Michael Hutchinson’s Hobie 33 Emotional Rescue has taken AMS honours in the first race of the Piper Opener, a night race from Hobart to Green Island in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
The Hobie 33 is the only keelboat produced by Hobie Catamarans and Emotional Rescue is thought to be the only one of the class in Australia.
The race started from off Castray Esplanade at 7pm last night and sailing in light to moderate breezes, the fleet of 32 yachts finished between midnight and 1am this morning with race officers moving the finish line up the Channel from Gordon to Green Island.
In a three-way battle for line honours the Mumm 30 Cleopatra (Matthew Denholm) finished 54 seconds ahead of the Mumm 36 Madness (Gavin Adamson and Jeanine Frawley) with Jeff Cordell’s B&G Advantage, also a Mumm 36, finished only 57 seconds further astern.
The Hobart to Gordon Race is also the first event in the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s new Coastal Series and the win by Emotional Rescue gives her an early lead with Race two the Launceston to Hobart in which she will compete.
Emotional Rescue won the AMS division overnight from the Young 88 Young Lion (Scott Brain) and Ian Gannon’s Traditional 20 Take 5.
Under PHS scoring, DSS Vice Commodore Peter Haros’ Northshore 38 won Division 1 from Illusion (David Brett) and Force II (Tristian Gourlay).
The Elliott 770 trailable yacht Ellusive (David Aplin) won line and handicap honours in Division 2, second place going to Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe), third to Young Lion (Scott Brain).
In Division 3, Ian Gannon’s Traditonal 30 Take 5 won from Lock on Wood (Ron Akhurst) and True Blue (David O’Neill).
The Cock of the Huon race starts from off Shipwrights Point at 1.30pm today with the return race from Port Huon to Gordon starts off Shipwrights Point at 9.30am on Sunday.
– Peter Campbell