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Perpetual Loyal: Navigator Tom Addis shocked by Sydney to Hobart record-breaking time

HOME STRETCH: Perpetual Loyal powers towards Hobart and the race record on Wednesday morning. Picture: Getty ImagesLake Macquarie sailor Tom Addis was still in shock late on Wednesday at how much time he and his Perpetual Loyal crewmates had taken out of the Sydney to Hobart race record he helped set with Wild Oats XI in 2012.
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Addis, who lives at Coal Point, was navigator on the Anthony Bell-owned and skippered 100-foot super maxi, which arrived inHobart at 2:31am on Wednesday to set a race record of 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds.The time was4 hours, 51 minutes, 52 seconds faster than the record Addis plotted as navigator on Wild Oats XI in one of two line-honour wins with the eight-time champions.

The 46-year-oldswitched to Perpetual Loyal in 2014 and sailed with them again in 2015, and both times the boat was forced to retire because of damage. This time, Wild Oats XI was a casualty, bowing out 21 hours into the race with a hydraulic keel problem.

Although a fast winning time was predicted,Addis said Perpetual Loyal’spre-race focus was on the battle with Wild Oats XI.

“Going into the race we’re more concerned with the competition side of it and it wasn’t completely in our favour,” Addis said.“We would have liked a bit more upwind, because we’re thinking Wild Oats are going to be up against us all the time, and to be competitive against them, we’d want more upwind.

Tom Addis

“As it turned out, we were next to them when they broke, and it left us all alone.

“I’m surprised we took so much time off the record. I was lucky enough to be with Wild Oats when we got that record and I remember that being a very fast, competitive race, so I’m still in a bit of shock that we took so much time out of that.”

Bell praised the work of Addis, who was to be joined by another accomplished Lake Macquarie sailor,Chris Nicholson,this year. However, Nicholson hurt his back before the race and did not make the trip.

“Our navigator did an awesome job. He picked everything,”Bell said.

PARTY TIME: The crew from Perpetual Loyal, with Tom Addis first from the left, celebrate their Sydney to Hobart triumph on Wednesday. Picture: Getty Images

Bell announced after the race that he would be selling Perpetual Loyal. Addis, a professional sailor of 15 years who won line honours withAlfa Romeo II in 2009, was open to offers for another crack at the race.

“I just love ocean racing and my phone’s always on, people tend to call,” he said.“I was planning to sit this race out and Anthony only decided to do this race in something like October, so it was a bit of a last-minute one.

“But I love ocean racing, working with the weather and trying to slot a boat in between weather systems and getting to finish lines as quickly as we can.I love this race, it’s got the best start and best finish in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to race all over the world, and around it, and there’s nothing like a Hobart.”

Lake Macquarie’s Wade Morgan was aboard Ichi Ban JV52, which finished 10th across the line and was leading IRC division one handicap at 6.30pm Wednesday.

Maitland’sJeremy Tilseand Lake Macquarie sailor Tom Braidwood were onMaserati, which finishedsixth. Lucas Chapman finished with seventh-placed CQS.