Two Capes Race into Dark and Stormy Bay

Words: Liz Rountree
Photos: Colleen Darcey
ORC winner KD4 (and winner of recent Maria)
IRC winner Sundowner (winner of last year’s Launceston to Hobart)
Line Honours winner Fork in the Road
PHS winner Invincible

Bakewell White Fork in the Road took Line Honours in the Professional Plumbing Two Capes Race hosted by the Derwent Sailing Squadron, and with it a new race record of 19:29:39, shaving a full 30 minutes off 2022’s record set by Inglis 47 Advantedge.

Adams 12 Sundowner claims the win on IRC by a mere 6 seconds from Dehler 44 KD4, followed by Bakewell-White Z39 Jazz Player.  And KD4, overall winner of the Maria takes the win on ORC, followed by Jazz Player and X Yacht Xp33 IYKYK. The experienced Farr 1104 Invincible made ground on the reaches for the PHS win.

The Race Director Andrew Davison opted to make Fluted Cape the first mark to give a longer, tactical beat before the series of long reaches to come in the consistent Southerly forecast.

And tactical it was, both first and second packs of racers condensed on the outside edge of Bruny as they climbed towards the first mark.

“You couldn’t go too far in towards land, otherwise you’d get stuck in a hole,” explains Lisa Guy of Sundowner. The team saw a few teams high and dry inshore, and one team take a risk going well wide of the fish farms. “So you had to do all these short tacks coming into the virtual mark.”

“I think that’s where we gained time, by doing all those short tacks,” reflects Guy.

“Every time you tacked you were pointing at a fish farm,” describes Oli Burnell on IYKYK.

The forecast was damp, with mist to light rain undulating throughout the day, but the Southerly breeze was consistent. “Different boats were excelling in the slight changes in pressure, or changes in the swell or sea-state,” continues Burnell. “It was very close racing, we sailed within yelling distance of our competition the whole race.”

But despite being close together, the conditions did not offer the usual benefits of racing, the visual information, often taken for granted. “Normally you can see the boats ahead and what angles they are on after the [turning] mark, and you can see what sail they are carrying,” describes Guy. “But not only could you not see the virtual marks, you could only see vague outlines in the sea mist of the boats around you.” Team Sundowner knew they were doing well when they caught glimpses of Farr 41 Mx Zephyr Insurance Masters behind them, generally their main competition.

Jazz Player and Advantedge juggled the lead with Fork in the Road coming into the first mark, but once in the Derwent, Fork slipped away.

“We caught [Fork in the Road] up at the Bruny turning mark, and we remained neck and neck with them until the Iron Pot,” reports skipper Andrew Jones of Advantedge.

“There was a lot of rail time early in the race,” reports Advantedge crewmember Max Gluskie. “But it got quite hectic after [the first turning mark] with all the swapping kites, trying to get it right for the different breezes.” The team used 4 different kites in total.  “Our super-power is a nice high angle downwind with an A4,” says Gluskie, “But unfortunately we didn’t need that today…”

Skipper Jones reckons it was the oven, which kept pumping out hot pies for the crew.

“The reach to the pot [from Cape Raoul] was fun and fast,” says skipper Gus Mckay of Jazz Player. The team tried to keep tabs on the leaders, and KD4 behind them. “Round the pot we got the A2 up, and in the light and shifting breeze we worked hard to creep back time on the front two. Focus was key to try and stay in the breeze lanes and keep the boat moving down the course.”

2nd place on IRC and ORC, Mckay put all the credit on the crew, “Everyone worked so well as a team, lots of focused comms and well thought strategy.”

Mount Gay 30 Lyons Prion pulled out early, and unfortunately the Farrier F82r Polka Dot Lady had steering issues and had to retire midway through the race.

“I really love this race,” says Mckay, “We don’t get to spend enough time enjoying the whole of Storm Bay. Shame we couldn’t see the scenery, but nonetheless a fantastic day.”

And night – Duncanson 34 Isbjorn finished at 1am for her second ever offshore race, and a fair few might still have been enjoying festivities on the DSS lawn to greet them. According to Burnell, “The DSS bar was pumping. Everyone was charged!”

Thanks no doubt to an excellent, albeit damp and dark day on Storm Bay, and a bigger thanks to the many hands, and volunteers, as well as race sponsors Professional Plumbing who made the event possible.

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