December 30, 2016 – The 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race started December 26. A fleet of eighty-eight yachts from eleven countries, and comprising four 100-ft Maxi yachts, competed in the 72nd edition of this famous 628-nautical mile offshore race. All boats were in today.
Anthony Bell’s Perpetual LOYAL set a record time of 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds, some 4 hours, 51 minutes and 52 seconds faster than Wild Oats XI’s 2012 record. New Zealander Jim Delegat’s Giacomo was the overall winner.
A Hobart first timer, Joe Mele from City Island, NY is skippering his Swan 44 MKII Triple Lindy. In the past year alone he has competed in the Marblehead to Halifax Race and Key West Race Week, placing second in both and won his class at Charleston Race Week. Triple Lindy was sixth in class at the 2015 Rolex Swan Cup. Mele has also contested four of Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda races and others. Crew consists of three Americans, six Canadians and one Brit.
Joe Mele’s Swan 44 Mk II Triple Lindy at the finish of the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. ©Stephen Cloutier/photogroup.us
By Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media – Joe Mele is a New York physician whose office is about the same size as the aft cabin of his Swan design Triple Lindy, which finished last night in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Joe wears a black plastic Casio watch; he has several Casio watches, but he wants a Rolex. Joe wants to win one, not buy one.
“I’ve decided I don’t want to buy it outright so I am going to keep doing these races until I win it, so it may be the most expensive Rolex watch ever bought, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try to get it.”
To that end, he has taken a sabbatical.
“We are halfway through a pretty exciting year-and-a-half of racing,” he said today at the Hobart marina.
“It started out with the Newport-Bermuda Race. The boat was shipped down to Sydney for the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Now we’ll go to Europe for the (Rolex) Fastnet Race and then on to the (Rolex) Middle Sea Race.
“I thought that was it, although the crew has been pressing me hard to do a couple of more races in Europe, such as the Giraglia (Rolex) race. We’ll see about that. I haven’t committed to it just yet.”
So the adventure continues with some cruising in Tasmania then the boat will be shipped from Newcastle to the UK in time for the Fastnet in August.
The name Triple Lindy?
“Triple Lindy is named after a high dive in a Rodney Dangerfield movie called Back to School.
“I used to do a version of that dive as a young man, but when I was about to get married, my father-in-law told me it was too dangerous for a married man to do.
“It was a big part of my life and I needed to replace it in some way, so I started buying progressively larger boats and calling them all Triple Lindy,” Mele said.
A placated father-in-law will join the Tasmanian cruise.
Triple Lindy (New York, NY) sails past the Organ Pipes on the southeast coast of Tasmania. © Stephen Cloutier/photogroup.us
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Start Video Highlights
For more information, go to www.rolexsydneyhobart.com.