29 Dec 2009

NZ yacht takes Sydney-Hobart line honours

3:11 pm on 29 December 2009

New Zealand supermaxi Alfa Romeo took line honours in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Monday night.

The yacht arrived in Hobart just after 10pm local time, completing the 628 nautical mile trip in two days, nine hours, two minutes and 10 seconds.

The race was slow due to fickle weather and slow winds, but skipper Neville Neville Crichton says it didn't matter in the end.

"If the weather gods are good you go and break the record, if they're not, you still win the race - but it takes a little longer," he told the ABC.

Crichton says his crew's vast experience was the reason they were first out of the Sydney heads at the start of the race on Boxing Day.

Neville Crichton told Summer Report the victory was even better than his last win in the Sydney to Hobart race in 2002, because there were at least five boats which could have won and it was at no no stage an easy race.

It was Alfa Romeo's 146th consecutive win in racing since 2005.

Four-time defending line honours champion Wild Oats XI, skippered by Mark Richards, crossed the finish line second after overtaking British entry ICAP Leopard.