats that set sail from Sydney Harbour, Gillawa will be the 59th and final finisher when she crosses the line off Hobart’s Astray Esplanade early tomorrow morning.
At 8.00am today Gillawa, a Cavalier 975 skippered by David Kent from the Canberra Yacht Club, was 22 nautical miles southeast of Cape Sonnerat on the East Coast of Tasmania.
At that point, Gillawa had 83 nautical miles to sail and has an ETA of 2.13am tomorrow morning.
Magic, an S&S 39 skippered by Philip Spry-Bailey from the Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne, crossed the finish line at 04:41:04 this morning, followed by Berrimilla, which completed its 14th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race when it finished at 06:45:21.
However, the ocean voyages of Berrimilla are far from over. Owner Alex Whitworth, a member of the Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association (RANSA) in Sydney, plans to head off shortly on a round-the-world voyage, which will take he and his Brolga 33 to England in time to compete in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race.
The West Australian yacht Saltersboats Natsumi sailed up the Derwent River early yesterday afternoon as her name was being called out as winner of the Cruising Division at the Trophy Presentation at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
The Robert 54, skippered by Gil Waller from the Royal Perth Yacht Club, finished 55th in the fleet at 12:42:03 hours yesterday and was named as the winner of the Cruising Division during the Trophy Presentation. Waller arrived at the club later in the afternoon to collect his trophy.
Of the 116 starters, 57 boats retired, many of them voluntarily taking refuge in Twofold Bay on the New South Wales South Coast, described by prominent yachtsmen as “courageous decisions that showed prudent seamanship” in the light of the continuous strong to galeforce headwinds and rough seas in Bass Strait and down the Tasmanian coast.
Outside of Skandia, the supermaxi that lost control of its canting keel and subsequently capsized east of Flinders Island, and a couple of boats that required Police assistance in taking injured crew members ashore, none of the retired yachts called for outside assistance in reaching a safe port.
Only one boat, Ragamuffin, was dismasted during the race although the Victorian yacht Dream Venture broke its mast off the Victorian south-east returning from Eden to Port Phillip.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Race Committee is maintaining a safety watch on Dream Venture, and is remaining on duty in Hobart until the last boat completes what has been one of the most rugged races in the 60-year history of the Royal Sydney Hobart.