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TasPorts Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race - All in the Sassy Family

by Jane Austin 17 Dec 2020 13:08 PST 27-31 December 2020
Sassy is hoping for 25 to 30 knots on the nose for the trip south to Hobart in this year's TasPorts Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race © Colleen Darcey

The TasPorts Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race is widely regarded as a race for families and friends, and this is certainly the case onboard Sassy, with three father/son combinations making up the crew for the 2020 race.

Owner Tim White has sailed with his son Ian for 40 years, with Ian taking the helm in this year's race. Lynn Dawson, a veteran of several Sydney to Hobart yacht races is onboard with his son Robert, who has been sailing for just four years, all onboard Sassy, and Josh Harriss joins his father Jason to make up the team for the race.

Sassy is shaping up well for the race according to skipper Ian White, with most of the preparatory work done. "We have been focusing on our general sailing fitness and have been practising midweek to get ready for the race. We were happy with our overall win in the recent Barrenjoey Race and are hoping for similar conditions for the Launceston race," said White.

Sassy is one of five northern boats competing in this year's race, joining Avantedge (Andrew Jones), Odessa (Paul Badcock) and Honey Pot (Nick McElwee) from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club, and Green (Ken Gourlay) and Windrose (Ashok Mani) from the Tamar Yacht Club.

White sails the 7-tonne cruising boat mostly for fun, but the team is looking to iron out a few wrinkles and have set their sights on a single-digit finish on handicap.

"We are hoping for a light weather start but Sassy needs a 25-30 knot wind on the nose all the way to Hobart to have a chance at a good result. These are the conditions that we had in the Barrenjoey Race and they suited us perfectly," said White. "We expect tough competition from the Farr 1104s again this year. We like to keep them in our sights the entire race," said White.

The L2H race is a popular sailing event which White attributes to the number of opportunities to restart the race on the trip south.

"We start on an outgoing tide which means it's coming in by the time we get to Swan Island, we can regroup. Then we head on to Maria Island and have the same opportunity to draw back a few places. I like the fact that one mistake won't cost you the race and the little boats have an opportunity to catch up," said White.

The race gets under way from the Tamar Yacht Club on Sunday 27th December and is likely to finish in Hobart on Tuesday 29th December.

Follow the race here.

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