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Elizabeth Street Pier is the site of celebration and commiseration today as the Heemskirk Consolidated Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race 2006 was finalised.
After four days at sea the first nine yachts have finished within just over four hours.
Matt Hannaford’s No Fearr, having duelled with Sally Rattle’s Archie during the night on the South East Cape and across Storm Bay, took the lead in the Derwent River to finish at 9:45am.
Sally Rattle is the best performed female skipper in the history of the race.
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At 15:12 this afternoon the lighthouse keeper at Maatsuyker Island David Dow has reported two yachts rounding the South West Cape.
He has visual contact with the two lead yachts in the Melbourne to Hobart race, No Fearr and Hasta la Vista and describes them as being almost on top of each other.
David is the lighthouse keeper on the Island and with his wife Lynne describes the experience as amazing. He and Lynne can’t wait to come back again after this stint finishes in February. He tells that there ‘a lot of interesting stuff to do.’
At last we have the rounding point in sight and some wind to help us get there.
Good spirits on board again - sunny, all well fed and the boredom of the "doldrums" past.
Full speed ahead!
Reported at 5pm tonight. Five boats are rounding Maatsuyker Island now with a changed order. No Fearr in the lead and powering away in the building breeze. Following:ArchieVarta Spirit of DownunderIcefire Hasta La Vista These four boats are so close you could throw a handkerchief over them. It is anyone’s race at this stage and building to an exciting climax.
After three and a half days of solid racing in the Heemskirk Consolidated Melbourne to Hobart race the leaders are so close together they are match racing around the bottom of Tasmania.
After sitting in frustratingly light winds since last night the leading group of yachts are now on the home stretch.
At 17.40 Paul Heyes from No Fearr reported that the crew were all very tired, ‘we’ve had lots of wind and no wind and everyway we turn it is always on the nose. The sea state is ugly very short sharp and bumpy.’
Tascoast radio informed the fleet of a forecast of north easterly winds of 15 to 25 knots however Yoko reported east north east 30 to 35 knots with two metre swells.
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