Perpetual Loyal sets new mark in Rolex Sydney Hobart race
Perpetual Royal sails to a record finish in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Perpetual Loyal sets new mark in Rolex Sydney Hobart race

MGA LAMAS SA KINABUHI HINIKAY (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Anthony Bell’s 100-ft Maxi Perpetual Loyal set a new race record of one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds at the Rolex Sydney Hobart to secure line honors in the 72nd edition of the famous offshore race.

Perpetual Loyal checked in  4 hours, 51 minutes, 52 seconds faster than the previous record set by Wild Oats XI in 2012. It is the 12th time since the inaugural race in 1945 that the record has been broken.

Perpetual Loyal got off to a flying start in the 628-nm race,  passing Sydney Heads ahead of the field. Although she relinquished leadership of the race to the all-conquering Wild Oats XI during the rapid passage down the New South Wales coast of the Tasman Sea, Bell’s crew was first to take advantage of the hydraulic ram failure sustained by the race leader nearly 21 hours into the contest.

“We were probably neck and neck with Wild Oats, maybe a mile away, when it happened,” explained Bell. “It was sad to see them break. We would like to have played on against them...but that’s racing.” 

Bell and his crew of 18 comprises a number of experienced competitors including 25-time Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigner Brad Kellett and sailors – including Pablo Arrarte and Justin Clougher – who enjoyed line honors success in 2015 on board the American yacht Comanche.

This is in addition to Tom Slingsby, Olympic gold medallist and Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2010.

“Going into the race, we had nothing to lose,” said Bell. “We came out of the blocks and raced one hell of a race. It was never part of our plans to break the race record but it’s an awesome thing to have done.”

Bell, who won a closely fought contest with Wild Oats XI in 2011 on his previous Loyal, celebrates a second Rolex Sydney Hobart line honors success, all the more special given Perpetual Loyal was forced to retire from the last two editions of the race. During the line honors presentation held on Constitution Dock, Bell was presented with the J.H. Illingworth Trophy and a Rolex Yacht-Master II timepiece.

Perpetual Loyal was not the only yacht to arrive in Hobart inside the previous race record time. Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70 Giacomo finished just under two hours behind the line honors winner. A little over two minutes later arrived Seng Huang Lee’s 100-ft Maxi Scallywag.

With the contest for line honors now sealed, the spotlight focuses more intensely on the race’s most treasured prize – the Tattersall’s Cup and Rolex timepiece awarded to the overall race winner on handicap.

Currently leading that race is Matt Allen’s TP52 Ichi Ban. How fast she and a clutch of 50-ft yachts are able to negotiate the last stretch of the race, including the notoriously tricky passage down the Derwent River,  may prove decisive.

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