Ichi Ban won the handicap race in 2017, and is basking in glory again. (Supplied: STHYR/Carlo Borlenghi)
New South Wales yacht Ichi Ban has become both the overall and handicap winner of the 75th Sydney to Hobart race.
- Ichi ban was at sea for more than three days, after becoming overall and handicap race winner
- It was also the handicap title winner in 2017
- On Saturday, supermaxi Comanche claimed line honours victory
Ichi Ban arrived in Hobart on Saturday evening, after two days, six hours, 18 minutes and five seconds at sea.
It is the second time the yacht has taken out the handicap crown, first winning in 2017, and narrowly missing out last year.
Skipper Matt Allen said the win was “a great thrill” for the whole crew.
“It is a fantastic celebration down here in Hobart. The crew are ecstatic,” he said.
“The Sydney to Hobart yacht race is so hard to win and it has been a long wait since we have been at the dock in Hobart to wait to be declared the overall winner for 2019.”
He said although it was “a tactical race”, much of the result depended on weather conditions.
“It is important to put the boat in the right position and sail it hard when it is in the right position,” he said.
“There is pressure all the way from Sydney to Hobart, and then you need to beat all the other boats of different sizes.
“We were leading the race most of the time from Sydney, but you need the weather gods to help you a little as well to get the overall win.
“With the boats similar in performance characteristics, if you don’t get through one of the weather systems ahead of the competition, it will be game over, end of the race for you. It is really stressful when it is light airs.”
Thirty-four minutes separated Ichi Ban and the second-placed Gweilo, while Quest came third in the handicap race.
On Saturday, supermaxi Comanche claimed its third line honours victory, crossing the line about 7:30am, with a race time of 1 day, 18 hours, 30 minutes and 24 seconds.
Comanche was followed into the River Derwent by its fellow supermaxis, with InfoTrack crossing the line second and Wild Oats XI third.
Scallywag was on track for line honours, leading the fleet for much of Saturday, but a collision with a shark forced the supermaxi to slow down to remove the animal from the rudder, effectively ending any hopes of a place.
A fleet of 157 yachts left Sydney on Boxing Day. Some boats are still expected to arrive in Hobart today, but forecast storms this afternoon are expected to make conditions difficult for those at sea.