Rolex Sydney Hobart: Ragamuffin-Loyal off the hook

Friday, 28 December 2012


Syd Fischer’s maxi Ragamuffin-Loyal has been cleared of any wrongdoing after jumping the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, the crew on board Calm is hopeful they can claim the overall win and upset Wild Oats XI’s bid for another treble.

The International Jury ruled this afternoon that Ragamuffin-Loyal was not at fault when she failed to restart after crossing the line early.

The International Jury found that race officials failed to notify Ragamuffin-Loyal after five minutes that they had jumped the start, leaving the crew unaware that they should have returned and restarted.

With the crew facing virtual disqualification if the jury had ruled against them, Ragamuffin-Loyal’s David Witt said, “justice has been done”. He said the crew had been unaware they had crossed early.

The Race Committee brought the redress action to the International Jury on behalf of Ragamuffin-Loyal.

Meanwhile, skipper of Calm Jason Van der Slot is banking on a south-westerly change to drive home his team’s hopes for an overall victory.

The TP52 must finish before 0131 hours AEDT tomorrow if the crew is to have a chance of claiming the Tattersall’s Cup, which is awarded to the handicap winner.

The team’s ETA is currently around 0330 hours, but Van der Slot reckons they’ll pick up pace as they edge down the Tasmanian coast. 

“We’re quite comfortable at the moment,’’ he said. “Loki and Black Jack are probably about 30 to 40 miles in front of us now, so we think we’ve got that covered.

“With regards to say Wild Oats XI, if the south-wester comes in around Tasman Island we can get some speed up and we might be able to grab hold of those and have the outright handicap honours.

“At the moment we’re just sailing as we normally do. It’s not playing on our mind at all. We’re just trying to keep boats that are around us and behind us simply at that; behind us and around us.”

Wild Oats XI broke her own race record this morning, finishing in one day 18 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds. She’s in with a good shot of repeating her 2005 treble, when she claimed line honours, the race record and the handicap win.

Lahana and Black Jack are positioned third and fourth respectively and are expected to reach Hobart’s Constitution Dock after 2000 hours tonight. 71 boats remain at sea.

By Jim Gale and Danielle McKay, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team

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Last Updated ( Friday, 28 December 2012 )