Slingsby on a high after win in Australia
Tom Slingsby, the Oracle Team USA tactician and sailing team manager, covered himself in glory in Australia over the festive period.
The Olympic gold medal-winner was among the crew of Perpetual Loyal that claimed line honours in the Sydney to Hobart Race in record-breaking fashion.
The 100-foot supermaxi was the first yacht to complete the classic 628-nautical mile race in an astonishing one day, 13hr 31min to slash nearly five hours off the previous record of one day, 18:23 minutes achieved by Wild Oats XI in 2012.
“It was a huge achievement and we are all still on a high,” Slingsby said.
A favourable forecast leading up to the Boxing Day start meant a record run was a possibility and Slingsby, along with Perpetual Loyal owner and co-skipper Anthony Bell, took advantage as they opened up an early lead.
The team’s bid was further bolstered when fierce rivals Wild Oats retired with damage, clearing the path for victory and the race record.
“This year we had a great team, great boat and a great forecast,” Slingsby added. “Everything fell into place.”
The Australian’s previous two race appearances ended in failure after his team were forced to retire with damage to the boat.
“The last two years, we haven’t gotten through the first night,” Slingsby said. “I think it’s just a bit of hard luck, but I think we had a bit of a chip on our shoulder to make sure we did well this year.
“However, to win and break the race record is still hard to comprehend.”
Perpetual Loyal seized Newport Bermuda Race line honours in 2008 when the yacht was named Speedboat. This year was the second straight that an Oracle sailor has been on the winning Sydney to Hobart Race boat.
Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle skipper, was on board Jim and Kristy Clark’s 100-foot supermaxi Comanche, which came from behind to seize line honours in the previous race in an elapsed time of two days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.
Neither Spithill or Comanche, the first yacht to finish this year’s Newport Bermuda Race, took part in this week’s Sydney Hobart Race.
n Giacomo, a 70-foot New Zealand yacht skippered by winemaker Jim Delegat and whose teenage sons Nikolas and James were among its crew, was declared the handicap winner of the Sydney to Hobart race yesterday just over a day after it crossed the line second behind line honours winner Perpetual Loyal.
Giacomo completed the race in 1 day, 15 hours, 27 minutes, 5 seconds, just a few minutes ahead of the Hong Kong-based supermaxi Scallywag. All three top finishers were under the 2012 record.
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