It was a clear start for the 10th anniversary of the Proper National Pies Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race on the morning of Tuesday 27th December.
44 boats sailed across the line with kites up for a downwind flight out of the Tamar River. Hot off the line at 11:10am were Richard Gates’ Absolut and Mumm 36 B&G Advantage, skippered by Jeff Cordell. Both had “cracker starts” according to Shaun Tiedermann of Hobart’s Philospher. “They nailed the timing beautifully, and gave the big boys a run for their money.”
After a textbook pin-end start executed by Gary Smith (current record holder), The Fork in the Road led the fleet until Tilt, skippered by Peter Cretan, overtook her as the line-honours leaders heading into the first night of the race just shy of Tomahawk.
Sundown standings had Absolut sitting on top of the IRC overall handicap with notable crew member Steve Chau, Commodore of host club Derwent Sailing Squadron, on board. B&G Advantage, winner of the inaugural 2007 Launceston to Hobart race, then named HostPlus Executive, held the AMS overall handicap, with a shy lead on skipper Anthony Harman aboard Masquerade.
Ben Davidson at the helm of RYCT’s Firstlight led the PHS overall handicap, and in her 10th year of sailing the race, Malcolm Cooper’s Kauilani had a comfortable lead in the Division II IRC handicap. It was tight racing as the fleet headed into light winds on the nose.
by Lizzi Rountree