Yachting: Investec Loyal wins Sydney to Hobart
Hobart. Supermaxi Investec Loyal pipped race favorite Wild Oats XI to take line honors in Australia’s Sydney to Hobart ocean classic Wednesday in a nail-biting dash to the finish.
Thousands of onlookers cheered at Hobart’s Constitution dock as the 2010 runner-up beat the five-time winner and current record-holder across the line by just over three minutes in a neck-and-neck end to the gruelling race.
“Investec Loyal first boat home, time of two days, six hours, 14 minutes and 18 seconds,” race organisers said.
It was a maiden win for the 100-foot Investec Loyal, which was never far from Wild Oats XI’s tail on the 628-nautical mile dash down Australia’s east coast.
The supermaxis had battled it out from the starting gun on Monday, and Investec Loyal’s patience finally paid off Tuesday night when it overtook Wild Oats XI for the first time.
A cat-and-mouse game ensued throughout Wednesday’s gripping final day, culminating in a Hobart finish described by organizers as one of the closest in years, with a margin of three minutes and eight seconds.
The tightest finish in the race’s history was in 1982 when Condor of Bermuda beat Apollo by a mere seven seconds. The 2003 race was another close run for line honors with Skandia beating Zana by 14 minutes 24 seconds.