Hobart, 29 December 2016 – Jim Delegat’s New Zealand yacht Giacomo is the overall winner of the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart. For Delegat and his crew, this is a triumph of persistence and teamwork with a distinct family touch. “It’s unreal,” explained Delegat shortly after victory was confirmed. “The Rolex Sydney Hobart is such a challenging, high profile event. To win is beyond one’s wildest dreams. It’s incredible.”
Delegat’s Volvo 70 was the second yacht to arrive in Hobart in the early hours of Wednesday morning finishing the 628-nm race a little under two hours after line honours winner and race record breaker Perpetual LOYAL. Her elapsed time of 1 day, 15 hours, 27 minutes, 5 seconds was well within the previous race record set by Wild Oats XI in 2012. In itself an outstanding performance.
Then came the crowning achievement, overall victory on handicap. “We determined very quickly that the first 18-20 hours was going to be the crucial part of winning our race,” added Delegat. “We went out wide in the strong breezes and had some terrific reaching conditions. We made Tasman Light (Island) in good time and then the whole thing was about getting through Storm Bay and up the (Derwent) River and we arrived in Hobart just in time as the breeze faded away.” Conditions had played in Giacomo’s favour and, even after finishing the race, the weather pattern continued to be kind.
Kind for Giacomo yet cruel for the crews pursuing her corrected time who experienced a complete wind shutdown either in Storm Bay or along the Derwent River. The latter, the 11-mile stretch of water which takes the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet from Storm Bay to the finish line in Hobart, has crushed the dreams of many sailors throughout the history of the race. With the fleet struggling for breeze and only trickling into Hobart, victory was Giacomo’s.
Delegat and his crew were rewarded for their exploits earlier today with the Tattersall’s Cup and a specially engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40. She becomes the first overseas entry to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart since American Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud in 2007.
It is reward for Giacomo’s persistence, both given her recent history in the race and the relentless fashion in which she sailed from Sydney. This is her third Rolex Sydney Hobart. On her most recent attempt in 2014 she was forced to abandon the race. “We had a wonderful 2013 and a heartbreaking 2014,” explains Delegat. “We lost our mast off the Tasmanian coast. It was soul-destroying and a personal loss for the crew. It was difficult in the next months to get over.” After a year rebuilding Giacomo, the crew returned for the 72nd edition determined to recover from that disappointment.
Delegat’s crew comprises his two sons, Nikolas, 20, and James, 18, the youngest sailor in this year’s race. Another family nod is provided by the boat’s name – a tribute to Delegat’s great-grandfather. The crew also comprised experienced Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigner Steve Cotton, boat captain, together with Italian navigator Francesco Mongelli, part of that ill-fated 2014 attempt.
“Beating the old record and winning overall is the best possible race you can expect. Winning this race is like graduating in your profession,” explained Mongelli. “The crew worked relentlessly from beginning to the end to get the best out of the boat. In every meteorological situation we found ourselves in, the crew worked excellently to ensure the boat reacted in real time.”
Mongelli paid further tribute to the excellent teamwork onboard, always a fundamental ingredient of any Rolex Sydney Hobart success. “This crew have the perfect qualities for this type of race. I have never seen a group of people with such a strong experience of sailing together.”
Anthony Bell’s Perpetual LOYAL claimed line honours and broke the race record at the Rolex Sydney Hobart in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Her time was 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds, almost five hours faster than the previous race record.
At 15:00 local time, 42 of the 88-strong fleet had arrived in Hobart. There had been five retirements.
Rolex has been Title Sponsor of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race since 2002. Highlights of the 2016 race can be found on the Rolex Yachting YouTube channel.
ROLEX AND YACHTING
Rolex has always sought to associate with activities that, like itself, were motivated by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. Naturally, Rolex gravitated toward the elite world of sailing, forming an alliance that dates back to the late 1950s. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of some 15 major international events.
From leading offshore races, such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, through to the highest-level one-design competition at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup, as well as the brand’s support of World Sailing, the international governing body of the sport, and its close relationships with the most prestigious yacht clubs around the world, including the New York Yacht Club (US) and the Royal Yacht Squadron (Cowes, UK), Rolex is driven by a passion for excellence and a great appreciation for yachting that furthers the strong ties that bind these two worlds in their shared pursuit of perfection.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programmes.
+41 22 302 26 19
+41 79 763 37 34
ROLEX YACHTING PRESS ROOM
ROLEX YACHTING PRESS KIT