2022 Willie Smith's Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race
Hosted By Derwent Sailing Squadron
Updated: 25/12/2022 9:39:24 PM
Race Officer Tom Bain | Start Boat Stolly
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Results by : TopYacht
Fork in the Road Finish - Photo Credit Gill Dayton
Launceston to Hobart Race Review
Fork in the Road limps in for Line Honours, Sundowner wins Overall FOR THE 2022 Willie Smith’s Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race.
Bagging their 9th Line Honours win, Fork in the Road drifted by the Iron Pot at 11:00am yesterday with an uncharacteristic flouro orange trysail in place of the usual giant fork. The team were flying the uncommon combo of a Code Zero and a storm trysail, the racing main lashed to the boom – a sign of the thrashing they took Wednesday in the big Nor’Wester.
“We copped it in Wineglass Bay,” says crew member Finlay Crisp. “We saw it coming, and put a reef in, then another, and going for our third the main just went.” Skipper Gary Smith decided to throw the trysail up, and for a moment thought that was the race for them. “But it blew all night” Smith reports, “And we ended up taking down the larger foresail and putting up the No. 4” jib. They sailed quick through the evening, enough to overcome the limp home in the early tickle of the seabreeze.
Second over the line was Heatwave (Matthew Keal), who put in a good final run, but there wasn’t quite enough distance left to grab the IRC win.
Overall IRC and ORCc winners Alice Grubbs and Tom Stearns co-owners of Sundowner say the victory wasn’t without a few scars. “[We] broke a mainsail, broke a jib, broke a spinnaker pole…” says Stearns. Grubbs adds, “It was not easy, it was a lot of work, we used every sail on the boat, broken two of them, but there are no broken hearts, no broken bodies… and we’re still friends!”
They broke the first main off the top of Tassie, broke the second when the 50 kts came through near Wineglass bay, and eventually repaired the first main. “Doesn’t hurt to have a professional sailmaker on board” Grubbs laughed.
“Nothing beats old Dacron, though, who says you need to be a millionaire to go sailing. When it breaks it doesn’t shred.” The irony is this tough old material might have been the secret to the win, with the conditions faced by the fleet.
Zephyr Insurance Masters (Ian Johnston) kept the pressure on to the last, making huge gains throughout the night and matching Sundowner in the final leg to the finish. Force Eleven (Steve Brown) finally got out of the doldrums of Storm Bay to finish during peak sea breeze and a roaring crowd at the Taste festival.
Big Pup (Teresa Badrock) also had a good night, leapfrogging over Planet X (Dylan Reid) and into 1st place in the PHS, both boats rounding Tasman Island as the finishers tie up ashore and hoping the breeze holds through the night.
Congratulations to all sailors and crews, including the retirees, all safe and accounted for. Congratulations to Line Honours winners Fork in the Road, IRC and ORC winners Sundowner and Big Pup for the PHS win.
Words: Liz Loughridge
Photos: Gill Dayton & Colleen Darcey
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Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race start
Launceston to Hobart yacht race led by late entrant Alive
Alive, skippered by Duncan Hine, is leading the Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race on line honours.
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A late entry in the race, Alive, a Reichel-Pugh 66, sailed by a Tasmanian crew pulled together from some of the boat's regulars when in Hobart, was the first boat to Low Head, and is expected to break the race record of one day, nine hours, 33 minutes and 58 seconds, which was set in 2009.
It was a tough start for the 31-boat fleet which started the race in very light conditions at Inspection Head, Beauty Point, on the Tamar River, at 11:30 on Sunday.
Talofa, a Northshore 38 owned by Rob and Judi Cawthorn and a regular in the L2H race, was squeezed out on the start line and had to restart the race, while Black Magic, skippered by Bellerive Yacht Club Commodore, Graham Mansfield, was becalmed before the race, giving the fleet a 10-minute advantage.
The L2H is one race of a three-race series sailed over the Christmas and New Year period.
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Race one is from the start of the L2H to Low Head, the second race in the series is the race to Hobart, while race three is the King of the Derwent, sailed in Hobart on January 2, 2021.
Victorian entry, Dream, skippered by Robert Green, had a solid start to the race after a long absence from racing due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne, winning the race to Low Head on PHS and ORCi overall.
The Quest Syndicate, sailing from the Lindisfarne Sailing Club and skippering Quest in her first L2H race, was the first to Low Head on AMS, while The Dog House, skippered by Ambrose Coad and with Benjamin Coad, the youngest competitor in the race on board, was first overall on IRC.
It was a disappointing day for Windrose with skipper Ashok Mani retiring the 1961 Admiral's Cup winner 90 minutes after the start as a precautionary measure after identifying a few issues of concern with the boat.
At 5pm, Alive was leading the race to Hobart on line honours and ORCi.
FULL GALLERY: Pictures by Phillip Biggs
Rumbeat, skippered by Justin Barr, was leading on PHS in division 2 and overall, while Quest was leading on PHS in division 1.
Talofa had recovered well from her slow start and was leading on AMS overall and division 2, as well as on IRC in division 2, while Jeff Cordell's Mumm 36, B&G Advantage, was leading on AMS in division 1.
The forecast for the rest of Sunday is for west to south-westerly winds averaging 25 to 35 knots for Banks Strait and adjacent areas, very gusty in the late evening and persisting into early Monday morning before easing to 10-15 knots (average) by 8.00am Monday.
The fleet will take on the challenges of Banks Strait overnight before heading down the spectacular east coast of Tasmania.
MELBOURNE TO DEVONPORT
Paul Buchholz's Cookson 50 Extasea started towards the back of the fleet but the race favourite hit the front only 1600 metres into the only interstate yacht race taking place across the Christmas period.
Poised to compete with the race record thanks to strong south-westerly winds, Extrasea is expected to hit Devonport after first light Monday morning.
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