At 9.52pm, December 28, the New South Wales maxi yacht Wild Oats XI, owned by Bob Oatley and skippered by Mark Richards, crossed the finish line of the 628-nautical-mile 2006 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Wild Oats XI covered the Sydney-Hobart distance in 2 days, 8 hours, 52 minutes and 33 seconds.
Last year, Wild Oats XI's record-breaking time was 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.
Wild Oats XI's back-to-back line honors win in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is the first since 1964 and only the sixth time in the event’s 62 year history.
Ichi Ban and Skandia finished second and third in the early morning of December 29, some four hours after Wild Oats XI.
At the start
Last year's Sydney Hobart Yacht Race treble winner Wild Oats XI was first to reach the seaward mark from its Sydney Harbour starting line and sail through the Heads some 12 minutes after the starting cannon was fired at 1pm, December 26, 2006.
Wild Oats XI (NSW; maxi 30m) was closely followed by Skandia (Victoria; maxi 98ft), Following [Skandia were Maximus (New Zealand; maxi 30m), ABN AMRO One (Netherlands; Volvo 70) and Ichi Ban (NSW; Volvo 70).
Seventy-eight yachts lined up for the start of the 2006 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Ingvall yacht dismasted
A leading contender for line honors this year, Ludde Ingvall's Diabetes, was dismasted on December 20 and was unable to race. Ingvall's boats, the 80ft Nicorette(2000) and the identically-named 90ft Nicorette (2004) had won line honors in the Sydney to Hobart.
Defending its treble
Wild Oats XI was defending its treble — line and handicap honors winner and race record holder — over 628 nautical miles from Sydney Harbour to the Derwent River in Hobart, Tasmania.
By 9pm, December 26, the five race leaders remained bunched and within sight of one another down the New South Wales coast.
In the lead was Wild Oats XI, followed by Skandia and Maximus, then the Volvo 70s ABN AMRO One and Ichi Ban.
Wild Oats XI was still leading the fleet at 11pm, December 26. The leaders were then south of Jervis Bay on the New South Wales South Coast.
Two yachts dismasted
Between 1am and 2pm, December 27, Australian eastern daylight saving time, ABN AMRO One took the lead from Wild Oats XI. The lead was short-lived. Just after 3am, ABN AMRO One reporterd that it had been dismasted.
Soon after, the New Zealand maxi, Maximus, also reported it had been dismasted with six of its crew injured.
Both boats had been in the leading pack in this year's Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Another yacht, Endorphin (NSW; Sydney 47). suffered steering gear failure.
Ray White Koomooloo sinks
In the early afternoon of December 27, Ray White Koomooloo, overall winner of the 1968 Sydney to Hobart and a participant in this year's race, was reported to be taking in water.
Crew members had to abandon the boat and were taken aboard the British yacht Adventure, another race competitor, before being transferred to a police yacht which brought them ashore.
Ray White Koomooloo sank.
The timber Sparkman & Stephens 47 yacht Love & War, was declared the official overall winner on handicap of this year's Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The winner's trophy, the Tattersalls Cup, was awarded to Love & War after the race committee calculated that none of the yachts still at sea had a reasonable prospect of finishing in time to beat the declared winner.
Love & War has now won three Sydney Hobart Races — in 1973, 1978 and now 2006 — to equal the record of three-times winner Freya which won in 1963, 1964 and 1965.
Of the 78 yachts which started in Sydney Harbour on December 26, 69 completed the course.
The yachts which had retired from, or failed to complete, the race were ABN AMRO One, Chutzpah, Endorfin, Living Doll, Maximus, Mr Kite, Ray White Koomooloo, Sailors With Disabilities and Salona.
The nominated yachts this year represented the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Italy as well as every Australian state and the Australian Capital Territory.