Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Chris Little, placed his chartered Farr 49 Bounder provisional first in the Rolex Sydney Hobart IMS Division A.
The achievement of Little and his British crew was all the more notable because they sailed their win onboard a yacht that had taken overall handicap win in the same race in 1999 as Yendys, skippered by Sydney yachtsman Geoff Ross. Ross competed the 2003 event aboard his new Yendys, a Judel/Vroljk 52 with Mediterranean IMS championship pedigree.
Yendys crossed the line yesterday ahead of Bounder, but the 17-minute margin wasn’t enough to take better than fourth or fifth on handicap and so it was left for Ross to offer a magnanimous greeting to the team onboard his former yacht as they arrived alongside at Hobart’s Constitution Dock marina.
There was other disappointment in IMS Division A, for the Farr 47 Dysons Cobb & Co which, as Ninety Seven, outlasted the epic gale-battered 1993 Sydney Hobart to take line honours. Present owner Chris Dare organised an entry this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary and had signed up two of the original crew, Adam Brown and Darren Senogles, for the occasion. However, Dysons Cobb & Co suffered a dismasting close to the end of the course when running under spinnaker in 15-20 knots of wind, which put paid to planned Hobart celebrations. Fortunately everyone was unhurt and the yacht was able to recover to Triabunna under power.
Overall IMS handicap standings look likely to be taken by smaller boats with the Beneteau 40.7, First National, heading the standings at 0100GMT local time, followed by the 20-year-old Peterson-designed Impeccable, skippered by 81-year-old John Walker and the cruiser/racer Tilting at Windmills, skippered by Thorry Gunnersen. Impeccable has an outside chance of taking overall first; much will depend on the wind which, in contrast to the Tasman Sea, has been light and not very helpful close to Hobart.
Of the 56 yachts scheduled to start there were just three retirements, two of those in port, with a further competitor declared DNF due to a navigation mistake. Only 14 yachts remain to finish, the majority of them quite close to Hobart as of 0100 GMT.