It was shaping as a race within a race. Peter Harburg's Black Jack from Queensland and Jim Delegat's Giacomo from New Zealand are both Volvo 70s which raced in the last Volvo Ocean Race as Telefonica and Groupama.
Ever since the Rolex Sydney Hobart started on Boxing Day, the pair have been right up there with the 100ft super-maxis Rio 100 and Ragamuffin, punching well above their weight.
Sadly, with less than ioo miles to sail, the match race has ended prematurely when Giacomo lost her rig. The Volvo 70 was sailing downwind in north-east winds gusting up to 35 knots, 21 nautical miles north-east of Cape Sonnerat at approximately 5.45pm when the incident happened. All aboard are safe and the families have been advised. Giacomo is motoring to Hobart.
Black Jack is currently fifth on line honours, 22nm SE of Maria Island. She is expected in Hobart before 11pm tonight.
A very disappointed Bill Wild has retired his Reichel/Pugh 55, Wedgetail, from the race after suffering mast damage at approximately 7.40pm off Schouten Island. All are safe and well on board. The yacht is motoring to Schouten Passage.
In last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, Wedgetail, from Queensland, was dismasted in a south-west gale east of Tasman Island in the early hours of December 29; this time it was the hard running conditions that took their toll.
Last year not forgotten by the crew, sailing master Kevin Costin said prior to this race, “We’re checking everything, and checking it twice; dotting our ‘Is’ and crossing our ’Ts’.”
– RSH Media
The full list of withdrawals now numbers 11:
- Bear Necessity – Retired – Rudder damage
- Brindabella – Retired – rudder bearing damage
- Giacomo – Retired-Dismasted
- Last Tango – Retired – sail damage
- Occasional Coarse Language Too – Retired-Steering damage
- Perpetual Loyal – Retired-Hull damage
- Sextant – Retired
- Tina of Melbourne – Retired – Hull damage
- Triton – Retired-forestay damage
- Wedgetail – Retired- Mast damage, lost top of rig.
- Willyama – Retired-torn main