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Alive crowned overall winner of Sydney-Hobart yacht race

Australian yacht Alive was on Saturday crowned the overall winner of the prestigious Sydney-Hobart race, overcoming perilous storms that forced several damaged competitors to retire. 

Supermaxi LawConnect was the first vessel to finish the blue water classic earlier this week, but Alive took overall honours once standings were adjusted for boat size and other factors. 

Alive skipper Duncan Hine said his crew had fought to win the Tattersall Cup — the 66-foot yacht’s second in five years — across more than two full days of gruelling sailing. 

“It was a cliffhanger right up to the bloody finish wasn’t it,” he said after learning of the win. 

“If someone had knocked us off, they would have deserved it.” 

The 103-strong racing fleet has been battered by thunderstorms and bumpy swells since setting off from Sydney Harbour on Tuesday. 

By Saturday morning, ripped sails, electrical malfunctions and crew injuries had forced 16 yachts out of the race. 

With dozens of smaller vessels still due to finish on Saturday afternoon, organisers have already dubbed it “one of the toughest races in years”.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of a violent storm that tore into the 1998 race fleet, with wild winds whipping up mountainous seas in which six people died, five boats sank and 55 sailors were rescued. 

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