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Kiwi sailor: 'Desperate' Spithill got his way in Sydney-Hobart controversy

Brenton Vannisselroy,
Publish Date
Friday, 29 December 2017, 9:17a.m.
Jimmy Spithill skippered LDV Comanche which was sensationally handed Sydney-Hobart line honours after Wild Oats crossed the line first. (Photo \ Getty Images)

A new chapter in the rivalry between America's Cup-winning skipper Jimmy Spithill and Kiwi sailors.

Spithill's LDV Comanche team is the new record-holding Sydney to Hobart line honours champion after Wild Oats XI was penalised an hour and demoted to second for breaking race rules.

It's just the third time in the prestigious race's 73 edition history that a yacht has lost line honours due to a penalty.

READ MORE: Wild Oats stripped of line honours in controversial decision

The protest was lodged after LDV Comanche finished the Sydney to Hobart in second place behind Wild Oats XI on Wednesday night.

It involved a near miss not long after the start of the race at 1pm on Boxing Day.

An international jury ruled that Wild Coats should be stripped of the win and Comanche handed the raceWith an international jury there is no right of appeal.

One of the Kiwis onboard Wild Oats, Matt Mason, says there's a lot of bad blood between the two boats now after Comanche protested.

READ MORE: Comanche skipper explains why he lodged protest

"We reckon Jimmy's getting a little bit desperate for a win and he's got it. But any way, he can take that. That's cool."

Matt Mason is dumbfounded by the one hour penalty they've been given as they feel it would have taken them five minutes to serve the penalty on the water.

"We think the penalty, you know, if we were in the wrong and we did our turn probbably would have cost us five minutes. So the confusion for us is the fact it's cost us an hour."


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