Ichi Ban claims overall Sydney to Hobart race victory

Ichi Ban has been declared the overall winner of the Sydney to Hobart, the yacht’s second handicap victory in three years. Skipper Matt Allen and the crew of the TP52 was on Monday morning presented with the prestigious Tattersall Cup for the 75th edition of the race.

The NSW yacht, which also won overall in 2017, finished an agonising fifth in the handicap standings last year after losing the lead on a calm River Derwent.

“Coming up the Derwent doing 19 knots when last year we were lucky to be doing half a knot – that made a big difference to the crew’s morale,” Allen, who capped his 30th Sydney to Hobart with a win in the milestone event, said.

“There were a few scars from last year but you’ve got to get over that. This has made those scars go away and it’s a great feeling for the whole crew to have nailed it this time.”

Ichi Ban crossed the line on Saturday evening, with her corrected time not threatened by a flurry of boats that finished on Sunday. She finished about 12 hours behind line-honours winner Comanche, which took out the blue water classic for the third time.

Allen said the crew were in celebration mode when they arrived in Hobart. “We’d beaten all the boats ahead of us, the boats immediately behind we had [the better of],” he said. “We were pretty confident from hitting the dock.”

After a strong start out of Sydney, the 52-foot Ichi Ban beat some of the massive supermaxis to Bass Strait and handled the changeable winds better than their rivals.

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“The deciding moment was when we got through those weather systems. We got out of all those weather systems in good shape and ahead of the pack,” Allen said.

Gweilo was second overall followed by Quest, which rose to third after Envy Scooters was hit with a time penalty for failing to properly give way to Quest near Sydney.


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