This Saturday will see a bumper fleet hit the start line for the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s novel short ocean race, the Two Capes Race. Sponsored by the Hobart law firm, Wallace Wilkinson and Webster, the race will start off Wrest Point Casino, at 9am.
Heading out of the River Derwent, after the start, the fleet will race 82 nautical miles into Storm Bay, rounding virtual turning marks south of Cape Raoul and east of Fluted Cape on Bruny Island.
The favourites going into this offshore race are Mark Bayles and Andrew Sinclair and their “Krakens”, the crew aboard Kraken 42S. So far this season they have made a clean sweep of the Combined Clubs Offshore Series.
Bayles admits that their recent win might have been more of a “lucky strategy, not a winning one.”
Of the 19 entrants, there are 5 contenders in the “40-footers” club, anyone of whom could be overall winner in the IRC category.
“We have a pretty competitive 40-footers group in Hobart, which makes for very tactical racing,” says Bayles. “We’ll be keeping our eyes on Jazz Player (Brent McKay), FilePro (Time Gadsby), and the 47’ Advantedge (Andrew Jones). If you can keep [Advantedge] in view, you know you’re doing alright!”
The PHS result promises to be very competitive, with the opportunity for some of the smaller boats to come out on top. Steve Chau’s new XP33 IYKYK and the newly refurbished Adams 12 Sundowner of Alice Grubb and Tom Stearnes will be racing the Two Capes Race for the first time. Both boats debuting with seasoned crews, they are sure to be strong contenders for a podium position. Stewart Geeves’ Footloose might be the smallest of the fleet, but his very experienced offshore crew will ensure they are still one to watch.
Experience will be essential for the navigators as they test their navigation skills to marks they can’t physically see.
With light to medium conditions forecast for the weekend, the Two Capes Race is expected to be a close tactical challenge.
Words: Liz Loughridge
Photo: Colleen Darcey