42 Below Mewstone Race - The Fork in the Road takes the right turn to Mewstone
by Peter Campbell
The Fork in the Road, skippered by former Olympic and world champion dinghy sailor Gary Smith, has taken line honours in the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s revived Mewstone Race, the southernmost ocean race in Australia, down to Latitude 43° South.
The Bakewell-White 45 finished the 170 nautical mile race to this rocky island off the southern tip of Tasmania at 10:38:58 pm this evening, in a race contrary to the reputation that saw it dropped from the RYCT calendar in 1985 after two decades of competition.
In one race back in the 1970s, none of the fleet even reached the Mewstone, driven back by a vicious south-westerly ‘Roaring Forties’ gale.
The strongest breeze was 14 knots early this afternoon as the fleet sailed back from the Mewstone, which the leaders had rounded in calm seas and a light 4 knot breeze on a clear, but chilly morning.
Each of the yachts carried an RYCT OceanTrack tracking unit, providing race officials with a constant real time check on the progress of the nine yachts.
In the leg down to Mewstone, four of the fleet made the choice to sail down the seaward side of elongated Bruny Island, south of Hobart, and four sailed down the inshore side, through the d’Entrecasteaux.
The inshore course, apart from being 11 nautical miles shorter, proved the better choice with the three top placegetters in the fleet sailing the Channel course. All yacht sailed back up the Channel.
As The Fork in the Road crossed the line, Justin Wells’ Ker 11.3,, Dump Truck, was about 35 to 40 minutes astern with 2 Unlimited (Greg Prescott) about the same time further back in third place. More than 12 miles down the Channel came Valheru, Whistler, She’s the Culprit, Pisces and Hot August Night.
Handicap results will be announced later tomorrow.
For more information on the Mewstone Race click here
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1:38 PM Sat 22 Jan 2011 GMT
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