In the Mount Gay 40th Gosford to Lord Howe Island yacht race the canting keel Cookson 50 Victoire has been declared provisional winner.
Whilst there are still several smaller boats yet to finish, these should not affect the placings as they dial in their elapsed times.
Most recent boat to finish was The Goat, at around 3.40pm local time, which is now secure on a South Passage mooring.
Copernicus, Ticket of Leave and Local Hero are still to complete the 414nm Category One ocean classic, and all are expected in by tomorrow morning.
Victoire has now achieved a prestigious East Coast Category One double after taking out the Sydney to Hobart race late last year.
Owner Darryl Hodgkinson was a very pleased man when we spoke to him at the Anchorage restaurant on Lord Howe Island this afternoon and proud of the achievement, which emulates the 1998-1999 successes of AFR Midnight Rambler skippered by Ed Psaltis.
Ironically the boat that Victoire has beaten into second place in this year’s Lord Howe, is the Ker 40 Midnight Rambler with Ed Psaltis at the helm.
Midnight Rambler’s second placing by a slender margin is quite remarkable, considering that they had a man overboard situation on the first night in heavy seas. From all accounts the crew implemented a text book retrieval and all are well. More on this story to come.
The race has been described by all of the crews as fast and wet, with a bit of frustration through the holes in the breeze.
Line honours winner for the second time running VO70 Southern Excellence II picked up the pace late in the race, but finished a little after midnight last night and fell short of the 2002 Race Record by two hours.
The provisional IRC placings are;
First - Victoire Cookson 50 Darryl Hodgkinson
Second - Midnight Rambler Ker 40 Psaltis-Bencsik-Thomas
Third - Exile DK46 Rob Reynolds