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Cahalan racks up 25 Sydney to Hobart races

AAP logoAAP 28/12/2016 Andrew Drummond

Sydney to Hobart veteran Adrienne Cahalan has set her own race record as the first woman to contest 25 of the blue water classic events.

Sailing into the southern capital on Thursday as navigator aboard Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin, Cahalan was still aghast at news line honours winner Perpetual LOYAL smashed the race record by almost five hours.

Cahalan was on board Wild Oats XI in 2012 when the supermaxi set the previous race record time.

"It's very unusual to have this forecast like this and to break the record by so much," she told AAP after arriving in Hobart.

"I know on Wild Oats we only just broke it each time.

"I'm still really surprised about it but it's got a lot to do with technology and people sailing and it just all came together on Boxing Day where the wind just blew from the right direction the whole way."

Anthony Bell's LOYAL crossed the finish line in one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds, with second and third line honours place getters - Giacomo and Scallywag respectively - all breaking the previous record before Hobart's Derwent River turned to a breathless pond.

Cahalan is no stranger to the lack of wind in the final few miles to Hobart.

"I've lost line honours because of it," she said.

"It's really challenging the Derwent, I quite like it. I don't like it when it doesn't work for you but it adds another dimension to the race."

Some boats spent more than three frustrating hours trying to cover the last mile on Wednesday and even had to drop anchor at times to stop drifting backward.

Cahalan chose to take Ragamuffin along the western side of the river and made up two places on Thursday.

"Bass Strait is physically hard on you but this one (the Derwent River) is emotionally hard," she said.

"So close to the finish and particularly if you've put in a really good race and done everything right and then people come in behind and, bad luck, they catch up."

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