Katherine S. Cunanan
January 3, 2020    |    

2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

A thrilling yacht race is a spectacular way to end the year and welcome a new decade.

There is nothing as thrilling and exciting as being out on the open sea with just the sky and waves around you. Sailing has often been among the pursuits of the adventurous folk, willing to test their will against the elements. And Rolex has been alongside them for many of these challenges. Rolex has established a strong relationship with yachting as a sport, and has sponsored many yacht clubs and regattas all across the globe.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Yacht racing as a sport involves sailing yachts along a specific course marked by buoys or other navigational devices. A longer regatta involves a point-to-point race across open water.  The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is one such race beginning in the beautiful Sydney Harbor and ending with a trip up the Derwent River into the port city of Hobart. It may sound simple if you only look at the start and end points but the race itself is much more complicated, covering 628 nautical miles, and exciting. The race is a classic long ocean race and anyone who owns a yacht meeting the Category 1 safety requirements can participate.

From Sydney Harbor, the 157 yachts sail to the Tasman Sea and follow the south-east coast of Australia. The course takes the yachts across the Bass Strait and down the east coast of Tasmania. Passing the Tasman Island, the yachts turn into Storm Bay and up the Derwent River, finally leading to the end point in the port city of Hobart. As with many competitions, the starting point and ending point are said to the most adrenalin-filled.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2019 started on December 26, the day after Christmas. Throughout the course, yachts are often insight of each other, and can track each other’s movements. It can be a guessing game at some points, wondering which path a competitor will take then planning your own course of action. But the wind and the waves often change these decisions for the yachtsmen, making decisiveness and nerves of steel a necessity too.

Just two days into the race brought the first winner into the port of Hobart. The Australian Maxi Comanche finished the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, needing only 1 day, 18 hours, 30 minutes & 24 seconds. Comanche effectively won line honors, being the first yacht to cross the finish line. Their closest rival was three-quarters of an hour behind.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

The last boat to arrive was the Take Five, a local Tasmanian boat, with skipper Ian Gannon and crew. It was a tough race, with storms and dwindling supplies, but the crew was elated to make it to the finish line.

The overall winner was the Ichi Ban, with a corrected time of 3 days, 4 hours, 11 minutes and 5 seconds, led by Matt Allen and his Australian crew. The tam is evidently a strong one, having been declared winners twice in the last three years. Perhaps they’ll be the team to beat for the next Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.


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