Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race – After a non-stop arrival window which saw eleven teams cross the Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race six Finish Line overnight between the hours of 2137 and 0935 local time, there is now just one team left to complete the race fleet in Airlie Beach’s Abell Point Marina.
Mission Performance is 80 miles away (at 1200 UTC) and expected in to Airlie Beach between 1000 and 1200 local time (000 to 0200 UTC) after diverting to come to the aid of a non-Clipper Race yacht in distress on Day five of the race.
Crew and visitors are being encouraged to give the team something of a hero’s welcome as it sacrificed its race position, as per the laws of the sea, for going to the assistance of another vessel in distress which included a difficult rendezvous, crew transfer and mast climb.
Making his final blog of the All Australian Leg, Mission Performance Skipper Greg Miller says: “And now the time is here, and so we make the final curtain.
“The last blog of Leg four and what a leg it has been, three challenging and rewarding races, one iconic and ‘bucket list’ race in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, one that every sailor wants to have a go at.
He adds: “Just got the devastating news that PSP Logistics and Visit Seattle have crossed the finish line and we still have 160nms to go. With all the will in the world we are not going to make it in the 11hrs 39minutes we have to beat them. To that end it is with sadness that we are accepting twelfth position in the fleet for this race. All is not lost though. We still pick up the two points for the ocean sprint! Three points, a rescued yacht and another 1700nms of sailing with some amazing scenery.”
Summarising the final exciting race conclusion which saw just 42 seconds separate race winners LMAX Exchange and Great Britain and other to-the-wire battles which included Da Nang – Viet Nam pipping Derry~Londonderry~Doire to fourth place, IchorCoal overtaking Unicef in the final miles, and just nine minutes between tenth place PSP Logistics and eleventh place Visit Seattle, Race Director Justin Taylor said:
“It’s been a nail biting race, not just for us watching from afar but for the skippers and crew too. Constantly looking over your shoulder at the competition wears the nerves like you would not believe. The difference between these teams is measured in seconds; they matched each other tactically; rinsed every ounce of boat speed from the yacht. It’s come down to the team who made the least mistakes…well done to all the teams but especially to LMAX Exchange’.
Crew and skippers have arrived three days ahead of the expected arrival window into Airlie Beach so will all now enjoy an extended break in the stunning Whitsunday area in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
The next race, to Da Nang, Vietnam starts Monday 18 January.