11th March 7am Race Update
As predicted last night, the fleet has endured a very light, and somewhat frustrating night at sea, with the lead boat only advancing 36nm in the 10 hours since the 21:00 Radio Sched.
Whilst the leaderboard has not change significantly since our last update, with Paul Buchholz’s Cookson 50, Extasea leading from Scarlet Runner and Ruyjin, with MRV and Hartbreaker poised, ready to take advantage of the first sign of the new breeze.
The handicap honours are still wide open with Michael Culhane's Northshore 38, Weekend Option team leading on AMS from Scott Robinson's Seaquest Pf36, How Bizarre and Leo Cantwell's Sydney 36Cr, Aileron.
The forecast is for more breeze to freshen from the west as the morning develops, which will greet the fleet with champagne sailing conditions, and should see our lead boats approaching the finishing line by mid-afternoon.
The first retirement of the race due to the light conditions, Tai Tam, are motoring to Grassy Harbour, and are currently on track to be the first to experience the warm hospitality awaiting the rest of the fleet.
As daylight slowly creeps into the overcast sky blanketing Bass Strait, the anticipation of being met with the Best Steak Sandwich In The World, is sure inspire even the most disheartened of crews, and reward them for their perseverance.
10th March 9pm Race Update
A little over four hours into the race and it is Damien King’s, Frers 61 MRV leading the fleet, ahead of Extasea and Scarlet Runner.
Even in this early stage, the overall AMS positions are much more interesting, with Xenia in Div 2, a X4.3 skippered by Koos Theron’s leading the two RMYS boats, Weekend Option (Div 2) and Arcadia (Div 1).
The light conditions have prevented the large boats from getting away, and are keeping the smaller
boats in the fleet well in touch in these early stages.
A close race in the early stages and light winds.
With the light conditions expected to continue well into daylight tomorrow, all eyes will be on the larger boats, (MRV, Hartbreaker, Extasea, Scarlet Runner) to see who will reach the more consistent breezes expected closer to the top of King Island by around 9:00am Saturday, and which team will capitalise to make a claim for race honours.
The lighter boats in the 40ft range should not be under estimated (Ryujin, Lord Jiminy, Alex Team Macadie, How Bizzarre, Soirée Bleu, Arcadia and Cadibarra) have all proven to be very effective in light conditions, so this year’s race remains wide open for those that hold their concentration through the quiet hours overnight.
Friday 10th March 6pm
1 hour after the start. 32 Yachts competing in the Melbourne to King Island have got underway with blue skies, sunshine and winds 7 - 10 knots Easterly. It was Scarlet Runner, the Carkeek 43 skippered by Rob Date who led the fleet through the heads with MRV and Ryujin close behind.
Assys and Code 0 were the calling for the light air conditions at the start Photo Neville Rose
A sea of Assy's and Code 0's were flying throughout the fleet as the next group of How Bizarre, Bandit, Solera, Cadibarra, White Spirit and Soiree Bleu.
Paul Buchholz's Cookson 50, Extasea had a slower start but 1 hour in has started to move through the pack and chasing the leading group.
With a flat sea state and light winds, we expect the fleet will hug the coast and head towards Apollo Bay before turning towards King Island.