Tamar River yachtsman Nick Edmunds and his crew of Haphazard will be celebrating in Hobart this afternoon after winning the monohull division of the 23rd Australian Three Peaks Race, an event that Edmunds has contested since its inception.
Haphazard, a Radford 14, and her crew from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at Beauty Point, has out-sailed and out-rowed its rivals on the final leg from Coles Bay to Hobart to clinch victory.
The win will be Edmunds’ fourth main or division win in the Three Peaks, with past victories in 1991, 2000 and 2008.
This year’s Three Peaks Race, a combination of offshore yacht racing and mountain running over Easter, was divided into two clear-cut divisions, monohulls and multihulls.
The Melbourne catamaran Peccadillo, skippered by Charles Meredith, took the honours in the multihullls but was deprived of a potential race record when the winds faded away in the River Derwent late last night.
After rounding the Iron Pot and entering the Derwent shortly before 9.30pm, the 46-foot catamaran took nearly five hours to sail/drift up the river to the finish at Constitution Dock.
Runners Richard Bowles and Chris Wright set off on the 1270m ascent of Mount Wellington and return, completing the 33km run in 3 hours 40 minutes to claim overall victory at 6.03am today.
One of the runners commented: “I’m glad we don’t have to get back on that boat!” Meanwhile, owner/skipper Charles Meredith expressed his delight at winning a race he had been targeting for several years. Would he back to defend the crown? “I suppose we’ll have to!” he said.
Peccadillo’s time of two days and 16 hours was six hours outside the race record but the big catamaran did break the sailing record for the leg from Flinders Island to Coles Bay. She may have set a record slow time for sailing up the Derwent, too!
Although in different divisions, Haphazard and the second placed multihull, the Hobart-based VisitFlindersIsland.com.au, skippered by Steve Laird, had a boat-for-boat duel up the Derwent this morning.
They rounded the Iron Pot just two minutes apart just after 8am with VisitFlindersIsland.com.au finishing just ahead, the running team setting off at 10.45am with Haphazard’s runners in hot pursuit three minutes later.
Both boats elected to row through the Denison Canal at Dunnalley, with Haphazard taking the monohull division as early leader AdvantEdge suffered the same fate as Peccadillo – running out of wind late last night just south of Tasman Island.
While Haphazard’s runners, Adrian Young from New Zealand and John Claridge from Launceston, were still on Mount Wellington at noon, the Tamar yacht is unbeatable in the monohull division.
The team from rudderless defending champion Whistler left their yacht at Lady Barron to fly back to Hobart yesterday to keep up the true spirit of the Australian Three Peaks Race by making the final run to Mount Wellington last night.
Remaining upbeat despite their early departure from the race (Whistler lost its rudder in Bass Strait a few hours after the start) the entire crew, headed by skipper David Rees, completed the run at 12.46am today and then enjoyed a beer at race control to await the belated arrival of Peccadillo.
At least they were the first team to complete the final mountain run.
From Peter Campbell