85th Bruny Island Race update.
Less than three minutes separated The Fork in the Road and Helsal 3 when they crossed the finish line of the 85th Bruny Island Race early this morning after a slow circumnavigation of the island south of Hobart.
The Fork in the Road, Gary Smith’s Bakewell-White 45, finished at 01.54 to hold off a late challenge from Rob Fisher’s Adams/Barrett 20 Helsal II as they sailed back of the River Derwent in a 18-20 knot north-westerly breeze.
The early morning wind was the strongest of the 89 nautical mile race, allowing the bigger Helsal III to lift her boatspeed over the final miles of the race. However, it still took the two leaders 16.5 hours to sail the course, averaging just under 5.5 knots boatspeed.
Third to finish, at 2.48am, was Intrigue, Don Calvert’s Castro 40 which had excelled in the light winds that prevailed for most of Saturday as the fleet sailed down the d’Entrecasteaux Channel on the ‘leave Bruny to port’ course.
Intrigue looks well placed to take top handicap honours in the 23 boat fleet, depleted by one retirement, Tilt, which pulled early last evening in the Channel.
Fourth boat to finish was Dump Truck, skippered by Justin Wells, at 3.34am. followed less than a minute astern by Richard Scarr’s Auch, with her crew of 13 including eight teenagers from the Tasmanian Sailing Academy.
A disappointing sixth in the fleet was Greg Prescott’s 2Unlimited. One of the leading group as they rounded Cape Bruny, she which lost a lot of distance early last evening by sailing a course well wide of Bruny Island on the return leg up the seaward side of the island.
Whistler (David Rees) finished five minutes astern of 2Unlimited, also looking well placed on handicap.
The remaining three boats in the fleet are back in the Derwent and should finish by mid morning.