The TP52s thrived in favourable conditions in the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Nine out of the 10 fully-crewed TP52s that completed the race finished in the top 20 overall (IRC), while the top two boats on ORCi were also TP52s.
Celestial owner and skipper Sam Haynes and his crew overcame adversity to win the George Adams Tattersall Cup, the perpetual trophy for the overall winner on IRC rating corrected time.
In 2021, Celestial placed second overall to Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, due to a penalty for an infringement of the racing rules. This makes the 2022 victory all the more sweet for Haynes and co.
"It’s huge for me and the crew. I can’t believe it; it’s a bit of a life changer," Haynes said after lifting the Tattersall Cup.
During the race, the fleet battled predominantly northerly winds, gusting over 30 knots at times.
Second overall was Matt Donald and Chris Townsend's Gweilo, which was top of the TP52 rankings in the 2022/23 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore.
International competitors, Caro (NZ) and Warrior Won (USA), inspired the Australian TP52 contingent to up the ante for the 628 nautical mile race.
"Warrior Won and us were close together for so long – four nautical miles separated us at some points – we could see each other. We were match racing the whole way before we got to Tasman Island," Haynes told the CYCA.
The final overall standings saw Celestial, Gweilo and Caro in the top three, with little time separating the yachts as they crossed the finish line before midday on 28 December.
Gweilo placed first on ORCi, followed by Craig Neil’s Quest.*
Unfortunately, not all TP52s finished the race. Peter Wrigley and Andrew Kearnan’s KOA retired after losing its rudder on day two.
NSW Police Marine Area Command responded to a request for assistance on Tuesday 27 December at 1.15pm, reaching KOA at 6pm to tow the boat into Eden on NSW’s south coast.
The husband-and-wife team of Ian and Annika Thomson sailed their TP52 Ocean Crusaders J-Bird two-handed.
Ocean Crusaders J-Bird was the first two-handed yacht to cross the finish line. The boat has an electric drive powered by renewable energy.
The 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart might be over, but the TP52s are ready for another year of high-end racing.
Next up is the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race on February 17.
By Greta Quealy/Australian TP52 Sailing Association
*Updated 6 January 2023 following Celestial's withdrawal from the ORCi division.