For the yachts Indian and Walk on the Wildside which are both now in the middle of the ocean and halfway to Bali the magic time they will have their eyes on will be 9:30am WST Sunday 24th May.
A finish before that time would claim a new Fremantle to Bali race record, most probably a handicap win, and most definitely dockside bragging rights. But, and it is a big BUT, there is still a lot of sailing to go in this 2015 Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally.
The dream breeze for both boats at this stage in the race is a 12 knot plus easterly which would allow them to set their big asymmetricals and hold their northerly course. And on the horizon the sight they must be happy to see is the 12-15 knot SE trades.
Seeing these predictions the skippers of the lead boats, as they study their weather charts and discuss tactics, must be enjoying great anticipation, while those in the main fleet coming up the West Australian coast must be hoping the Trades hold for the next 10 days.
Both of the lead yachts have now passed 21.75s latitude and completed the mandatory confirmation of their compliance which the invisible line demands, confirming they comply with all the safety requirements determined by Notice of Race before continuing. And as said best by Garth Curran at the end of this his report “Wildside signing off and heading North”.
The remainder of the fleet having made exceptionally good time up the coast is now stretched between North West Cape and Shark Bay still enjoying 12 – 14 knot easterlies with warm daytime temperatures and what can only be described as almost perfect cruising weather.
While this may suit the Rally boats the Race boats are probably looking for a little more breeze strength and giving great consideration to the Leeuwin Current which appears to be fairly broad in their sailing vicinity, and therefore very difficult to avoid.
Leading this group of yachts is Brian Todd’s Sue Sea sailing in close company with Audeamus skippered by the young Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club yachtswoman Lisa Chamberlain and currently third on handicap in both categories.
Lisa was a recipient of the RANI Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship for her efforts while just a twenty year old in the 2010 Sydney to Hobart race. Now five years on she is showing that those five years have been put to good use as she has sailed the Kim Ramen/Adrian Fini owned X55 to a very strong third position for a possible podium finish, although with 800nm to go there is plenty of sailing left for both Audeamus and all the race and rally yachts in the 1440 nautical mile blue water race presented by Fremantle Sailing Club.
Further information and all event details of the 1440 nautical mile blue water yacht race and rally are on the event website www.fremantlebali.com.au. Follow the race on the Yellow Race Brick Tracker which provides riveting viewing on how the race unfolds.
– Les Valmadre