Please select your home edition
Edition
BandG Zeus3 AUS 728x90

Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race - Gale decimates fleet

by Peter Campbell on 29 Dec 2013
Ballendean racing into a 30-40 knot westerly on Storm Bay, under double-reefed mainsail and #4 jib. - Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race 2013 Fourhills.com.au
In the National Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race prudent seamanship in the face of Saturday night’s and Sunday’s ferocious westerly gale at Tasman Island and in Storm Bay has seen the retirement of at least 19 of the 26 starters.

Only two yachts, The Fork in the Road and Ballandean, weathered the 30-40 knot westerly blast and have so far finished the 285 nautical mile race down Tasmania’s rugged east coast.

Five boats have not indicated they have retired, but are still sheltering.

All four entries from Tamar clubs, Richard and Katrina Fisher’s Believe and Brett Wood’s Independence from the Tamar Yacht Club and the two Port Dalrymple Yacht Club entrants, David Allan’s Obsession and Dianne Haworth’s Pogue Malone all pulled out, citing ‘prudent seamanship’ in the light of the dire forecast of 30 to 40 knots and big seas for Saturday night and Sunday.

Believe, one of the favourites for an overall AMS handicap win, was running under spinnaker close astern of line honours winner, Gary Smith’s The Fork in the Road, when skipper Fisher elected to head to shelter in Triabunna.

‘With the forecast for extended bad weather on Saturday night and through Sunday, I elected to retire rather than hurt the boat or my friends who were sailing with me,' Fisher said yesterday.

Obsession poked its head around Tasman Island early this afternoon but skipper David Allen elected to turn north and shelter in Fortescue Bay.

A late retirement yesterday afternoon was Mike Pritchard’s, Audère. She had resumed racing and was well to the south of Tasman when skipper Mike Pritchard reported an injured crewman and steering problems on the Beneteau First 45.

Apart from The Fork in the Road, Gary Smith’s Bakewell-White 45 from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and Ballendean, Andrew Scott’s Jarkan 38 from the Huon Yacht Club, almost the entire fleet sought shelter from the westerly gale in bays and ports between Maria Island and Fortescue Bay.

The two yachts battled conditions described by Smith as ‘very dark night, wet windy and lumpy as we rounded Tasman…you couldn’t see the next wave in front of you.'

The Fork in the Road, from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania crossed the finish line off Hobart’ Castray Esplanade at 5.44.59, just after sunrise, with Ballendean finishing at 9:22:48

Derwent Sailing Squadron sailing secretary Michael Denney praised skippers who, anticipating the ferocity of the gale, had used prudent seamanship in not attempting to continue racing and had sought shelter overnight.

'The gale decimated the fleet but we actually had only two or three boats forced to retire because of damage or crew injuries, and they have not been too serious,' Denney added.
X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 3Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82Dubarry AUS 2017 660x82 4

Related Articles

Tasar World Championship in Gamagori
As Libby said after the first race day of three races and five hours on the water, it was one of their toughest days The five race day event saw the outstanding North American crew from Seattle YC, former gold and bronze medal Olympians in the Flying Dutchman and 49’er Classes, Jonathan and Libby Johnson McKee, take out their fourth World Tasar Title
Posted today at 11:56 am
Audi Hamilton Race Week - Preview
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events & firm fixture on int'l sailing calendar. Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event’s on-water and off-water carnival.
Posted today at 7:01 am
215 entries for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 has drawn 215 boats ranging in size from 22 up to 100 feet Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 has drawn 215 boats ranging in size from 22 up to 100 feet for the popular annual winter series starting this coming Sunday, August 20, 2017.
Posted today at 4:50 am
A Pacific Yankee Doodle Dandy opening day at Melges 20 Nationals
On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak, northerly, morning breeze, only to have that fade into a solid, southwest seabreeze. Knowing the conditions well and despite the solid northerly morning gradient, PRO Anderson Reggio wisely postponed the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship fleet, and settled on a 2 o'clock
Posted today at 4:11 am
Admiral’s Cup Regatta will span the generations
Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners of the sailing world. News of the event, to be held in Sydney this December, has also inspired some remarkable reunions.
Posted today at 3:25 am
Australian Trailable Yacht and Sports Boat Championship – Preview
The 2016 Championship was conducted at Airlie Beach QLD and the 2018 Championship will be in Victoria Trailable Yachts and Sports Boats from all over Australia are expected to attend this annual event, which is rotated around the eastern seaboard states on an annual basis.
Posted on 17 Aug
A beautiful day wraps up Airlie Beach Race Week
It may have been light, it may have been shifty and even patchy, but it was an extremely pleasant way for the 102 boats The weather gods smiled, answering competitors' prayers in the Whitsunday Sailing Club hosted event, a light zephyr of breeze filtering across Pioneer Bay in time to start a bay course.
Posted on 17 Aug
Pantaenius Newport to Coffs Coast Yacht Race - enter now, pay later
On December 27, 2017, and for the first time, Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance will be a naming rights sponsor On December 27, 2017, and for the very first time, Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance will be the naming rights sponsor of a major yacht race in Australia. The return of the annual Christmas time race to Coffs Harbour is awaited by many looking for a shorter offshore race, which means you can be out and back before having to return to work.
Posted on 17 Aug
Multihull madness at Airlie Beach Race Week
Local sailmaker Paul Mitchell (Ullman Sails), leads the charge for overall honours in the Multihull Racing division Going into the final day’s racing at Whitsunday Sailing Club’s Airlie Beach Race Week, local sailmaker Paul Mitchell (Ullman Sails), leads the charge for overall honours in the Multihull Racing division, three points ahead of George Owens’ Fury Road.
Posted on 17 Aug
2017 U.S. National Championship - Newport Pow Wow
Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all, is the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport happening on August 17-19. Three days of competitive sailing will take place under the careful management of PRO Anderson Reggio and his legion of local sailing and race committee volunteers.
Posted on 17 Aug