Light winds down Tasmania’s East Coast throughout today are favouring the smaller boats in The Good Guys Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race in all three handicap categories, AMS, IRC and PHS.
Ramrod and 42 South cross tacks on the Tamar River yesterday. Ramrod, a Kaufman 36, heads the AMS division on corrected time - 2012 Launceston to Hobart
Early this evening, the leading yachts were within seventy nautical miles of the finish of the 285 nautical mile offshore race, with the Hobart 45-footer, The Fork in the Road, skippered by Gary Smith, late this afternoon breaking away from her rivals.
Oceantracker reported The Fork in the Road’s position at 8pm at four nautical miles east of Eaglehawk Neck, picking up boatspeed after a day of frustratingly light westerly winds. At that stage she had 59 nautical miles to sail to the finish off Castray Esplanade.
Derwent Sailing Squadron sailing secretary Michael Denny is predicting an early morning finish, provided The Fork in the Road sails into fresher wind after rounding Tasman Island. 'She could finish anywhere between 6am and 8am, but it could still be later,' he said.
At 8pm, The Fork in the Road was ten miles clear of Andrew Jones’ Inglis 47 AdvantEDGE which had been early race leader. Close astern of the yacht from Port Dalrymple Yacht Club came Hobart boats Fish Frenzy (Stephen Keal), Ramrod (Royce Salter) and 42 South (Max Ballard), with the rest of the fleet still north of Maria Island.
Derwent Sailing Squadron race officers last night calculated that the Victorian yacht Penfold Audi Sport (David Ellis) was leading the IRC division on corrected time from The Fork in the Road, with Ramrod (Royce Salter) heading the AMS scoring from Hot Prospect (Ian Marshall),
Under PHS scoring, Anthony Ellis’ Moonshadow was provisionally first ahead of Ramrod and Hot Prospect.
Also well placed on corrected time in the three categories were Rumbeat (Justin Barr), Footloose (Stewart Geeves), The Fork in Road, Pirate’s Pride (Peter Masterton) and the smallest boat in the fleet, Malcolm Cooper’s Kaiulani.