Rolex Sydney Hobart entrant Black Adder became the first race retiree into Eden this afternoon.
Skipper/owner Jim Clayton was pragmatic about the retirement.
“We arrived with no damage and no injuries so that’s a good passage, wherever you end up,” he said from the skinny wharf at Snug Cove.
Clayton had sailed past Eden but the continuing southerly buster was making their task too difficult. They turned back and sailed into Twofold Bay.
Back on land, Clayton was a good sport about being told he had won some “bling” by Twofold Bay Yacht Club member Robyn Malcolm for taking ‘line honours’, or being the first to retire into Eden.
“That’s the best anti-climax I’ve ever had,” he said as he hoisted the trophy.
Clayton and his crew took some time to secure the Sigma 41 that was designed and built in the UK.
The southerly that forced their hand to retire continued to whip against the boat as they secured it.
Clayton is now looking to make his way to Hobart by means other than sailing to be reunited with his wife, who flew down to Hobart from Sydney the day before.
Crew members Joe Cross and Chris Meechan were also looking to reunite with their wives in Hobart while Phil Washington from South Australia and Geoffrey Holmes were looking to make their way back to Adelaide and Sydney respectively.
Holmes, the youngest crew member and regular sailor on Sydney Harbour, said this was the start of his campaign to find a place on another boat in 2014.
“I’m going to find something a bit quicker that will get there in 2014,” he said.
The trip isn’t over for skipper Jim Clayton and crew members Cross and Meechan.
They will eventually sail the Black Adder to her new home port of Fremantle in WA from Eden. The cruiser has already sailed from the UK to Australia via the Atlantic and Panama Canal and across the Pacific from 2010 to 2012.