Hobart Combined Clubs Long Race Series final event got underway today. An early break on the fleet as it sailed down the River Derwent in light winds gave Bellerive Yacht Club skipper Tony Williams and his Sydney Hobart racer, Martela, the prestigious AMS category pennant for the season’s Combined Club Long Race Series in southern Tasmania.
A windless start turned into a 30 knot southerly with the temperature plunging to 11 degrees - Final Long Race 2013
Martela led the fleet from Hobart down the river to the Iron Pot until overtaken by the 52-footer Dr Who, eventually finishing fourth in fleet, but on corrected time winning all three handicap categories, AMS, IRC and PHS, in Group 1.
The final race victory gave Martela the summer season long race pennant under the major AMS scoring system, second overall under IRC and fourth under PHS scoring.
Weatherwise, the fleet had a taste of just about everything: a near windless start, heavy rain with total white-out on the river, heavy hail, a sudden drop in temperature to 11 degrees and, finally, a exhilarating spinnaker run back up the river before a 25 knot southerly.
'We got a good start in the very light conditions, heading across to the western shore whereas most of the fleet took the eastern side of the river,' Williams said after the race.
'Then we got a break over our nearest rivals off Taroona, leading the fleet to the Iron Pot and holding second place across to Little Betsey Island and back to Yellow Bluff as the breeze freshened.'
Williams said he was already planning his third Rolex Sydney Hobart Race with Martela this year, but said he may have to withdraw Martela’s entry from next month’s Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race because of lack of experienced crew.
Yesterday’s victory was a family affair with Williams joined by his sons Zach (19) and Gilbert (13) in the crew of nine aboard Martela.
In the Combined Clubs Long Race Series for 2012-2013, Martela is the provisional winner of the Group 1 AMS pennant from Tas Paints (Ian Stewart) and Wings Three (Peter Haros) with the IRC title going to Colin Denny’s The Protagonist from Martela and Pisces (David Taylor).
Peter Masterton’s Pirate’s Pride took out the PHS pointscore from TasPaints and Wings Three.
The Group 2 Series went to Jigsaw (Neil Snare) from today’s race winner Moonshadow (Anthony Ellis) and Footloose (Stewart Geeves).
In Group 3 the overall winner is Take 5 (Ian Gannon) which clinched victory with a final race win yesterday from rival Quebrada (Tim Maddock). Third overall in Group 3 went to Camlet Way (Steve Mannering).
Next Saturday will see the final day of the Combined Clubs Harbour Race Series for the summer of 2012-2013.