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31 December 2001, 02:52 am
Bumblebee V Wins 57th Sydney to Hobart title
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Credit: Crystal Clear

57th Sydney to Hobart

The provisional Overall Winner along with most Divisional winners and placegetters, were officially announced today at a traditional ceremony near Hobart’s historic Constitution Dock.
The Commodores of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Hans Sommer and Robert `Biddy' Badenach, will be joined by Hobart's Lord Mayor Rob Valentine for the presentation of the Tattersall's Cup and crew medallions to the winning yacht.

It was a joyous moment for the crew of Bumblebee 5 this morning as they received the Tattersals Cup and individual medals for their win in the 57th Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

The yacht has been named provisional IMS and overall winner of the race. The yacht's sailing master, Dave Samson says he and the rest of the crew are thrilled.

`We came into the race, and just said 'we can get this'. It's the most wonderful feeling, I've wanted to win this for so long and after my fourth go I win.'

Bumblebee 5 was forced to retire in last year's Sydney to Hobart when the keel came off. While disappointed, the crew put a new keel on and re-rated the boat, and Dave says it was a blessing in disguise. He says this year everything ran smoothly.

`From the start it was just a race where everything fell into place. We were always aiming at Tasmania, and we were always going relatively quickly and that's all you need to do I think.'

The crew will now team up with Roger Hickman and the Ausmaid crew to participate in the first sailing south week in Hobart early next year.

Bumblebee's owner, John Kahlbetzer, won line honours with his maxi Bumblebee IV in the 1979 Sydney to Hobart Race, and campaigned his 62-footer south for the third time in this year's race. Key crew members include America's Cup helmsman/skipper Iain Murray, who is also one of the yacht's designers, Peter Messenger from the famous sailing family, and legendary bowman Sven Runow. Bumblebee 5 finished 6th overall in the 1999 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race, retiring with damage last year.

In the IMS division, New South Wales yachts took out the first three placements, with Bumblebee 5 in first, Ninety Seven in second and Ragamuffin in third position.

Polaris of Belmont came first in the IRC division, followed by the Polish yacht Lodka Bols in second, and Bacardi in third place.

In the PHS division, boats are still racing, but Valtair is currently holding first place ahead of Sorine in second and Magic in third.

43 yachts have now finished the race, with another 13 still to arrive.

However, winds are very light in southern Tasmanian waters and it may be hours yet before the boats nearest to Hobart reach the finish line.

At this stage, out of the 75 boats that set sail from Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, 26 December, 43 have completed the 630 nautical mile course, 18 have retired and one was declared a non-finisher.

ISAF Secretariat/Kate Leonard
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