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Bell doesn't plan to defend LOYAL's record

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/12/2016 Andrew Drummond

Anthony Bell won't defend Perpetual LOYAL's record-breaking Sydney to Hobart race title, with the owner-skipper instead pointing toward a "new and hot" sailing challenge.

The Auckland-built supermaxi on Wednesday finished the 630 nautical mile blue water classic in one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds, carving almost five hours off the previous race record.

After crossing the line and pulling into Hobart's Constitution Dock at about 3am (AEDT) Bell was thrown into the water by his 18-member crew but he remained composed right up until asked if he will be back in 2017.

"With all my heart, no," an emotional Bell replied.

"We called last shots for the boat last year, we said 'this is going to be our last trip to Hobart' and we didn't make it to Hobart so we thought we should come back.

"This boat is a great boat and it needs the next owner, someone to pick it up and jump into it with passion and enthusiasm.

"We've got some detailed plans about something new and hot that I'm going to do in sailing."

LOYAL had failed in it's Sydney to Hobart challenge for the past two years, retiring in 2015 with rudder damage and forced to pull out the year before with hull damage after hitting something in the water.

But 2016 marked a perfect run for the 100-footer.

"Sometimes you just need a little bit of luck and we've certainly had our fair share of bad luck, so I was entitled to ask the forecasters for that."

Not so lucky in 2016 was eight -time line honours winner Wild Oats XI.

Leading the race and more than four hours ahead of her own 2012 race record time, the supermaxi was forced to retire on Tuesday morning with a hydraulic problem that impacted the operation of the boat's keel.

Second place line honours have gone to New Zealand entry Giacomo, a Volvo 70 boat, which finished 116 minutes behind LOYAL and just two minutes ahead of Hong Kong supermaxi Scallywag in third place.

Giacomo is a Volvo 70 owned by New Zealand wine industry leader Jim Delegat.

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