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Maria Island Yacht Race - Youthful Auch crew excel to take double win

by Peter Campbell on 20 Nov 2011
Auch’s crew quickly recovered from being called OCS at the start of the Maria Island Race © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
Auch, skippered by Yachting Tasmania state high performance coach Richard Scarr, has excelled in the TasPorts Maria Island Yacht Race.

With five teenage sailors in its race crew of ten, Auch was fourth to finish late last night and is the provisional IRC and PHS handicap winner and is third under AMS handicap. She finished the 189 nautical mile ocean race at 23:19:21 (11.18pm) last night, just over an hour astern of line honours winner Mr Kite.


Scarr has been training for the past year a group of teenage Laser and 420 dinghy sailors to compete in this major ocean race from Hobart around the rugged East Coast of Tasmania to historic Maria Island return. He enlisted four other experienced adult yachtsmen to mentor the young sailors.

With the young sailors working the bow and trimming sails, the crew sailed Auch, a Beneteau First 44.7, with great skill and enthusiasm throughout the 28 hour long race, in a wide variety of sailing conditions.

'The objective is to provide young dinghy sailors with training in big boat sailing offshore, with the program beginning earlier this year with the Bruny Island Race and this season with the Channel Race,' said skipper Scarr, who owns Auch with Philippa Calvert.

With12 of the 18 yachts finished by 06:30 this morning (6.30am), Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania vice commodore Roger Martin has issued provisional handicap results.

Provisional overall winner, decided on AMS ratings, is 2 Unlimited, Greg Prescott’s fast Melges 32. In second place is last year’s winner Footloose, Stewart Geeves’ Young 88, with Auch third.

Under IRC ratings, Auch is provisionally first from two Rolex Sydney Hobart Race contenders, Dump Truck (Justin Wells) and Whistler (David Rees), both using the Maria Island Race to qualify for the Sydney Hobart.

Provisional PHS results see Auch again at the top, winning from Footloose and line honours winner Mr Kite, Andrew Hunn’s Cape/Barrett 40 which finished at 22:15:13 (10.15pm) last night, followed by Rob Fisher’s Adams/Barrett 60 Helsal III at 23:07:18, 2 Unlimited at 23:09:18 and Auch at 23:19:21 hours.

At 0700 this morning all but two of the final six boats in the fleet were in the river, with Natelle Two and Hot August Night still to reach the Iron Pot after beating to windward across Storm Bay. Ahead of them, and others in the river, is a long beat up the river into a 10 knot NNW wind.

One yacht retired from the race, 42 South pulling out after dropping an injured crew member ashore at Triabunna yesterday.

The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania is expected to confirm results later this afternoon.
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