The Cape Naturaliste Race is run by Royal Perth Yacht Club.
A protest committee threw out Knee Deep’s protest against two other yachts last night so results for the Cape Naturaliste Race stand unchanged.
A wild blast reach down the WA coast was tailor made for Paul Eldrid and Scott Disley’s General Lee. Although the all-carbon 36 footer was the smallest boat in the fleet, she was first to the turn mark at Bunker Bay near Cape Naturaliste, with a ten minute buffer over Phil Child’s Farr 47, Knee Deep in the annual Cape Naturaliste Race run by Royal Perth Yacht Club.
On the return to Fremantle however, waterline length became the telling factor as the big boats reeled in the General in a softening breeze. It was left to Knee Deep, Optimus Prime and Sled to fight out the battle for line honours. After leading for most of the way home, Knee Deep once again developed the 'yips' and let Optimus Prime through in the final stages, with Sled not far away finishing third, well ahead of the early leader General Lee.
The race was spiced up a little by the protest from Knee Deep against Sled and Optimus Prime alleging outside assistance during a radio exchange between those boats and the Bunker Bay turn boat. Evidence suggested otherwise, the results stood, Tony Mitchell’s Sled won the YAH/IRC double, and boosted her already strong claim to this season’s Offshore Championship, the Siska Trophy.
General Lee finished in second place on IRC with a corrected time buffer of just over two minutes ahead of Optimus Prime. YAH handicap results reversed second and third placings.
Trevor Taylor, who aborted his entry to the Visit Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race in order to concentrate on this year’s Sydney to Hobart race, would be well pleased with the performance of his Marten 49, Optimus Prime. He has consistently outperformed two other Marten 49’s in the WA fleet, and once again has been able to apply pressure to the leaders in the closing stages of a race to snatch line honours at the last gasp.