Celestial and Mistral are ORCi winners in Hobart Race

30 December 2022

  Sam Haynes’s TP52 CELESTIAL and Rupert Henry’s Lombard 34 MISTRAL are overall winners in the ORCi and the 2-handed ORCi divisions, respectively, in the 2022 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race. Henry was racing with team mate Greg O’Shea. Both wins were achieved in relatively small margins of corrected time: CELESTIAL by 44 min 12 sec after 46.5 hours of racing, and MISTRAL by only 3 min 35 sec after 77.5 hours of racing.

Haynes believes this was one of the strongest fleets ever assembled, there were 68 entries scored in the ORCi division. In winning overall, he and his team overcame the challenge from high caliber international competitors who are recent winners of the Transpac, the Fastnet, the Middle Sea Race and the Caribbean 600.

Succeeding at this highest level of offshore racing takes more than a good boat and a good crew. This was Haynes’ twelfth attempt. “The Rolex Sydney Hobart is iconic. It is one of the most interesting, strategic, challenging 600-mile races, with a lot of tradition and history. To win a race like this is a massive achievement. It was like a match race from the Sydney Heads to the finish line, but particularly in the last half when four of us were within a few miles and could see each other constantly,” said Haynes.

“You start preparing for next year’s race now.” Haynes continued. “You have to build the crew, the skillsets you need. There is a lot of testing of sails, data to be reviewed, and electronics to be checked to be sure about performance. There are safety and medical concerns too. Getting prepared involves a lot of people who are not on the race boat. You have to arrive on the 26 December completely ready. That is the only way to approach a race like this.”

“We know we have to sail right on the edge of the performance capability of boat and crew, and we have to know what that edge is too,” finished Haynes. “In order to win, first you have to finish, but you also have to push the boat really, really hard to win a race like this.”

This was only the second Hobart race to feature a 2-handed ORCi division, and the first for Henry and O’Shea on MISTRAL. A total of 14 entries were scored in ORCi, and among the the top four finishers there was only 2 hours 16 min 21 sec apart in corrected time: less than 3% of the elapsed time on the course.



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