The Australian team of Quantum Racing, a DK46, skippered by Ray ROBERTS, and Stephen AINSWORTH's new Loki, a Reichel/Pugh 60, finished the series with 84 points under the low-scoring system.
Quantum Racing, which also won her division of the Rolex Trophy - Rating Series, placed ninth overall in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, to be the outstanding boat of the series. Loki finished second in her division of the Rolex Trophy - Rating Series and 7th Overall in the Hobart race.
Ray ROBERT's commented today, 'We are pleased that our Quantum Racing and Loki have won the Rolex Challenge.
'The Rolex Sydney to Hobart race was hard for us. We are both conventionally ballasted boats and we certainly would have fared much better had the conditions been more normal with say 12 hours of hand on the nose wind.' As it was the hard running race helped the canting keeled boats.
'We look forward to next year's race, when it appears that IRC rating adjustments will have levelled the playing field.'
'We had some great racing in the 40-50 band. We had three identical DK-46's, all with the same Quantum sails, so we could not have been more equal. We worked very hard on our weather planning and positioning and in the end that is what made the difference, We will be hoping for one or two cold fronts in Hobart 2006.
'We've had a big month. We sailed a Farr 40 at the Savills Regatta, then did well with another DK-46 Quantum Racing at the Kings Cup in Thailand, then back to the Farr 40 One Design for the first stage of the Rolex Trophy series, then this boat for the IRC section of the regatta. Now we are racing the DK-46 in the Sailing South Regatta before the Geelong Regatta.'
Stephen Ainsworth's new Loki, his last was a Swan 46, boat has been performing well since her launch in July 2005. He commented, 'This boat has sailed beautifully since we launched her in July, we had good racing at the Hogs Breath regatta and at Hamilton Island.
We enjoyed the Rolex series and were pleased with our Hobart race. We were the first boat under 90 feet across the line and third in Division B. She went very well in the hard running conditions, though we had a tricky approach to Tasman Light that cost us time…but we are certainly looking forward to next years series.'
Second place overall in the Rolex Challenge went to the Queensland team of Yendys (Geoff ROSS) and Wedgetail (Bill WILD) with 99 points, with third place going to New Zealand on 117 points, the team comprising Stewart THWAITES' Konica Minolta and Fincorp More Witchcraft (John CAMERON).
Victoria (Flirt and Fuzzy Logic) placed fourth with 122 points, followed by the NSW Blue team (Ragamuffin and Nips-N-Tux) on 126 points and NSW Red (Wild Oats XI and Wild Rose) on 141 points.
Three teams scored equal points, 6, in the Rolex Sydney Hobart - NSW Red, Queensland and Australia - but the Australian team held the advantage it had achieved in the eight race Rolex Trophy - Rating Series.