The Derwent Sailing Squadron’s seventh annual Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race around the east coast of Tasmania has become a ‘National’ event in more ways than one.
Last year’s winner Penfold Audi Sport at the start on the Tamar River.
This year’s race will be contested by yachts from Victoria and other states as well as Tasmania, and the race will be sponsored by Tasmanian Bakeries through its iconic brand name ‘National Pies’.
Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore Ron Bugg today announced that Tasmanian Bakeries would sponsor the 2013 race, to be known as the National Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race.
Commodore Bugg, who is also Race Director, predicted a high quality fleet of 40 plus yachts, with expressions of interest already received from more than 20 yacht owners in Tasmania and Victoria.
'This year’s National Launceston to Hobart Race will be the seventh we have conducted and we welcome aboard Tasmanian Bakeries as our new sponsors, with their brand name ‘National Pies’ that is widely known throughout the State,' Commodore Bugg added.
'We already have Tasmania’s longest annual offshore race, wholly organised and conducted by the Derwent Sailing Squadron in conjunction with the Tamar Yacht Club,' Commodore Bugg said.
'We have now received the support of a wholly owned Tasmanian company that has been baking in this State since 1942,' Commodore Bugg said.
Among yachts expected to compete in the 285 nautical mile race around the spectacular east coast of Tasmania is the 1993 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race winner Micropay Cuckoos Nest, now named Bombora.
Bombora is now owned by Bellerive Yacht Club Commodore John Mills who plans to contest all inshore and offshore races run by Tasmanian clubs this summer, including the Launceston to Hobart.
Last year’s overall winner Penfold Audi Sport, the Archambault 31 owned and skippered by David Ellis from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria is expected to defend its title.
'The club has already received more than 20 expressions of interest from yacht owners, including several from Victoria,' the Commodore added.
'David Ellis has told the club he plans to defend his title following his impressive victory with Penfold Audi Sport last year and he is encouraging other Victorian yacht owners to compete.
'Another likely Victorian entry will be Saltaire II, skippered by Sarah Allard, in the Two-Handed Division. Sarah and her husband received the Seamanship Award following the 2012 Launceston to Hobart for their efforts in reaching Hobart under jury steering after they lost their rudder off Betsey Island.'
Among Tasmanian yachts whose owners have indicated their interest in contesting this year’s National Launceston to Hobart Race are ‘regulars’ Host Plus (Jeff Cordell), Kaiulani (Malcolm Cooper) and Hot Prospect (Ian Marshall), the northern yachts Believe (Richard Fisher) and Obsession (David Allen) and two-times line honours winner The Fork in the Road (Gary Smith).
The 2013 National Launceston to Hobart Race will start from Beauty Point on the Tamar River at 10am on December 27, giving the fleet a usually fiercely contested down-river dash to Low Head and into Bass Strait.
From Low Head the fleet will sail through Banks Strait, between the Furneaux Islands from the north-eastern tip of Tasmania, down the east coast, sailing inside elongated Maria Island, then and further southwards to round Tasman Island for the final legs across Storm Bay and up the River Derwent to the finish at Hobart.
Notice of Race for the National Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race 2013 is now available online from the Derwent Sailing Squadron website