Black Jack has sailed across the Castray Esplanade finish line in Hobart this morning at 01.37.17 local time, claiming the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The crew finished in 2 days, 12 hours, 37 minutes and 17 seconds. Up until the last evening, it was still not sure whether Black Jack would win Line Honours or not, as SHK Scallywag was on the lead on Boxing Day. However, after some complications onboard, Black Jack and LawConnect fought it out.
Black Jack rounded Tasman Island around 9:50pm (local time) yesterday’s evening, and finished the finish line outside the race record of 01:09:15:24 set by LDV Comanche in 2017. Nonetheless, they were the fastest in this year’s racing and finished first in the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
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Peter Harburg, owner of the yacht, welcomed the crew on the Constitution Dock. Harburg has contested eight Sydney Hobarts aboard his own yachts, named Black Jack. On this occasion however, racing skipper Mark Bradford sailed with the rest of the crew without Harburg on board.
The name honours car racing legend and friend Sir Jack Brabham. In 2008 he was close to winning, as the Reichel/Pugh 66 finished sixth. Harburg sold this boat, which got renamed to Alive and won the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
In a strong attempt to win the Sydney Hobart, Peter Harburg bought the 2009 line honours winner Alfa Romeo in 2017, renaming it to Black Jack. This morning, that same boat crossed the finish line first.
“It’s a nervous wait. I’ve never felt this feeling before. It’s strange because I’ve always been on the boat when it's racing and you keep busy. You don’t think about it the way you do when you’re ashore waiting.” -Peter Harburg
Watch highlights of other editions of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on Nautical Channel.
LawConnect, owned by Christian Beck finished the race in second place, crossing the finish line in 2 days, 15 hours, 11 minutes and 44 seconds. They were followed very closely by SHK Scallywag who crossed the finish line barely 19 minutes afterwards.
As for the moment only 7 vessels have made it across the Castray Esplanade to the finish line, most of the fleet is still sailing and making their way across Cape Sonnerat or St Helens Point.
Also on sadder notes, 30 boats had to retire from the competition. Reasons include hull damage, torn sails, engine issues or injured crew members. Amongst them we find Wonderline who retired due to equipment issues or Khaleesi, after forestay damage.
The Rolex Hobart Yacht Race has taken place over the past 76 years, becoming an icon of Australia’s summer sport and ranking high in public interest as other national events as the Melbourne Cup, Australian Open tennis and the Boxing Day cricket test.