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Ireland’s Gordon Maguire Sets the Overall Pace in Sydney-Hobart

27th December 2016
 Matt Allen’s JV52 Ichi Ban, with Ireland’s Gordon Maguire as Sailing Master, is currently leading overall on IRC in the fast-moving Rolex Sydney-Hobart race. She is seen here shortly after clearing the entrance to Sydney Harbour yesterday, sorting herself for the sprint south. Matt Allen’s JV52 Ichi Ban, with Ireland’s Gordon Maguire as Sailing Master, is currently leading overall on IRC in the fast-moving Rolex Sydney-Hobart race. She is seen here shortly after clearing the entrance to Sydney Harbour yesterday, sorting herself for the sprint south.

Former Howth sailor Gordon Maguire, who began a long and successful relationship with Australian sailing in 1991 when the Irish team won the Southern Cross series, is currently leading overall on IRC in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race 2016, playing the key role aboard Matt Allen’s JV52 Ichi Ban writes W M Nixon

If Maguire can hold onto his current placing in a fast-moving race, it will be the third time he has taken overall honours in the Australian classic, as he won at the first attempt teamed up with Harold Cudmore on the Farr 43 Atara in 1991, and subsequently won with Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki in 2011.

But in a hugely competitive field with the final stages up the Derwent River to Hobart almost inevitably flukey, the Rolex Sydney-Hobart is notorious for frustrating even the best campaigns at the last hurdle. However, in open water Ichi Ban has been setting a blistering pace, significantly out-pacing similarly-sized boats such as defending champion Paul Clitheroe’s TP 52 Balance, and racing neck-and-neck with much larger craft as the fleet leaders close in on the finish today in sight of a new course record.

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