Bruce Taylor and the crew of his Caprice 40 Chutzpah would have been sipping nervously at their beer. In Hobart since 10.49 when they were ranked well below 20th on the IRC table, one by one they have seen the yachts above them fail to arrive in time.
Having won Division 2 comfortably, they sat fourth on the table and were watching closely as the smaller boats above them ground slowly towards Hobart in the freshening winds.
Ariel looked likely to beat them, but fell 13 minutes short. Roger Hickman's Wild Rose will be the one to dash their hopes. Just 5nm from the finish and on a tight reach, they will beat Chutzpah's corrected time by about an hour.
Two boats that have been at or near the top for the past two days, Maluka of Kermandie and Quickpoint Azurro are first and second on the rankings but have 100nm to go – that's a long way in the continually deteriorating conditions.
At this stage it looks as though “Hicko” will add to his impressive offshore resume and Bruce and the crew will be left wondering what might have been.
You can bet they'll be first on the dock to congratulate the Wild Rose crew when they get to Hobart.
The standings can be seen here.
– Roger McMillan, Editor.