Offshore Yachting : February March 2008
RACE AND REGATTA ROUND-UP 56 | offshore the east coast to complete the Heemskirk Consolidated Melbourne to Hobart Yacht (M2H) Race. The remainder, entered for the Kidder Williams Melbourne to Launceston (M2L) Race, berthed at the Tamar Yacht Club's marina at Beauty Point, from where they competed in an in-port race to complete their three-races series. The first race for all boats had been the Cock of the Bay on Melbourne's Port Philip on 26 December. Linked with the Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Launceston Races was a new ocean race, the Clive Peeters Launceston to Hobart (L2H) Race organised by the Derwent Sailing Squadron and the Tamar Yacht Club, which attracted 21 starters. The fleet for all three races, plus the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet, all converged on Hobart, which meant that more than 150 ocean racing yachts berthed in Hobart's Sullivan's Cove at the same time. Both the M2H and the L2H fleets were boosted by Hobart entrants who either sailed up to Melbourne or to Beauty Point on the Tamar to compete. Their subsequent success in both races will also encourage greater participation in future years, particularly if the Melbourne to Hobart course is around the east coast rather than the exposed west coast. The inaugural L2H Race, in particular, has elicited positive comments from Hobart yachtsmen. "It's just a two day sail up the east coast to Beauty Point where you can leave your boat, drive back to Hobart in three hours to spend Christmas with the family and return leisurely for the start on 28 December," one competitor told Offshore Yachting. Many Melbourne yachtsmen also praised the concept of a Melbourne to Hobart 'East Coaster' rather than the traditional 'West Coaster.' "It's a few miles longer, but the course is interesting and challenging, particularly going through Banks Strait and then inside Maria Island on the Tassie east coast," was one positive comment. Rudder Cup win to eXtasea Line honours in both the Rudder Cup Melbourne to Launceston overnight dash and the extended Melbourne to Hobart Race went to eXtasea, skippered by Paul Bulchholz from the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, but the DK46 could not hold her time on the lower handicapped opposition. In a rather slow Rudder Cup race, eXtasea sailed the 192-nautical mile course in 28 hours and 25 minutes, finishing well clear of the Sandringham Yacht Club DK46 Dekadence, skippered by Phil Coombs and Matt Hannaford. Third to finish was the two-hander Alex-Team MacAdie, sailed by father and son Jock and Hamish MacAdie, who earlier in 2007 had won the Melbourne to Osaka Race. The victory by a Geelong yacht would have pleased Thomas Fleming Day, editor of the US boating magazine Rudder who, in 1907, suggested to his friend T A Dickson, the then Commodore of the (Royal) Geelong Yacht Club, that the club organise a race across Bass Strait. Day donated the Rudder Cup as a perpetual trophy for the winner. The Rudder Cup has become a status symbol of ocean yacht racing in Victoria and northern Tasmania. On IRC corrected time, eXtasea won the Cup and the Melbourne to Launceston Race from another Geelong boat, Peregrine, a Sydney 36S skippered by Barry Walker. Third place went to Hobart yachtsman David Rees with his MBD Custom 36 Corelink Creative InTension, who made the start after a horror voyage across Bass Strait from Tasmania the previous week. The boat was sailed into Westernport under jury rig in winds gusting 60 knots after losing its rudder on the delivery voyage. Rees and his crew worked through Christmas to replace the rudder and damaged sails. Archie takes out Melbourne to Hobart After crossing the finish line inside Port Dalrymple at Low Head, yachts heading on to Hobart re-crossed the line and set sail along Tasmania's north-east coast for Banks Strait, notorious for its fast-running tidal currents. Earlier in the day, 28 December, the 21 boats in the 280-nautical mile L2H Race had set sail from a nearby line on the same course. It proved a frustrating first night for all. "We were parked most of the night with no breeze," reported Matt Hannaford from Dekadence. "Some of the smaller boats hugged the coast and got past us during the night, but the current was holding us out." However, once the fleet cleared Banks Strait and entered the Tasman Sea, they enjoyed north-westerlies of 20 knots, making fast speed under spinnaker down the east coast. Despite some trepidation about sailing inside of elongated Maria Island, most of the fleet continued to maintain good boatspeed and on the morning of the fourth day out of Port Phillip, eXtasea was five nautical miles south of Maria Island. At that stage eXtasea held a slender four mile lead from Alan Saunders' Ninety Seven with Dekadence just a mile further astern. The unique line honours double of first in the Centenary Rudder Cup Melbourne to Launceston (Low Head) Race and in the only Melbourne to Hobart Race ever to race around the Tasmanian east coast went to eXtasea with a great display of consistent sailing in widely varying wind and sea conditions. The two-handed Alex-Team MacAdie crossed the line off Hobart's Castray Esplanade in second place, followed by Dekadence. However, overall honours went to Hobart's only woman ocean-racing skipper, Sally Rattle, skippering her Archambault 35 Archie, from the Derwent Sailing Squadron. Rattle, who moved from sailing J24s to ocean racing only 18 months ago, finished second in the 2006 Melbourne to Hobart and won the Maria Island Race in November 2007. Archie won IRC overall of the 2008 Heemskirk Consolidated Melbourne to Hobart from fellow Hobartian David Rees in Corelink Creative InTension and Vapour Trail, Simon La Peyre's Farr 1020 from Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne. Archie placed first in IRC Division A and PHD Division A while Vapour Trail took out IRC Division B and the AMS division.
December January 2008
April May 2008