Australian boat Ragamuffin has made a late move to finish second in the Sydney to Hobart, holding out eager American entry Rambler by a matter of seconds.
Syd Fischer’s supermaxi overtook her rival as the pair made a slow approach up the Derwent River on Tuesday morning, relying on an uninspired breeze and a turning tide which was trying to push them back out to sea.
In a post on their Facebook page, Team Ragamuffin described the last few nautical miles as “puff lotto” as both crews looked for wind assistance amid the pond-like conditions.
It was a disappointing outcome for the 88-foot Rambler which was making its Sydney to Hobart debut and traded the lead with winner Comanche on day one before settling in to second place for most of the race.
But a decision on Monday to tack close to Tasmania’s east coast saw Rambler lose speed and initial indications they would finish on Monday night were blown out.
Ragamuffin finished in an unofficial time of two days, 19 hours and 48 minutes.
It comes after US supermaxi Comanche took the line honours victory on Monday night.
Bruised and battered, the 100-footer crossed the finish line just before 10pm (AEDT) in a time of two days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds, well outside the 2012 race record.
Each of the lead trio suffered damage en route to Hobart.
Comanche lost a dagger board and nursed a damaged rudder, while Ragamuffin and Rambler both had dagger board woes.
Rough conditions throughout day one of racing took its toll on entrants with 31 withdrawals greatly reducing the starting fleet of 108.
Defending champion and eight-time winner Wild Oats XI was one of the early retirements, suffering sail damage.
Italian entry Maserati was due to cross the finish line in fourth place by midday (AEDT) on Tuesday.
The top-standings for handicap honours continue to change with most of the main contenders not due to finish until Wednesday.