by Steph Juleff
Gusto has now shattered the record in Australia’s oldest ocean race, the Melbourne to Launceston, with a time of 18:44:05 – taking more than an hour off the previous record. Capibarra 8 set the record of 19 hours 55 minutes and 43 seconds for the race in 2003.
Gusto in action
George Pattinson and his crew crossed the line at 7.14.05 this morning, becoming the first ever boat to win the Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster, Melbourne to Hobart Eastcoaster and Melbourne to Launceston line honours trifecta – in consecutive years.
The rest of the M2L fleet is fighting it out 45 nautical miles from the finish, with Ninety Seven leading the pack. The all important handicap honours are being fought out with a matter of minutes between No Fearr and The Secretary on corrected time.
In the Hobart races, Goldfinger has streaked out in front of the M2H Eastcoaster fleet, heading down the south side of Flinders Island with a 20 knot south westerlies. At this stage they are on their way to the golden double of line honours and being on the top of the IRC handicap table.
Dry White reported winds of up to 42 knots during the night and rough conditions for crew, as they continue the chase behind Goldfinger with Seven50, Matrix and Escapade who is currently leading AMS.
The Westcoaster race is proving much closer, with Extasea out front but running second in IRC to Bandit who is seven miles behind. Tevake II, Cadibarra 8 and Spirit of Downunder are in a tight cluster between those two at the northern tip of Cape Grim, with the handicap places open for the taking.
All crews had a cold and bumpy night with the strong south westerlies holding in at 30 – 40 knots but gusting higher than that. Not surprisingly sea sickness has been a problem for some. All crews are enjoying the morning light and the slightly softer winds.