by Rob Kothe
The 2008 Heaven Can Wait fleet sailed out of Toronto Bay heading south at 12 noon yesterday. On their first lap of Australia’s largest salt water lake, it was a beat to the top mark at the southern end of the Lake, and then the wind switched to the north for another beat back to the northern end of the long lake, at Warners Bay.
Heaven Can Wait 24 hour race - Sailing out of the darkness into the light - (High Anxiety)
Wind has come from every point of the compass overnight. As dawn broke this morning, another rain squall crossed the lake, with thunder and lightning.
The lead boat, Two Tribes, has completed four laps and is heading south in easing conditions and is south of Wangi Point.
Second is Kim William’s Melges 32 Rock n' Roll, some hundreds of metres ahead of the Sydney 41 Wallop. They are approaching Belmont, half a lap behind the leaders.
Overnight the conditions have been up and down with the strongest conditions near Wangi, where it has been 15-17 knots on each lap. The softest conditions have been at the southern end of the Lake.
Across the Lake there are areas of sunlight, but also low cloud, wind and then windless holes. All in all a testing time for the tired crews.
The 2008 race will finish at 1300 this afternoon.