Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ocean race finishes separated by minutes

For the sailors among us, the past 24 hours have seen some of the most exciting ocean racing of recent memory.

First off, the line honours winners of the Rolex Sydney Hobart race finished in the wee hours of the American morning. I was up late and was riveted by the match race taking place between 2 100 foot yachts battling for the prestigious "first to finish" prize. It was perennial favorite Wild Oats XI vs. Investec Loyale. WOXI has finished first 5 times yet in the shifty breezes heading into the finish, it was Investec beating WOXI! They took their lead all the way to Hobart taking a surprising first ever line honours win for the yacht formerly known as Maximus.

The boats saw 40 knot breezes on the nose as they entered the infamous Bass Straight and now the excitement builds for the overall winners to be crowned as the smaller boats make the finish. There's some killer photos here:

The second exciting finish went to Telefonica on leg 2.5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The boats entered a "stealth zone" to hide from pirates along the east African coastline. Then they entered a secret safe haven port and boarded a ship bound for the Persian Gulf. 80% of the points of the leg were awarded and it was Camper who literally came in minutes later taking 2nd. It was American entry Puma taking third. Fascinating stuff!

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