When Tasmania’s newest yacht, a Marten 49 design, reaches the start line for next week’s 285 nautical mile Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race, she will have already sailed at least 1800 nautical miles from Fremantle to Beauty Point.
Hobart yachtsman Peter Cretan bought the yacht, then named Charlotte, just a few weeks ago to upgrade from his current boat, Tilt, especially to contest the National Pies Launceston to Hobart Race, starting from Beauty Point on Saturday week, December 27.
The yacht is currently midway across the Great Australian Bight with Cretan expecting her to reach the Tamar River this coming Friday. He will rename the boat Tilt before the L2H race.
“It all began when I woke up at home on the morning after the start of the Maria Island Race (November 15) and thought ‘why are we not out there’,” Cretan said in Hobart today. “While Tilt, a Hanse 40 we have owned for five years has been an excellent boat for offshore racing and extended cruising, we decided there and then we needed a bigger, more comfortable and faster boat more suitable for ocean racing and cruising.
“We saw the Marten 49 was on the market in Perth, so we flew over and made the decision to buy It the boat. was all settled in ten days and two days later she was on her way to Tasmania with a delivery crew.”
However, four days were lost when the boat had to put into Albany with propeller problems. “They left last Friday and at this point the boat should be about midway across the Bight,” Cretan added.
“Catherine and I have sat on the boat for only and an hour-and-a-half in Perth, and we have yet to go for a sail,” Cretan said, adding that there was still a busy week ahead, including having to get a safety certificate and check out the boat after the long voyage from WA.
“Unfortunately, the new mainsail for the boat will not be ready in time for the Launceston to Hobart, so we will be racing with a less than fullsize Dacron mailsail, so we don’t expect too much out of the boat in this our first race with out new Tilt.”
The Marten 49 is 15m LOA, and is described as a ‘performance cruiser…with elegant lines, a luxurious appointed interior and innovative engineering…that includes a lifting keel.’
The new Tilt will race with a crew of 11, including Peter and Catherine Cretan, both members of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. “Catherine has styled herself ‘conservative officer’ for the race, to make sure we don’t push the boat too hard,” Peter said.
While the Marten 49 will replace the entry of the Hanse 40, Tilt, the fleet has increased to 24 boats with the late entry of the Sailtime-owned Beneteau 37, Reflection from Kettering Yacht Club. Skipper will be David Pring.
The National Pies Launceston to Hobart Race starts from Beauty Point at 9.30am on Saturday, December 27.
– Peter Campbell