David Griffith’s 62-foot Chinese Whisper has set a new race record in the 2020 Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race this morning, finishing at 1:34:17 AM in a total time of 10 hours, 34 minutes, 17 seconds.
Griffith held off the fast-finishing Naval Group by a little more than two minutes, rekindling a rivalry from the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart that saw the two same boats battling it out up the Derwent River in December.
Previously, the fastest time recorded in the race by a monohull yacht was 12 hours, 3 minutes, 17 seconds, with Chinese Whisper shaving an impressive hour and 29 minutes off that this morning.
“We were lucky that Wild Oats XI and the real big boats weren’t there but it was great to beat a 70-footer, our friends on Naval Group,” Griffith said after arriving on the docks in Port Lincoln.
“We had a great battle down the last few miles in the dark.
Griffith said there was a lot of enthusiasm to come to South Australia and compete in the Teakle Classic, having heard great things about it at regattas on the east coast.
He said he and his team were especially looking forward to the Eyre Peninsula hospitality, and the famous local seafood.
“None of us have really ever done (the Adelaide-Lincoln race) before, but everyone has said it’s a great race and Port Lincoln’s a wonderful race week to come and do,” he said.
“We’ve never been down this part of the country so it’s exciting to be here.”
Closely following the first two boats was reigning Sydney-Hobart champion Matt Allen on Ichi Ban, followed by Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Men’s Business, which was the first South Australian boat to cross the line.
Weather conditions were described as “glamour” by many of the sailors with consistently strong winds giving teams downwind action all the way to the finish line.
The remainder of the yachts had fast races as well, with the majority of the fleet finished before midday.