Battling through inclement weather in one of the most difficult yacht races in the world, Hall Spars-rigged yacht Balance has won the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race for 2015.
The 71st edition of the race saw a fleet of 108 yachts sail out of Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, with some harsh weather conditions awaiting the sailors early on. As always, yacht and personnel durability were of high importance, with lightning, thunder, rough waters and blustery winds greeting the fleet. Almost a third of the starting yachts were forced to retire, many within the first 24 hours sailing down the NSW coast.
Despite encountering some horrible conditions, Balance owner Paul Clitheroe praised his rig’s durability, having had no problems throughout the race.
“Given the issues other boats have had with masts, it’s a very positive statement,” said Mr Clitheroe.
“Clearly it is a critical element in Balance’s success… As the boat has now won two Hobarts with this mast, it clearly does its job and has done so for many years, at times under extreme conditions.”
To cap off a great 2015 year for Hall Spars & Rigging, it was not only Balance that added to Hall Spars’ resume of successful yachts, but also Chinese Whisper, coming in fifth in line honours, taking out division honours in class zero, and finishing in an incredible fifth on IRC. This result comes in the wake of a number of top results, including a second place in the Sydney to Gold Coast race in July.
The biggest shock of the race was the retirement of eight-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI on the first night. The 100 footer had been the first to finish the previous three years, but was forced to retire with a destroyed mainsail – proof of the harsh conditions this years’ sailors faced.
Despite the weather throughout the race, Hall Spars’ supremacy shone through, with not one of the 12-strong fleet of Hall Spars-equipped yachts reporting any mast problems throughout the race.
But until the yachts line up again on Boxing Day this year, it’s Balance, and Hall Spars, who sit on top of the pack.