Balance victorious

SYDNEY: Australian 52-footer Balance was on Thursday crowned the overall winner of the Sydney to Hobart race, after overcoming the roughest conditions in years which forced dozens of yachts to retire. Balance was awarded the Tattersall’s Cup after main rival and one of the smallest competing boats, local 33-footer Quikpoint Azzurro, missed a pre-dawn arrival deadline. American 100-footer supermaxi Comanche was first over the finish line — completing the 628-nautical-mile course in two days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds to be the first victorious US entry since 1998. Finishing second and third in the line honours was Ragamuffin 100 and another American entrant, Rambler. Quikpoint Azzurro finished up in third place overall with a time of four days, 18 hours, 37m and 59s, behind Courrier Leon of France, which reached Hobart after four days, 4:28.53s.