Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Overall Win for Balance at Rolex Sydney Hobart
Overnight, light winds brought a steady stream of competitors up the Derwent River to the finish line, filling the Rolex Sydney Hobart race village in time for the New Yearís Eve celebration.
All eyes were on Quikpoint Azzurro, the dark horse and smallest boat in the fleet, and for most of Wednesday afternoon Shane Kearnís Sparkman & Stephens 34 raced towards the finish on pace to potentially claim the overall win on handicap. The 34-footer needed to reach the finish line by 0443 AEDT Thursday.
Paul Clitheroe, owner of TP52 Balance, was on tender hooks, checking the race tracker constantly to chart their progress.
Commenting on the impressive achievements of his closest competitor, Clitheroe said that after such a long and challenging race it would be unfair for Quikpoint Azzurro to sit just meters from the finish line should the wind die. Yet at the mouth of the river, the hopes of Quikpoint Azzurro were dashed.
Shane Kearns' S&S 34 QUIKPOINT AZZURRO (AUS)
Sail No: 3430, Design: S & S 34, Owner: Shane Kearns, Skipper: Shane Kearns
Paul Clitheroe's TP52 BALANCE (AUS), overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2015
Design: Tp52, Owner: Paul Clitheroe, Skipper: Paul Clitheroe
Clitheroe realized that he and his team had clinched the title upon calculating that Quikpoint Azzurro had half an hour left to finish, yet several miles to cover.
"We knew it was a great little boat, but we just couldnít see them doing 22 nautical miles, with just four knots of wind, in half an hour," so Clitheroe asked his crew to hop back on a plane to Hobart to help claim their prize.
Overall winner Paul Clitheroe and BALANCE crew and Patrick Boutellier (Rolex Australia)
The 60-year-old financial consultant and TV presenter known as the ĎMoney Maní, Paul Clitheroe has been advising Australians for decades on sound, long-term investment strategies. Not unlike his approach to yacht racing, where planning and thorough preparation are key. Yet when it comes to winning, he adds passion, teamwork and pure dedication to make the difference.
Elated about his win, Clitheroe commented: "They kept me up all night! In what sport are you going to get a modern, carbon 52-footer up against an old 34-footer bought on a credit card. Either of us could have won it within five minutes. Itís crackerjack!"
Paul Clitheroe and his crew were presented with the Tattersallís Cup and engraved Rolex Yacht Master timepiece onboard Balance and following at a public prize giving on Constitution Wharf.
At time of press, 75 yachts have finished, 31 retired and two yachts are still racing but expected to arrive in time for the official Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race prize giving will take place Friday, 1 January 2016 at 1000 AEDT at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Hobart.
About Rolex in Yachting
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been partnered with Rolex since 2002. The event is a proud part of the brandís association with yachting and offshore racing in particular. The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was preceded by two other important 600 nautical mile races in 2015: the Rolex Fastnet Race in August and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October.
Full details of Rolexís longstanding relationship with yachting are provided in a Press Kit which can be viewed in English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.
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Official Websites: Rolex Press Room | Rolex Sydney Hobart | Cruising Yacht Club of Australia