The Hobart of the old designed boats is gonna away. Today almost all boats are contemporary designs, racing boats and performance cruisers. The Radford 12 is no exception, being a design of Graham Radford that was part of the crew. We can see on this nice movie that they went fast....and even so they only made 72 out of the 84 that finished the race. The Level towards performance in what regards the end of the fleet had grow substantially on the last years.
The Radford 12 is a nice design with the particularity of being an aluminium boat:
Radford is an Australian NA with many stock plans on the market, particularly aluminium voyage boats:
RADFORD YACHT DESIGN Home Page
He has also on his site a nice page about boat stability:
RADFORD YACHT DESIGN - Stability Discussion
and the fact that he participates as crew on his designs in tough races like this one contradicts the naysayers that insist that the NA that design this type of fast boats for offshore conditions don't really know what they are doing since they never sail their designs on this conditions. I know, it does not make sense but I am tired to hear things like that on this site
This Hobart was a tough one, specially for the boats on the tail of the race, like this Radford that have made it to the finish with fling colors...with the designer crewing it.
At the risk of sounding overly critical, it is not surprising that they did not get a better result. Either they did not have the correct downwind sails or they decided to take a conservative strategy. The conditions during which they are flying the poled-out #3 with double-reefed main probably called for a 1.5oz or storm kite, if they were in full-on racing mode. I am not criticizing that decision, but I am willing to wager that other boats that finished ahead of them were being more aggressive, and carrying kites up to the limits of their prescribed range.
Of course, it is likely those boats have at least a few professional sailors on board, but I think if you want to make a good result in this race you have to push harder. For me, I probably would have kept a spinnaker up as much as possible, during daylight hours, and switched to the poled-out jib at night, if wind conditions called for it.
Again, it is easy to make such comments from behind a desk, staring at a computer screen. But I've raced in conditions just like that, so it's not like I'm suggesting crazy, reckless stuff.
But they definitely looked like they were having a terrific time, and even in the big breeze they enjoyed shorts-and-technical shirt weather. Very comfy.