Bruny Island Race 2013 - Seven and counting

Racing past the Ran Flagship at last year’s Royal Hobart Regatta
Peter Campbell
The Bruny Island Race 2013 is experiencing a sluggish flow of entries as only seven yachts have so far been nominated with just a week before race day at Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

This will be the 87th annual Bruny Island Race, an 89 nautical mile circumnavigation of the elongated island south of Hobart, with the start on Saturday, 9 February. Entries close next Wednesday, 6 February.

Yachts already entered are Auch (Richard Scarr), Dump Truck (Justin Wells and Edward Fader), Masquerade (Tony Harman), Helsal V (Robert Smith), Intrigue (Don Calvert), The Fork in the Road (Gary Smith) and Wildfire (Ian Stewart).

'Last year we had a fleet of 25 and while we again expect a good-sized fleet, we would like to get some more entries in well before the deadline…it makes life easier in the Sailing Office,' RYCT sailing manager Chris Oh said today. 'It is also helpful that yachts already entered complete their mandatory safety documentation earlier than later.'

Two of the prominent yachts in last year’s Bruny Island Race won’t be sailing this year’s race, Tony Lyall’s Cougar II, which took line honours and first place in the IRC category, and Andrew Hunn’s Mr Kite, which finished second in fleet and won on PHS scoring.

Cougar II will be in Melbourne for an Australian TP52 regatta the same weekend while Mr Kite is in Sydney.

However, the AMS and overall winner of last year’s Bruny Island Race, Don Calvert’s Castro 40, Intrigue, will be lining up for a hat-trick of AMS handicap wins and her tenth race on handicap since 1985.

In the absence of Cougar II and Mr Kite, the favourite for line honours this year is Gary Smith’s Bakewell-White 45, The Fork in the Road which has got the gun in her last two major races, the Launceston to Hobart offshore race and the King of the Derwent event on the river.

Peter Campbell

Dump Truck will be returning to racing after being forced to retire from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when a broken D2 endangered her rig, less than 100 nautical mile from the finish.

Auch has also been absent from racing fleets with skipper Richard Scarr deeply involved in coaching young Tasmanian sailors for dinghy championships.

The start of 87th Bruny Island Race will be linked with the 175th Royal Hobart Regatta, as will other major yachting and boating events over the weekend of 9-11 February.

The Bruny Island Race will start from a line off the Hobart Regatta Grounds, south of the Tasman Bridge, at 9.30am on Saturday, 9 February, the first day of the Royal Hobart Regatta. The finish late Saturday night or early on the Sunday morning will be off Castray Esplanade.

On the Monday afternoon, starting from 1.30pm, the Combined Clubs Harbour Series races will be sailed over a course that will include rounding marks off the Regatta Grounds. The event should attract a fleet of between 40 and 50 keelboats, also competing for the Royal Hobart Regatta Association’s prestigious Sir Thomas Lipton Cup.

At 6pm, Geilston Bay Boating Club will conduct a special Regatta twilight race, starting and finishing off the Regatta Grounds so that competing yachts can remain in the area to watch the Regatta fireworks in the evening.

On Monday morning, from 10am, dinghy classes will be competing in the Tasmanian Yardstick Regatta in the vicinity of the Regatta Grounds.

The flag of the Royal Hobart Regatta Association frames Colin Denny’s The Protagonist
Peter Campbell

Other events will link the 175th Royal Hobart Regatta with the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, including a wooden dinghy race and a sailpast of tall ships and wooden yachts.