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Law Connect claims Line honours in Sydney to Hobart yacht race

Written by Ritenis Aksel

Law Connect claims Line honours in Sydney to Hobart yacht race

*Report compiled with assistance of AI

Australian supermaxi LawConnect took line honours in the punishing Sydney-Hobart ocean race on Dec 28, pipping rival Andoo Comanche in one of the tightest-ever finishes to the blue water classic.

In a thrilling conclusion to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, LawConnect, skippered and owned by Christian Beck, made a triumphant entry into the annals of yachting history. Overcoming the lead of Andoo Comanche  the yacht managed to outsail its rival in the final rivers section of the 628-nautical mile race, claiming victory by a margin of less than a minute.

The two 100-foot supermaxis jostled for position as they charged down Australia’s east coast in the first days , and were separated by only  two nautical miles as they turned into the final stretch on Tasmania’s River Derwent. It was an exceptional display of light winds tactical match racing, with Law Connect helmsman Tony Mutter and tactician Chris Nicholson directing Christian Beck’s team to victory, after being 2nd on three previous years.

For LawConnect, the victory represents a significant step forward. Despite consistent performances that saw it finish as a runner-up in three consecutive races, the yacht had never managed to secure line honours until now. This victory marks the culmination of years of hard work and commitment from the team, led by Christian Beck.

The yacht completed the race in one day, 19 hours, three minutes, and 58 seconds, crossing the finish line less than a minute before Andoo Comanche, which finished in one day, 19 hours, four minutes, and 49 seconds.

This was a “nail-biting finis”h as the two supermaxis approached the River Derwent, Comanche was actually in the lead  in the lead,however, LawConnect demonstrated impressive tactical skill by riding an updraft of wind to overcome the raceleader  and cross the finish line first. Beck, who described the win as a ‘dream come true’, was elated at the result that saw LawConnect outpace the Comanche.

This is the quintessential story of triumph over adversity and the race was not without its serious challenges. LawConnect lost one of its crucial sails on the first night due to wild storms that battered the fleet on the NSW coast .  Despite these hurdles, the crew of LawConnect, which includes four amateur sailors from Beck’s company, persevered, demonstrating exceptional grit and determination. Their hard work paid off  as they crossed the finish line first , marking a fairytale ending for Beck and his team.

Finish line.
LAWCONNECT, Sail no: SYD 1000, Owner: Christian Beck, Design: Juan K 100 Custom, Country: AUS ANDOO COMANCHE, Sail no: CAY 007, Owner: John Herman Winning, Design: Vplp Verdier 100, Country: AUS

With 51 seconds separating the two yachts at the finish line , race organisers said it was the second-closest finish in the prestigious race’s 78-year history beaten only by the 1982 edition which was decided by seven seconds.

The 103-strong racing fleet had been battered by thunderstorms and heavy swells since setting off from Sydney Harbour on Dec 26.

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Ritenis Aksel

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