Alive secures Sydney-Hobart glory

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

The 1,163km bluewater classic down Australia's east coast 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 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 yesterday morning.

"It still hasn't sunk in," Alive owner Phillip Turner, a retired Tasmanian professional gambler, said, 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.

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.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2018, with the headline 'Alive secures Sydney-Hobart glory'. Print Edition | Subscribe