Wild Rose has crossed the finish line at Hobart and her owner Roger Hickman now looks likely to win the Tattersalls Trophy for handicap honours in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
When the 29-year-old Farr 43 finished just before 8pm tonight she dashed the hopes of Victorian yachtsman Bruce Taylor and his Chutzpah crew. Taylor had been watching as his boat moved further and further up the leaderboard, finally stalling in fourth place. Now it is Hickman's turn to wait and watch.
It would appear there are only two yachts that can still beat him and both have a long way to sail in deteriorating conditions. The smallest boat in the fleet, Sean Langman's classic Maluka of Kermandie is still more than 100 nm from Hobart while second-placed Quickpoint Azzurro is 83nm away. It will be a long night for Hickman and his crew. Azzurro needs to finish before 6.42am and Maluka before 10.14am to beat Wild Rose.
If the CYCA member does manage to hang on and win, it will cap a stella couple of years. Wild Rose won Division 4 of last year's Hobart, which also won Hickman the Blue Water Points Score and the Southern Cross Cup (with Victoire and Patrice). In 2014 he won Division 2 of the NSW IRC Championship and Class C at the Australian IRC Championships before being named Ocean Racer of the Year.
Wild Rose will also finish in the top three under ORCi, just failing to beat Ariel in that classification. Azzurro is currently leading that handicap division.
– Roger McMillan, Editor.