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Dun Laoghaire Crew Finish Sydney-Hobart Sixth in Div Three

30th December 2013
Dun Laoghaire Crew Finish Sydney-Hobart Sixth in Div Three

#rshyr – The Dun Laoghaire crew led by Barry Hurley of the Royal Irish Yacht Club have successfully completed a testing Sydney–Hobart race to finish 27th overall in the 92–boat fleet and take sixth place in IRC Division 3 in First 40, Breakthrough. Official standings here.

Racing since St. Stephen's Day the Irish crew consisted of Barry Hurley (Skipper), Kenneth Rumball (Watch Leader), Keith Kiernan (Navigator & Radio man), Catherine Halpin (Bow-Woman). 

The crew finished in the early hours of yesterday morning in Tasmania with an elapsed time of 4 days, 2 hours and 21 minutes. 

Day 5 and the remaining boats racing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race had a slight respite from prevailing weather conditions as the southwesterly moderated to 20 - 25 knots over night into this morning (December 30).

Unfortunately for Roger Hickman's Wild Rose, any chance of upsetting Victoire as overall handicap leader went by the boards with the diminishing breeze - at 4am AEDT when the boat needed to finish, it still had 35 miles to go.

By mid-morning the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia could confirm that Darryl Hodgkinson's Cookson 50, Victoire was the official Overall Winner of the 69th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At a dockside presentation, Hodgkinson the owner/skipper, was presented with the Tattersall's Cup and a Rolex timepiece.

Hodgkinson, a plastic surgeon from Sydney, bought the boat as a birthday present to himself and told his wife his goal was a two-year plan to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race -- he fast tracked the timeline, succeeding on his first try. This was Hodgkinson's third go at the race, having competed in 2010 and 2011 on his Beneteau 45.

Elated with the win, Hodgkinson said, "This is the culmination of a great campaign, it's a personal victory and one I share with all sailors who did the race. I feel somewhat humbled to have won."

The exuberant skipper was quick to praise his mostly amateur crew and put the win down to meticulous planning and preparation. He praised tactician and strategist Sean Kirkjian – a 17-time race veteran – and said, "He's a wizard, who is just playing 'ocean chess' all the time". As well he touted Danny McConville, who has prepared two or three Hobart winners before, and said "This boat was in marvelous condition before we left the dock. We had a fair bit of preparation, I'd say."

Victoire's navigator, Phil Eadie confirmed the meticulous preparation and 'leaving no stone unturned' approach and said, "A lot of work has gone into this with Darryl. He had meetings every morning for months, making sure everything works.

Eadie has sailed in 34 editions of the race, and used that experience to draw from, "I plotted the tracks of a lot of the ones we've won before or other people have won before, just to sort of get a feel of it – that we didn't step too far outside of the paddock.

"There was a lot of preplanning, mostly in the last 24 hours before the start – we planned the whole race what we would do in theory, based on the weather, and had that laid out – and balanced that against reality. We have a really good weather guy, Chris Buckley from Perth, and he gave us a lot of good input."

Hodgkinson recalled the key elements of Victoire's win, "It was a fairly tough race. When we got that heavy northeasterly, there were moments when we had to believe in ourselves, and our yacht. We knew this boat had won before, and so we let it run. We knew we were only going to win if we pressed really hard, and we couldn't let our foot off the pedal. And there were some moments when the foot was right down and it was like 'oh, this is a ride', and we were thrilled. Of course it was part terror! At one point, we had a Chinese gybe – which was pretty scary – but amazingly we got the boat up and going, and it worked out.

"But we changed our sail plan after that, and were quite surprised with the change from the A4 (headsail) to A6, how we could still maintain the speed. So I think we learned on the stick, as it were, on that one."

A steady stream of yachts crossed the line over the past 24 hours, and as of 6pm local time AEDT, there were 17 yachts still racing, 67 finishers, and 10 retired. The back marker was the 38-footer, Déjà Vu, which was expected at the finish early on the morning of January 1st.

Published in Sydney to Hobart
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The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is an annual offshore yacht racing event with an increasingly international exposure attracting super maxi yachts and entries from around tne world. It is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, New South Wales on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km).

The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - FAQs

The number of Sydney Hobart Yacht Races held by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia since 1945 is 75

6,257 completed the Sydney Hobart Yacht race, 1036 retired or were disqualified)

About 60,061 sailors have competed in the Sydney Hobart Race between 1945 and 2019

Largest fleets: 371 starters in the 50th race in 1994 (309 finished); 154 starters in 1987 (146 finished); 179 starters in 1985 (145 finished); 151 starters in 1984 (46 finished); 173 started in 1983 (128 finished); 159 started in 1981 (143 finished); 147 started in 1979 (142 finished); 157 started in 2019 (154 finished)

116 in 2004 (59 finished); 117 in 2014 (103 finished); 157 in 2019 (154 finished)

Nine starters in the inaugural Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 1945

In 2015 and 2017 there were 27, including the 12 Clipper yachts (11 in 2017). In the record entry of 371 yachts in the 50th in 1994, there were 24 internationals

Rani, Captain John Illingworth RN (UK). Design: Barber 35’ cutter. Line and handicap winner

157 starters, 154 finishers (3 retirements)

IRC Overall: Ichi Ban, a TP52 owned by Matt Allen, NSW. Last year’s line honours winner: Comanche, Verdier Yacht Design and VPLP (FRA) owned by Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant, in 1 day 18 hours, 30 minutes, 24 seconds. Just 1hour 58min 32secs separated the five super maxis at the finish 

1 day 9 hours 15 minutes and 24 seconds, set in 2017 by LDV Comanche after Wild Oats XI was penalised one hour in port/starboard incident for a finish time of 1d 9h 48m 50s

The oldest ever sailor was Syd Fischer (88 years, 2015).

As a baby, Raud O'Brien did his first of some six Sydney Hobarts on his parent's Wraith of Odin (sic). As a veteran at three, Raud broke his arm when he fell off the companionway steps whilst feeding biscuits to the crew on watch Sophie Tasker sailed the 1978 race as a four-year-old on her father’s yacht Siska, which was not an official starter due to not meeting requirements of the CYCA. Sophie raced to Hobart in 1979, 1982 and 1983.

Quite a number of teenage boys and girls have sailed with their fathers and mothers, including Tasmanian Ken Gourlay’s 14-year-old son who sailed on Kismet in 1957. A 12-year-old boy, Travis Foley, sailed in the fatal 1998 race aboard Aspect Computing, which won PHS overall.

In 1978, the Brooker family sailed aboard their yacht Touchwood – parents Doug and Val and their children, Peter (13), Jacqueline (10), Kathryne (8) and Donald (6). Since 1999, the CYCA has set an age limit of 18 for competitors

Jane (‘Jenny’) Tate, from Hobart, sailed with her husband Horrie aboard Active in the 1946 Race, as did Dagmar O’Brien with her husband, Dr Brian (‘Mick’) O’Brien aboard Connella. Unfortunately, Connella was forced to retire in Bass Strait, but Active made it to the finish. The Jane Tate Memorial Trophy is presented each year to the first female skipper to finish the race

In 2019, Bill Barry-Cotter brought Katwinchar, built in 1904, back to the start line. She had competed with a previous owner in 1951. It is believed she is the oldest yacht to compete. According to CYCA life member and historian Alan Campbell, more than 31 yachts built before 1938 have competed in the race, including line honours winners Morna/Kurrewa IV (the same boat, renamed) and Astor, which were built in the 1920s.

Bruce Farr/Farr Yacht Design (NZL/USA) – can claim 20 overall wins from 1976 (with Piccolo) up to and including 2015 (with Balance)

Screw Loose (1979) – LOA 9.2m (30ft); Zeus II (1981) LOA 9.2m

TKlinger, NSW (1978) – LOA 8.23m (27ft)

Wild Oats XI (2012) – LOA 30.48m (100ft). Wild Oats XI had previously held the record in 2005 when she was 30m (98ft)

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