Hat trick for Gillawa

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 31 Dec 2006 22:25:00
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Crew of Gillawa before the start of the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart

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The last boat in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet crossed the finish line at 8.55pm tonight, bringing to a close the 62nd Australian ocean classic.

The last boat in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet crossed the finish line at 8.55pm tonight, bringing to a close the 62nd Australian ocean classic.

David Kent’s Gillawa, representing the ACT, now has the honour of being last in the fleet for the past three Rolex Sydney Hobarts.

“This is a personal best,” laughed Kent as the boat was met by a huge crowd of family, friends and those enjoying the Hobart waterfront as it prepares to welcome in the New Year.

David Kent and his crew, some of them wearing black caps with red feathers at the finish, the sign of the Cavalier (the design of the boat) were hoping the north easterly winds would deliver them to Hobart in time for the dockside New Year celebrations and they have, despite the boat losing time after snapping a steering cable.

“We should have been here by 2pm this afternoon but we broke our steering cable 100 miles out. We still made it by New Year’s Eve though and now I have to honour my promise to shout the bar,” said David.

Gillawa is run on a shoestring budget with largely a novice crew, including two ‘Territorians’, one of them Ann van Haaren who penned a number of poems over the course of the race to help pass the time.

“Last year we had our own dress up party on the boat because there was nobody around to celebrate with, this year it’s great to be here for the New Yea's Eve party with the other crews,” said van Haaren tonight.

Seventy eight yachts set out from Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Tuesday 26 December and all but nine finished the 628 nautical mile race which lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s toughest blue water classics.

History was rewritten many times over during the 2006 race with Wild Oats XI recording back to back line honours wins for the first time in 42 years and only the sixth time in the event’s history, Love & War winning the George Adams Tattersalls Cup for the third time, Lou Abrahams equalling the record for the most Rolex Sydney Hobarts contested by an individual – 44, Phillip’s Foote Witchdoctor setting a new record for the most Rolex Sydney Hobarts contested by a yacht – 26, and, now Gillawa has taken the hat trick for wooden spoon finishes.

Overall and divisional winners of the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart will be presented with their trophies at the official prizegiving to be held at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania tomorrow, Monday 1 January 2007, starting at 11am.

 

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