Maxi finishes first in the Transpac ocean race, breaking the existing record by almost 26 hours

New Zealander Neville Crichton’s maxi yacht Alfa Romeo made a splash on her American debut, finishing first in the Transpac (Los Angeles – Honolulu) ocean race and breaking the existing record by almost 26 hours.

Alfa Romeo needed only 134 hours to cover the 2,225 mile course and proclaim herself winner, traveling at an average speed of 16.6 knots, faster than any other craft in the event’s103-year.

On board with skipper and owner Neville Crichton were some of the top names in sailing – from Olympic champion Ben Ainslie to the members of the Ericsson ocean racing team.

After crossing the line, Neville Crichton said: “I was sure that with the right kind of weather we’d sail a very good race and we found perfect conditions for breaking the record. I’m delighted with the work of the team. We ran into some difficulties, with the boat snagging on a large fishing net or some heavy weather that required fast sail changes. But that’s all part of the sport and what makes it so interesting.”

He added: “The Rolex Sydney to Hobart is very different race to the TransPac and although this win must place us as the front runner in December, there are still some five yachts that could reach Hobart first. However, we have just completed some four times the distance of the Sydney to Hobart with total reliability, with a crew who now have a vast range of experience in a wide range of conditions. In a race as tough as Rolex Sydney Hobart that is extremely significant and important. I can’t wait to be at starting line with Alfa Romeo for the Rolex Sydney Hobart. I think it will be one of the best races the event has ever seen.”

New record set by Alfa Romeo (Neville Crichton owner and skipper):5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds
Past record set by Morning Glory, 2005:6 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes, 11 seconds