In one corner hailing from Australia measuring in at 98 feet Skandia. She’s blue, Aussie designed and built, sporting a canting keel.
Skandia 1st to Finish
Photographer : Daniel Forster/Rolex
In the other corner the white hulled Zana, also 98 feet, Kiwi designed and built with a fixed keel. That was the pre race tale of the tape, and the hype was justified over the 628 mile course.
Sail Change for Zena
After nearly 3 full days on the water Skandia’s winning margin was 14 minutes, in doubt all the way. Skandia’s Grant Wharington, ““We could see them (Zana) the whole way, except for 30 minutes this morning.” Early reports had Skandia ahead by 2 boat lengths, meaning not much changed the whole race. Zana then had a brief lead the first nite out.
Official times were 2 days 15 hours 14 minutes and 6 seconds for Skandia, 2 d 15h 28m and 30S for Zana. Over the 628 mile course this means Skandia’s advantage was 1.6 seconds per mile.
On the patriotism front Skandia is the first Australian first to finish winner since 1997. Wharington hails from Victoria in Australia. He was the first Victorian skipper to take line honours since the 1950′s
Was one boat faster? Not really said Skandia’s Barney Walker, ““It was more mentally tiring than any race I have done; it was crucial that we stayed on their line, there was nothing in the boatspeed,.”
Zana owner Stewart Thwaites was disapointed, but sportsmanlike in 2nd saying, “”I am definitely happy with second, but I was after line honours.”
Further he said, “”Probably the difference was a canting keel.” Inexorably canting keels are becoming nescesarry gear of winners.
Hype and expectation is a constant phenomenon of the 21st century. Always good to see expectations met.
Note: In addition to line honours there are handicap winners. These are to be determined and can be tracked online.
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