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Ross & Whitcroft  Rampage

Launceston to Hobart overall

by Peter Campbell on 31 Dec 2013
Bellandean’s skipper Andrew Scott accepts his PHS first place trophy from the Tasmanian Governor Mr Peter Underwood - Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race 2013 Peter Campbell
Launceston to Hobart 2013 - The Huon Valley and its apple growing community have a long history of building and sailing champion yachts and yesterday Port Huon Yacht Club member Andrew Scott continued this tradition.

Scott, an apple grower just south of Port Huon, skippered his Jarkan 48, Bellandean, through Storm Bay gales to win the PHS division of the Launceston to Hobart Race.

'I think Huon Valley orchardists, living close to the water, have had an affinity with yachting going back more than a century,' Scott said at yesterday’s prizegiving for the Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race at the Derwent Sailing Squadron.

'We’re all country lads, mostly from down the Huon, some from Hobart, making up a crew that had not raced offshore together before the L2H race,' added Scott after receiving the trophy for Bellandean winning the PHS handicap division of the 285 nautical mile race.

Although Huon Yacht Club boats have previously contested the L2H, this was the first time a yacht on the club’s register had scored a major win in the race..

Along with line honours winner, the 45-footer The Fork in the Road (Gary Smith), the 38-footer Bellandean was the only yacht to sail on through the gale off Tasman Island last Saturday night and through Sunday.

'We knew what the conditions ahead would be like, we set up the boat for just that. When we rounded Tasman Island we just knuckled down for a hard, tough beat to windward into a 30-40 knot westerly, with the top gust we received being 49 knots.

Bellandean almost prevented line honours winner The Fork in the Road making a clean sweep of major trophies.

Skipper Gary Smith, a former Olympic sailor and world dinghy class champion, added to the line honours trophy first places under AMS and IRC handicap ratings, plus a second in the PHS division to Bellandean.

Third place went to the 50-footer Fish Frenzy (Stephen Keal) which was also the third boat to finish, 14 hours after The Fork in the Road.

Fish Frenzy was among the many boats that sought shelter from the westerly gales over the weekend while The Fork in the Road and Ballendean battled on 30-50 knot westerly headwinds.

The AMS results, which decide the overall winner of the race, saw The Fork in the Road won from Fish Frenzy (Stephen Keal) and CDC Development (Tas) – Hot Prospect (Ian Marshall). The Fork in the Road was the only finisher among yachts rated under IRC.

The trophies for being first from Beauty Point Low Head went to The Fork in the Road and Twitch.

With only seven yachts out of a fleet of 26 finishing the L2H, Derwent Sailing Squadron ‘created’ several special trophies, including the Launceston to Triabunna Award won by Believe, skippered by Tamar Yacht Club member Richard Fisher. Believe pulled out because of the dire forecast and led other retirees into the Spring Bay Boat Club.

The ‘Get Plastered Award’ was presented to Mike Pritchard, owner skipper of Audure, Believe’s sistership which continued racing. Unfortunately, south of Tasman Island, Pritchard was sent crashing across the boat, disclocating his shoulder and breaking an arm.

Despite his injuries, Pritchard, a wellknown Hobart orthopaedic surgeon is reported to have instructed a crew member how to re-position the shoulder and then splint the arm.

Scott Sutton received the Sargisons Jewellers prize for being navigator of the winning yacht, The Fork in the Road, while the two Victorian entries, Lou Irving’s Cavarlo and Sarah Allard’s Saltair received the Northern Tasmania Award.

Bellandean crew members were chosen as winners of ‘That’s what that clip is for losing their caps at sea.

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