The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is never short of drama or excitement and both were on display yesterday (December 27), with Investec Loyal claiming line honours in spectacular fashion over five-time champion Wild Oats XI before the win was officially protested over an alleged rules breach.
Investec Loyal crossed the line to the backdrop of a stunning Hobart sunset – the scene of many an amazing finish to this annual extravaganza.
With a time of two days, six hours, 14 minutes and 18 seconds the crew of skipper Anthony Bell and a host of celebrities including TV personality Karl Stefanovic, champion wheelchair-racer Kurt Fearnley, and former Wallabies Phil Waugh and Phil Kearns were jubilant over their nail-biting victory.
Wild Oats XI remained in contention right up to the stretch in the Derwent, providing Tasmanian onlookers with a tantalising duel to the line.
Investec XI has now officially won the race despite the allegation that the crew sought outside assistance when it asked an ABC helicopter about the type of sails being carried by closest rival Wild Oats XI.
In a hearing at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania at 10:00 am today, the Race Committee handed down a decision that there was no case to answer as explanations given were accepted.