Tasmanian entry claims Sydney-Hobart overall glory

Sailing (File)
Sailing (File)

Sydney - Alive won the gruelling Sydney to Hobart handicap honours Sunday for being the yacht that performed best according to size, after a protest against line honours victor Wild Oats XI was dismissed.

The 628-nautical mile (1,163-kilometre) bluewater classic down Australia's east coast - which kicked off in spectacular style in Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day - has trophies for a line honours winner and an overall handicap winner.

A 66-footer from the southern island state of Tasmania where Hobart is the capital, Alive crossed the finish line in fifth on Friday.

The mini-maxi finished only behind the four supermaxis -- the biggest and fastest yachts -- Wild Oats XI, Black Jack, Comanche and Infotrack in the 74th edition of the annual race.

But the crew had to wait until others completed their race to find out if they had the best corrected time to lift the Tattersall Cup, which they eventually did on Sunday morning.

"It still hasn't sunk in," Alive owner Phillip Turner, a retired Tasmanian professional gambler, said Sunday, adding that he bought the yacht in 2014 with the intention of winning Sydney to Hobart.

Alive finished in two days, one hour, 40 minutes and 36 seconds, and won the overall race with a corrected time of three days, six hours, 41 minutes and 16 seconds.

Alive was pushed all the way by 66-footer Wild Oats X, the sister ship to 100-footer Wild Oats XI, and which was sailed by the competition's first all-female professional crew.

"There is nothing like a competitor to push you, to get the best out of you and your teammates. And that is what happened," Alive navigator Wouter Verbraak said.

The overall result came after a protest against Wild Oats XI was dismissed on Saturday.

Wild Oats XI on Friday won line honours for a record ninth time after crossing the finish line first, but the race committee later lodged a protest against the boat over its Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Second-placed Black Jack had claimed Wild Oats XI's location system had been switched off during the race, making them invisible to their rivals, but did not submit an official protest.

An international jury threw out the protest on Saturday, saying it had to be made by a contestant.

It was the second-straight year that a protest was lodged against the Mark Richards-skippered vessel.

The crew were stripped of their win last year when they were handed a one-hour penalty over a near-collision.

"Redemption for us, that is for sure. Last year, it was so disappointing," Richards told reporters after reaching Hobart on Friday.

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