Former Sydney Hobart winner excels on windy Derwent

More than two decades after she won the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on IMS corrected time, the Bellerive Yacht Club syndicate-owned Filepro yesterday showed she is still competitive and, in fact, a fine winner.

Filepro, skippered by Darren Clark, won the PHS and IRC categories of the Combined Clubs Long Race on corrected time, and finished a close second to Shaun Tiedemann’s Philosopher in the main AMS category.

With Mount Wellington blanketed in snow, showers of rain and a chilly southerly breeze gusting to 25 knots on the River Derwent, only 26 yachts ventured fourth for the 28 nautical mile race for Group A.

Mindful of the battering Hobart yachts had taken over the past two weekends, Derwent Sailing Squadron race officers set a long course within the river estuary, with all boats completing the course.

Filepro, a David Lyons-designed 40-footer originally named Micropay Cuckoos Nest,  won the 1993 Sydney Hobart on IMS corrected time,  surviving a galeforce battering in the Tasman Sea. Of the 104 starters only 46 boats completed the long ocean race that year.

Since then, the yacht has had a number of owners and names, has sailed in various States, but only competed in one more Sydney Hobart, 1994.

A syndicate of Bellerive Yacht Club members, including Darren Clark, this year bought the yacht from another BYC member and renamed her Filepro.

Clark, who previously sailed with his father on the near unbeatable Farrr 1104 Invincible,  yesterday steered Filepro to first place on corrected time under PHS scoring from the new Mumm 30, Co-op Toyota (R Clark) and Ramrod (Tim Maddock).

In the IRC category,  Filepro took the honours from Philisopher and Tony Harman’s Masquerade, while under AMS scoring the Sydney 35cr Philosopher reversed the order on corrected time.  Masquerade placed third.

Group A saw an aggressive start with many boats close inshore, Filepro was a premature starter but returned and restarted,  while Silicon Ship also broke the line in Group B. She also returned and re-started.

Launceston to Hobart entrant, Footloose, Stewart Geeves’ Young 88, won the Group B AMS category from Silicon Ship (C Wyatt) while Miss Conduct (Brian Fleming) won PHS from Footloose by 13 seconds. Third went to the classic yacht Serica (Charles Peacock).

Line honours went to another L2H entrant, Peter Cretan’s Martens 49,  with Filepro about five minutes astern.

Today’s second Combined Clubs Long Race is the last distance race before the 180 nautical Maria Island Race, a qualifying race for the Launceston to Hobart and Sydney Hobart Races.

– Peter Campbell 

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