Melbourne to Hobart - Pummelled by the Gale force winds

Spirit of Downunder - ORCV Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race 2013
After a night of being pummelled by the Gale force winds the West Coast fleet are heading for Hobart fast, maybe too fast. At 10am the Tracker showed that eXtasea had clearly had a very big ‘round up’ they were off the rhumbline and pointing almost due South. They had slowed to just seven knots which contrasts with Tevake II still travelling at 12knots. Angus Fletcher is smoking past the South West Cape.

eXtasea seem to have managed to sort out there problems and are now pointing back towards Storm Bay picking up speed to over 10 knots. With 70 miles to the finish we are expecting an ETA in Hobart of approximately 2pm. So often The Derwent River is a problematic final stretch to the finish line but this year we have plenty of wind volume the direction is swirly but Buchholz should have no problems as he heads in this direction.

The wave Buoy of Cape Sorell near Strahan
Simon Dryden

The report from Laurie Ford on Spirit of Downunder, of the overnight conditions was that it was very very very cold, so much so that they couldn’t keep many people up on deck. They lost all the electrics except for one GPS and spent the night under the storm jib alone. The conditions have moderated now and as they pass Port Davey they are about to hoist the mainsail with three reefs in. Last night was so lumpy that the meal in the oven turned upside down and Laurie is currently on his knees trying to clean the gas jet in six metre seas.
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