In the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Tasports Maria Island Race, The Fork in the Road early this afternoon finally took line honors, taking 43 hours to sail the 200 nautical ocean race around Tasmania’s lower East Coast.
Gary Smith steered the Bakewell-White 52 across the finish line at Castray Esplanade at 14:00.35 this afternoon, sweeping up the Derwent under spinnaker before a freshening sea-breeze.
Only 19 minutes astern came David Rees’ Whistler, a Dovell 35 which had sailed exceptionally well throughout the light weather, sometimes windless race. She finished at 14:19:26.
Third to cross the line was Mike Pritchard’s Beneteau First 45 Audere at 14.35.20, followed by Tony Williams’s IMX38 Martela at 14:46:05 and David Taylor’s modified Sydney 36 Pisces at 14:46:45.
Whistler, Audere, Martela and Pisces had been in sight of each other almost throughout the long race, Whistler at one stage leading the fleet until The Fork in the Road picked up the sea breeze this morning.
Sixth boat to finish at 15:17:22 was Wings Three (Peter Haros) with Pyxis (Chris Hadrill) expected to cross the line soon after 16:00 hours. Astern of her were Footloose (Stewart Geeves), Hot Prospect (Ian Marshall) and Kaiulani (Malcolm Cooper).
The 62ft cruising yacht Magic Miles (Michael Crew) retired before reaching Maria Island while Ian Gannon’s Take Five had to retire and head to Nubeena where an injured crewman was off-loaded for ambulance treatment.
by Peter Campbell
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8:34 AM Sun 17 Nov 2013GMT
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