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28 December 2012, 09:51 pm
Ragamuffin-Loyal Comes Through Second And Off The Hook
Ragamuffin Loyal passing Cape Pillar
Ragamuffin Loyal passing Cape Pillar

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012
Sydney, Australia

Ragamuffin-Loyal has finished second across the Rolex Sydney Hobart finish line, almost five hours behind the record breaking Wild Oats XI, after gear damage hampered the defending champion's bid to win.
The crew pumped their fists in the air and shared elated hugs as they passed the Rolex finish buoys at Hobart's Castray Esplanade at 1208 AEDT, surrounded by thousands of fans.

Speaking from Constitution Dock, skipper Syd Fischer said it was an "unfortunate" finish after the team so dramatically defeated Wild Oats XI by three minutes and eight seconds last year.

"We had a bit of trouble," the 85-year old said after finishing his 44th Rolex Sydney Hobart in one day, 23 hours and eight minutes and 44 seconds.

"We're new to the boat, we've only had it two months. I think we did pretty well. The boys pushed the boat really hard, it's just unfortunate that things broke or went wrong."

The team damaged headsail gear on the first night of the race, which meant they couldn't fly their biggest sails for the remainder of the course.

After reaching Hobart Ragamuffin-Loyal had to head to the jury room but soon after were cleared of any wrongdoing after jumping the start of the race.

The International Jury ruled that Ragamuffin-Loyal was not at fault when she failed to restart after crossing the line early.

The International Jury found that race officials failed to notify Ragamuffin-Loyal after five minutes that they had jumped the start, leaving the crew unaware that they should have returned and restarted.

With the crew facing virtual disqualification if the jury had ruled against them, Ragamuffin-Loyal's David Witt said, "justice has been done." He said the crew had been unaware they had crossed early.

The Race Committee brought the redress action to the International Jury on behalf of Ragamuffin-Loyal.

Keep up to date with the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race here -
Di Pearson, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team
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