Yachties battle strong winds in southern Tasmania

Hobart Yachtsman Gary Smith continued his winning form with his offshore racing yacht The Fork in the Road today with an outright victory in the Hobart Combined Clubs Long Race, a resail of the scheduled opening race of the season, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Channel Race,

The Fork in the Road this season has taken line honours in record time in the Launceston to Hobart offshore race, won the King of the Derwent on corrected time, and now taken line honours and first place on PHS corrected time for Group A in the Channel Race.

While conditions on the Derwent and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel were not as severe as Saturday, when Bellerive Yacht Club was forced to cancel the Combined Clubs Harbour Series, the Channel Race fleet did encounter south-westerly gusts of close to 40 knots coming out of North-West Bay.

In mid-river, off Sandy Bay, Derwent Sailing Squadron abandoned the fifth and final race of the SB20 Sprint Series as a vicious squall of 40 knots swept up the river.

Results of the Sprint Series are subject to the outcome of two protests but the provisional overall winner is David Brain’s Brainwave, which is not involved in the protests.

The Fork in the Road, a Bakewell-White 45 excelled in today’s fresh to strong wind race, dashing away from the small fleet of 19 boats to get the gun by almost 30 minutes and take PHS handicap honours by almost three minutes from Illusion, David Brett’s Hanse 40, third place going to the Mumm 30 Cleopatra (Matthew Denholm).

Cleopatra took first place under AMS scoring in the Group A from Illusion and Wings III (Peter Haros) while Colin Denny’s Beneteau First 400 won the IRC category from Intrigue and Madness (Graeme Adamson and Janene Frawley).

Under PHS scoring, Group B went to Dave Willans’ Trouble which got an excellent start and led home this fleet, winning on corrected time from Footloose (Stewart Geeves) and Kaiulani (Malcolm Cooper. Footloose won the AMS category of Group B.

In Group C, Steve Mannering’s Camlet Way also had an outright win from Quebrada (Tim Maddock) and Alibi II (Rod Williams).

Close one-design racing between the 11-boat SB20 fleet saw three protests being lodged, although one protested yacht withdrew before it before the protest committee. One protest was being heard tonight, the other will be heard later in the week.

However, Scott Brain’s Brainwave dominated the one-design results, winning three races and finishing second in the fourth before race officers pulled the pin just before the start of race five. Brainwave has a provisional 5 points score, but is not involved in the protests and will win the regatta.

Second overall on 17 points is Hypertronics (Steve Catchpool) which had a score of 2-2-7-6 while one point back is Karabos (Nick Rogers) who finished the regatta with a score of 6-3-6-3.

Hypertronics is protesting Building Concepts (Michael Cooper) while Karabos has a protest against Balios (Matthew Pilkington).

From Peter Campbell

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