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Swedish maxi Nicorette takes line honours

by Peter Campbell on 29 Dec 2000
The Swedish maxi yacht Nicorette has taken line honours in the 2000 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, crossing the finish line on the River Derwent at Hobart at 3.02.09 am today after battling a gale in Storm Bay in the final hours of the 630 nautical mile race.

Galeforce winds reached 50 knots as the 80-footer sailed across Storm Bay under heavily reefed mainsail and storm jib, with snow falling during the night on Mount Wellington that towers above the capital city of the Australian island State of Tasmania.

Ironically, two miles from the finish line off Hobart's historic Battery Point, Nicorette virtually stopped as she sailed under the lee of Mount Nelson, with the crew working fast to hoist a bigger jib and shake out reefs in the mainsail.

The Swedish 80-footer, owned and skippered by Ludde Ingvall, had rounded Tasman Island (41 miles from the finish) at 10.47pm last night and at 1.20 am this morning Ingvall estimated he would cross the line off Hobart's historic Battery Point at 3am (Friday, 20 December 2000 AEST).

Nicorette's elapsed time of 2 days 14 hours 2 minutes 9 seconds is some 20 hours outside the record-slashing time set by the Danish 60-footer Nokia in the 1999 race.

At that stage Nicorette was some 30 miles ahead of the second boat, Grant Wharington's 83-footer Wild Thing from Melbourne, winds blowing from the south-west at 30 to 40 knots, reaching 50 knots with very rough seas and a heavy swell in Storm Bay.

Following Wild Thing came the first of the Volvo 60s, the Bermudan boat
TYCO, skippered by Kiwi ace Kevin Shoebridge, with illbruck (John Kostecki)
and News Corporation (Jez Fanstone) further astern.

Then came Assa Abloy, skippered by Olympic yachtsman Roy Heiner, with last
year's record-slashing Nokia (Stefan Myralf) chasing the tight pack of V60s.

Nicorette was designed by Simonis/Voogd and built in South Africa in 1999, originally racing as Tokolosh and more recently as Skandia on the European maxi yacht circuit and has been sponsored for her Australian racing program.

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