Syd Fisher’s Ragamuffin 100 crossed the finish line in Hobart at 8:47:30 this morning to take second on line honours. It was then that we learnt about the challenges that the Australian team faced during their almost three days at sea.
We have already been told of the team losing their daggerboard and the challenges of swapping their other one from side to side. But that wasn’t their only drama.
On the first night while being smashed by a rainsquall, so bad that you couldn’t talk to the person sitting next to you, the 100 footer was knocked flat. It was then that two sailors went overboard, including skipper David Witt.
The boat did an auto-tack and with the keel and ballast on the wrong side, and some of the main down, Witt was knocked overboard. While the other sailor was quickly back on board, Witt was hanging on to the life lines before dragging himself back onto the boat. When asked if it was his first time overboard he replied, “Yep and my last.”
The boat was knocked down when 40 knots hit them and the sailors couldn’t get the A2 down. They then had to turn around and head north to get their gear organised to keep sailing.
Witt was happy to have taken second on line honours from Rambler after a close battle up the Derwent. “It was good to get second, good to come back,” he said.
On whether Ragamuffin 100 will be back next year, Syd Fisher said, “If I am still as stupid as I am now, I suppose I will.” When Dave Witt was asked he said, “If he is stupid enough to keep going then so am I.”
George David’s Rambler 88 rounded out the line honours podium finishing just 4minutes and 12seconds behind the Australian boat.
– Kimberley Wilmot/ Editor Australian Sailing