Melbourne to Launceston Yacht Race preview

Rudder Cup Trophy - Melbourne to Launceston
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The famous Melbourne to Launceston Race, Australia's oldest ocean race (and the world's fifth oldest), starts on December 27, 2012 at 1230 off Portsea Pier. The winner receives (albeit quite briefly) the splendiferous 60 Guinea, Rudder Cup.

First run in 1907 and then a few years of each decade until the 60's, when it became an annual feature, it is not only a thorough grounding in how to cross 'The Paddock' (Bass Strait), but places the crews directly into some of the most stunning scenery in Tasmania and if you're a foodie/wine buff, well the Tamar and areas nearby are just a delight.

Contenders:
Line Honours: Gusto - the modified Open 66 'skiff on steroids' is likely for line honors . Owned and Skippered by Brian Patterson is looking at making this a triffecta. Having Line Honors for the 2011 Melbourne to Eastcoaster and in 2010 Line honors for Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster Gusto is keen to have this one under their belt. But Gusto may be given a run for its money by the Farr 47 Ninety Seven,owned and skippered by Alan Saunders who won the Bass Strait Series in 2010

Handicap: If it's heavy weather on the nose, then Bacardi-Owned and skippered by Martin Power (which holds the record for the most Sydney Hobarts) is a chance on handicap
Also competing again and in to defend his title as the Bass Strait series winner in 2008 is The Secretary, skippered by George Shaw.

The Bass Strait series, formerly the The Rudder Cup series is an aggregate of the following three races -
UK Halsey Boxing Day Dash, ORCV Melbourne to Launceston Rudder Cup and TYC Tamar Classic Race which will be run by Tamar Yacht Club on the 29th December 2012.

ORCV website
http://www.sail-world.com/104846