by Rob Kothe
One of the boats in the Grand Prix IRC division fleet on Day One at 2013 Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week was sailing with delivery sails, rather than race sails and it was for a very good reason.
Scarlet Runner’s last hit out - Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week 2013
It was a farewell hit out for Sandringham Yacht Club sailor Robert Date's Reichel Pugh 52 Scarlet Runner, the last race for the 16 metre yacht in Australia for the year ahead, because tomorrow Scarlet Runner is setting sail for South Africa for the 2014 Cape 2 Rio Race.
Dockside this afternoon Date, the Melbourne owner-skipper, was very happy. ‘We were sailing in a postcard’ he said.’ It was 8-10 knots, with blue skies and we were in shorts and T-shirts, It was a bloody great day to go sailing, a great day on the water ahead of what should be a great year on the water.’
The 2014 race will start on January 4th from Cape Town sailing to Rio de Janeiro and as Date explains the Australian boat has an epic journey ahead of her, before the Table Bay start.
Scarlet Runner - Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week 2013
Tomorrow Boat Captain Brett Averay and five crew will head north to Cairns, taking a couple of days thence a week on the water to Darwin, another week to Cocos Island, 14 days to Mauritius, hopefully arriving by 21st September and will then sail on to Durban and Cape Town, a total of 20,000 nautical miles ahead of the race to Rio de Janeiro.
‘In Cape Town South Africa, the boat will be put on the hard stand for a couple of months, for a complete check over, mast and rigging check etc. then we will fly over in December, splash her back in the water and go racing.
'She is set up for long distances, We have a water maker on board, we have bigger fuel tanks now with 400 litres diesel capacity so that gives us a few miles if we have an issue.
‘After Rio, we then sail up to Miami, re-rig her as an inshore race boat and head for Antigua Race Week. After that we will go through the Panama Canal and then up to Mexico and on to San Francisco for the race to Hawaii.
‘Then she will head back to Australia hopefully in time for Airlie Beach Race Week 2014,‘ Date said with a grin.
We shall see… but tomorrow will be the first day of a long passage and we wish Team Scarlet Runner fair winds and a following sea.