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Only one yacht still to finish marathon voyage

Only one yacht still to finish marathon voyage
Paul O'Connell

The smallest yacht in the fleet, the 30-footer Katinka, remains the only yacht at sea in the 59th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race following the arrival just before 7.30 am today of another small boat, Berrimilla.

The smallest yacht in the fleet, the 30-footer Katinka, remains the only yacht at sea in the 59th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race following the arrival just before 7.30 am today of another small boat, Berrimilla.

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore John Messenger greeted skipper Alex Whitworth and his crew as the 33-footer berthed in Constitution Dock, as he has done for every yacht to finish the 628 nautical mile race.

“We ran out on the second night at sea,” said Whitworth as he received a case of cold beer from the Commodore, a tradition at the end of the Sydney Hobart Race.

“It  was a very frustrating race; in total we were parked for the best part of two days, the worst being on the second night when we drifted round in circles near Montague Island (off the NSW South Coast),” the Sydney yachtsman added.

Even the final 40 miles from Tasman Island had been slow, with Berrimilla, a Brolga 33, rounding  Tasman at 5.10pm yesterday and the crew quietly celebrating the New Year in Storm Bay.

Berrimilla finally reached the Iron Pot at the entrance to the Derwent River at 3.05am today and the finish at 7.29am. Her elapsed time was 5 days 18 hours 29 minutes 32 seconds, an average boatspeed of only 4.5 knots.

Katinka, skippered by Paul O’Connell,  is not expected to finish until mid-afternoon today.