Three Peaks Race - Responding to opinions of past years Three Peaks Race teams, the race committee has amended the rules to allow the Main Racing Division entrants the penalty free option of adding an additional sailor to their team.
Nick Edmunds Haphazard as it departs the Tamar River in the 2010 Australian Three Peaks Race
Since the race commenced in Australia in 1989 modelled on the successful British Three Peaks Race, teams were limited to five competitors - three sailors and two runners. Over the years other race divisions have been introduced. A Cruising Division was designed to allow older and slower yachts to arrive in Hobart in a similar time as the elite Main Division yachts.
In more recent years a Fully Crewed Division allows yachts to include their normal race complement of crew with the offset that some of the usual options to take 'short cuts' were eliminated in negotiating parts of Franklin Sound at Flinders Island and the shorter course of using the Denison Canal at Dunalley.
A survey of competitors last year indicated that for many yachts the ability to crew with just three sailors in a race extending to three or four days placed undue difficulties.
'Allowing for an optional additional sailor in the race team is seen as opening the attraction to the Main Race Division', race chairman Alastair Douglas said. 'Also, in an endeavor to consolidate the race divisions the Cruising Division has been dropped. While this division served a useful adjunct to the race for many years, its popularity has waned in favor of the Main and Fully Crewed Divisions.'
With the new rule allowing four sailors in the Main Divisions it is hoped entrants who previously entered the Fully Crewed Division might make the change back to the Main Division.