Ichi Ban wins 2021 Sydney Hobart

Hobart, Australia (December 31, 2021) – Matt Allen’s TP52 Ichi Ban was declared overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race for a third time, earning the Tattersall Cup for the lowest corrected time under the IRC rule.

Since launched in late December 2017, Ichi Ban also won overall honors in 2017 and 2019.

“This is a time we will never forget. I have a mix of young, old and wise crew. It was a great opportunity for the guys who worked so hard,” said Allen, who also won the race as crew for Lou Abrahams on Challenge in 1983.

“To win with Ichi Ban a third time is unbelievable. It’s always better, ideally, not to go into the room to decide,” the yachtsman said, referring to two protests against Sam Haynes’ Celestial (including one from Ichi Ban), which finished with a better time but received a penalty in the protest room and so placed second overall to Allen’s boat.

“Rules are a critical part of our sport,” Allen said. “But we had a great neck-and-neck race with Celestial – all the way to Hobart. I completely understand why they would be upset. It was certainly a tussle between the two of us and Quest, until Quest dropped off the back and it was just us and Celestial.

“I was confident one or the other of us would win. We knew the predicted second southerly wouldn’t arrive, and that helped us,” Allen acknowledged. “We knew we’d have our ups and downs, but I always thought we had a chance. We pushed the whole way. It’s the toughest Hobart since 2014 – and it was tough.”

Among the 88 total starters, 38 teams retired along the course. The fully crewed teams accounted for 31 while the 2-handed division, with 17 entrants, had seven that failed to finish.

Allen (second from left) accepts Tattersall Cup.

Allen and Ichi Ban join two greats of sailing in winning three times – Freya (Trygve and Magnus Halvorsen) overall winner in 1963, 1964, and 1965 and Love & War (Peter Kurts and then Simon Kurts) 1974, 1978, and 2006…

“It’s an amazing moment in time. Trygve designed, built and sailed Freya – that’s amazing. I sailed with Peter Kurts. Love & War is incredible,” he said, referring to her three wins plus a third overall this year…

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