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Sydney-Hobart yachting champion ordered to stay away from wife

© Rolex/AFP/File | Australian supermaxi yacht Perpetual LOYAL competes in the Sydney to Hobart race, off Australian coast, on December 26, 2016

SYDNEY (AFP) - 

The skipper of the winning Sydney to Hobart yacht was Thursday ordered to stay away from his wife by an Australian court, just weeks after smashing the gruelling race's record.

Accountant Anthony Bell made global headlines when he broke the iconic contest's record by almost five hours with Australian supermaxi Perpetual LOYAL to take line honours in late December.

Bell, who is also the yacht's owner, was photographed hugging his wife Kelly Landry after getting off the boat in Hobart in the early hours of December 28.

But he said through a lawyer in a Sydney court that he was seeking a divorce from Landry, after police brought an apprehended violence order (AVO) against him on her behalf in relation to an incident on the same day as the win, Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported.

"He is not going back to that house, he is divorcing his wife and he will continue to support her as the mother of his children," lawyer Chris Murphy told Waverley Local Court, the newspaper reported.

Bell agreed to an interim AVO until the case is heard again on February 17, a court official told AFP.

Landry is a well-known former television presenter who has two young children with Bell, who also took out the Sydney-Hobart line honours in 2011 with Investec Loyal -- the first time he sailed in the race.

Bell signalled his intent to move on after the latest win.

© 2017 AFP