Line honours for Aussie supermaxi

Australian supermaxi Investec Loyal has clinched line honours in the Sydney-Hobart race, despite a protest claiming that its crew asked a media helicopter to spy on a rival.

The first-time winner crossed the line three minutes ahead of defending champion Wild Oats XI, the race’s closest finish in 28 years, but the champagne had to be put on ice when the protest was lodged.

Investec Loyal tactician Michael Coxon asked the Australian Broadcasting Corporation pilot about the state of Wild Oats‘ sails during a radio interview with the broadcaster.

However, the protest committee accepted that Coxon was genuinely concerned about how the sails had fared after a night of 30-knot winds, because his company had supplied them.

Wild Oats led most of the race, but were overhauled by Investec Loyal after a tacking duel in the final beat into Hobart.

Investec Loyal finished the race in two days, six hours, 14 minutes and 18 seconds, well outside the record of one day, 18 hours and 40 minutes.

Picture by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo.

Wild start for Sydney Hobart.