29 Dec 2009

Alfa Romeo takes lines honours in Sydney to Hobart

8:53 am on 29 December 2009

The New Zealand maxi Alfa Romeo has taken line honours in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, its 146th consecutive ocean classic victory.

Its skipper Neville Crichton steered his 100-footer across the finish line in Hobart at just after midnight New Zealand time.

The winning crew, having left Sydney with the 100-strong fleet on Boxing Day, completed the journey in a time of two days, nine hours, two minutes and ten seconds.

Dozens of spectator craft, buzzed by news helicopters, joined Alfa for a gentle run to the line under a big moon and fading red sunset.

Thousands of spectators gathered at Constitution Dock on the post-card summer's evening to welcome the maxi.

Alfa was last defeated in 2005 by Wild Oats XI in this race, when the record was set of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.

Neville Crichton says he has the best crew in the world and to win the Sydney to Hobart is the ultimate.