Race on for Tattersall Cup

1000hrs (AEDT) | Wednesday 28 December

With Line Honours done and dusted, the focus of the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race turns to contenders for the Tattersall Cup, awarded to the overall winner, and since the race began on Monday, four TP52s have lit up the top four places.

The TP52s have taken control of the race, with CYCA Vice Commodore Sam Haynes’ Celestial (NSW) constantly at the top of the standings, trying to keep all comers at bay.

Celestial has battled the US entry, Warrior Won, throughout the night, but Matt Donald/Chris Townsend’s Gweilo and the New Zealand entry, Caro, skippered by Max Klink have been knocking on the door this morning.

Quest (Craig Neil), Patrice (Tony Kirby), Smuggler (Sebastian Bohm) and Zen (Gordon Ketelbey) have all moved up to join the fray, filling fifth to eighth positions on the overall leaderboard. The race is on!

Tony Kirby recently bought his latest Patrice and is still learning to sail her, but is pleased with their race thus far.

He reported at 8.05am this morning: “We’re about 3 miles from Tasman Light with around 50 miles to go. The breeze is at 25-35 knots, the sea state is not too bad. We have a few TPs in front of us and a few behind. We’re looking forward to turning the corner into calmer conditions.

“It was very windy last night – all night. Interesting – gale force conditions are always interesting,” he said with a nervous laugh.

“There’s a trough line due through around 2pm, but thankfully we should be finished by then. The wind will go around to the south/east and there’s a gale warning in place.”

The forecast means those with 100-plus miles to go will have been dealt two hands – one of hard running, the other, hard beating into the wind in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s famous race.

The forecasted conditions favoured the TP52s from the outset and the race looks likely to go to one of them – but which one?

Waiting in the wings though are two smaller boats who are in a battle of their own, sea-sawing in ninth and 10th places respectively in the last 24 hours.

There is the credentialled UK entry, Sunrise, one of the successful JPK designs. This one is an 1180 model owned by Tom Kneen, winner of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race. Apart from his winning navigator, Tom Cheney, aboard is Australian Adrienne Cahalan, a decorated navigator doing her 30th Hobart.

Then there are perennial favourites, the crew of Bruce Taylor’s Victorian yacht, Chutzpah. The Caprice 40 was designed for downwind racing and like Sunrise, was hoping the race would be tailor-made for them (pardon the pun). Taylor is on his 41st Sydney Hobart, with son Drew, on his 29th – all done with his father.

Up there mixing it with the fully crewed boats is Mistral, the Lombard 34 being sailed two-handed by her owner, Rupert Henry, and Greg O’Shea. The experienced friends are giving the fleet a run for their money and were sitting in 10th place overall, between Chutzpah and Sunrise when we went to press.

Early this morning, Currawong, the second smallest boat in the fleet and a two-handed entry was sitting in Eden. The Currawong 30’s owner, Kathy Veel explained, “We were coming down the coast yesterday and we called into Eden because of tiredness – me in particular.

“We decided to take a rest after looking at the forecast 40 knots running into Bass Strait,” the 70 year-old said. “We’ve (she and Bridget Canham) had our rest and we feel good. We’re just checking out the latest weather charts before deciding when to set off again.”

In other news, Navy One, skippered by Tori Costello and Nick Greenhill, retired with a broken boom this morning. It leaves 101 at sea, with the four 100 footers finishing in the early hours of this morning.

Then came news of Carl Crafoord’s Sail Exchange retiring with a broken rudder and Lisa Callaghan’s Sydney 38, Mondo, out with a broken gooseneck.

Increasing winds are having an impact, the top four TP52s making boat speeds of 16-20 knots – a telling story. It is ‘hang on for a tough sleigh ride to Hobart’.

David Kellett reported from the Radio Relay Vessel, JBW, positioned off the bottom of Flinders Island, that winds were still hard from the north at 25-30 knots.

Di Pearson/RSHYR media

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