Chinese Whisper leads Ichi Ban into Hobart

Just minutes separated Rupert Henry’s JV62, Chinese Whisper, and Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, as they sailed their way up the Derwent and across the finish line of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. 

The two boats had been battling their way down the east coast of Australia for just over three days and in the end Chinese Whisper took fifth place across the line.

There is one thing that both boats seemed to agree on. The southerly transition on the first night was fast. Bob Wilmot from Ichi Ban explained, “We went from hard running to hard working, I have never seen a transition so quick.”

While Rupert Henry explained, “We were expecting a slower swing through the north-west and it just happened, in a few minutes. But we got it under control, there were no ripped sails.”

Now the two teams turn their attention to the 52 footers who will be next to cross the finish line.  Henry was impressed with his team’s performance but thinks the parking lot will be their undoing against the 52s.

“The boat was good, it can do upwind, downwind, reaching, this boat is pretty good. The only thing that will let us down, I think, is that parking lot yesterday. Because the 52s came out more from behind Flinders, they never stopped,” he said.

Meanwhile Ichi Ban navigator Will Oxley explained, “The change that was going to come through at the end, it didn’t really come and so instead of getting a southwesterly to get us across, it was more of a westerly.”

“So we were tacking upwind and instead of the boats on the east coast going upwind into that, they were reaching down. So that probably brought the 52s back into it.”

Paul Clitheroe’s 52 footer Balance is the next boat expected to finish, at the time of writing her ETA was 5:18 tonight.

– Kimberley Wilmot/ Editor Australian Sailing 

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