About The Race

Historical Facts

Over the past 74 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has become an icon of Australia's summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events as the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open tennis and the Boxing Day cricket test. No regular annual yachting event in the world attracts such huge media coverage than does the start on Sydney Harbour.

  • ImageLoki sailed a flawless race to win the Tattersalls Cup
  • ImageLove & War won overall in 1974, 1978 and 2006
  • ImageGiacomo revelling in open water conditions clear of other boats

Historical facts from 1945 to 2016

First Race Winner
  • Rani
    Captain John Illingworth RN (UK)
    Design: Barber 35' cutter
    Line honours and handicap winner

2017 Overall Winner

 

2017 Line Honours Winner

 

  • Ichi Ban, a TP52 owned by Matt Allen, (Australia)


  • LDV Comanche, a Verdier Yacht Design & VPLP 100 Supermaxi owned by Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant (Australia)

Double Winners - Line Honours and Overall
  • Rani (GBR) - 1945
  • American Eagle (USA) - 1972
  • Kialoa (USA) - 1977
  • New Zealand (NZL) - 1980
  • Sovereign (NSW) - 1987
  • Wild Oats XI (NSW) - 2005 & 2012
Multiple Line Honours Winners
  • Wild Oats XI (NSW/QLD) – 8 races including 4 successive races (2005-2008)
  • Morna/Kurrewa IV (NSW) – 7 races

  • Astor (NSW) – 3 races   

  • Bumblebee IV/Ragamuffin (NSW) – 3 races

  • Condor (BER) – 2 races 

  • Margaret Rintoul (NSW) – 2 races

  • Solo (NSW) – 2 races
  • Kialoa III (USA) – 2 races
  • Sayonara (USA) – 2 races
  • Comanche/LDV Comanche (USA/NSW) - 2 races
Multiple Overall Winners
  • Freya (NSW) – 3 successive races from 1963-1965
  • Love & War (NSW) – 3 races: 1974, 1978 and 2006
  • Westward (TAS) – 2 successive races: 1947 and 1948
  • Siandra (NSW) – 2 races: 1958 and 1960
  • Solo (NSW) – 2 races: 1956 and 1962
  • Ausmaid (SA/VIC) – 2 races: 1996 and 2000
  • Wild Oats XI (NSW/QLD) – 2 races: 2005 and 2012
  • Balance (NSW) – 2 races: as Quest in 2008 and as Balance in 2015
Fastest race The fastest race was in 2016
  • Perpetual LOYAL (AUS)
    01:13:31:20
  • Kialoa (USA) held the record for 21 years, Morning Glory (GER) for three and Nokia (AUS/DEN) for five.
  • Brindabella (AUS) 01:20:46:33 holds the race record for a conventionally ballasted yacht set in 1999
Slowest race The slowest race was in 1945
  • Wayfarer- Peter Luke, NSW
    11:06:20
Closest line honours finish
  • 1982 - Condor of Bermuda beat Apollo by just seven seconds
  • 2001 - 47 minutes separated the first 6 boats
Most races by any boat
  • Bacardi - 28 races
  • Phillip's Foote Witchdoctor / Sweet Caroline - 27 races
  • Ragamuffin (50) - 26 races
  • Polaris of Belmont- 25 races
  • Impeccable - 25 races
  • Margaret Rintoul II / Spirit of Koomooloo - 25 races
  • Mark Twain - 24 races
  • Brindabella (Jutson 75) - 20 races
Most races by any yachtsman
  • Tony Cable (NSW) - 51 races (2 overall wins, 1 Line Honours)
  • Tony Ellis (NSW) - 50 races (1 overall win, 2 Line Honours)
  • Bill Ratcliff (NSW) - 49 races
  • Colin Wildman (NSW) - 49 races (1 overall win, 1 Line Honours)
  • Syd Fischer (NSW) - 47 races (1 overall win, 2 Line Honours)
  • Bruce Gould (NSW) - 46 races (2 overall wins, 2 Line Honours)
  • Lindsay May (NSW) - 45 races (3 overall wins, 1 Line Honours)
  • The late John Bennetto (Tas) - 44 races (1 overall win, 1 Line Honours)
  • The late Lou Abrahams (Vic) - 44 races (2 overall wins)
  • David Kellett (NSW) - 44 races (1 overall win, 2 Line Honours)
  • Michael Spies (NSW) - 41 races (1 overall win, 1 Line Honours)
  • Bernie Case (VIC) - 40 races (1 Line Honours)
  • Ian Short (NSW) - 41 races
  • The late Richard (Sightie) Hammond (NSW) - 40 races; first person to sail 40 races (2 overall wins, 2 Line Honours)
Record Fleets
  • 371 starters in 1994 - the 50th race
  • 179 starters in 1985
  • 155 starters in 1984
2017 Fleet
  • 102 starters
  • 96 finishers