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Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally - Currents snare more victims

by Event Media on 14 May 2013
Bernie Kaaks
In the Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally, the infamous tidal runs near the entrance to Benoa Harbour, where the finish line is located, have claimed two more victims. Brian Todd’s 49 footer Sue Sea, which was comfortably closing in on the finish as darkness fell, appears to have been dragged north of the line by the current, and although she was in sight of the race control team early this morning, seems to be moving out to sea again in windless conditions.

Near the south western tip of the island, Steel de Breeze is inching her way towards the finish at around two knots. Jon Wardill tried this tactic in 2011 with limited success, but was adamant that at certain times of the day the coastal approach is better than an approach from the west.

With just four nautical miles to go, it seems likely that Steel de Breeze will reach the finish ahead of Sue Sea to be the third of the race yachts to finish. Her crew will also be anxious to resolve the controversy of her retirement, which hinges around her use of an autopilot when both steering cables broke within a couple of hours of each other.

Rolly Tasker Perie Banou continues to put more distance on Not Negotiable, and with 210 miles to go is now 30 miles clear of the tailender. This now puts her in second place on both handicap systems, but with the challenge of the final few miles still to come, anything is possible.

Heavy weather from the east and south east continues to pound the tail end of the rally fleet and it was little surprise to see Comfortably Numb pull into Carnarvon this morning. The reason for her second stopover is not known yet, but she was forced to return to Gerald ton last week to repair a broken mainsheet traveller.

Osborne Star, which joined the rally from Dampier, has finished and in the Benoa Marina. The next rally yacht is Don Brooker’s new Beneteau Sense 50, Dorade, which has been bowling along happily at around eight knots and is now 130 miles from the finish. Ole Otness is next, 100 miles behind Dorade, followed by John Rayner’s little UFO34 Not Negotiable, which is the last boat in the racing fleet. Behind these two is a large group of rally yachts all making solid progress towards the finish, well ahead of the heavy weather to the south of Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally
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