Alive just short of record in Bruny Island Race
Tasmania’s fastest ocean racing yacht, the Reichel/Pugh 66, Alive, early this evening fell just short of breaking the record the 89 nautical mile Bruny Island Race, Australia’s oldest inshore/offshore yacht race.
First held by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in 1898, this was the 91st edition, with races missed during the war years.
The powerful Alive, owned by Derwent Sailing Squadron member Phil Turner and skippered by fellow club member Duncan Hine, crossed the finish line off Hobart’s Battery Point at 5:44:17pm, just under 12 minutes outside the race record.
The New Zealand maxi yacht Konica Minolta set the record of 8 hours 02 minutes and 59 seconds in the 2005 Brun Island Race.
The remaining eleven boats (there have been three retirements) were making slow progress towards the finish in light airs. At 8.30pm, Tilt, Peter Cretan’s Martens 49 and Gary Smith’s Bakewell-White 45The Fork in Road were back the river with Intrigue, Don Calvert’s Castro 40 sailing up the seaward shore of North Bruny.
Alive appeared to be in a strong position to win the PHS and IRC handicap categories with second placed Tilt (Peter Cretan) also well placed on corrected time.
At that stage, however, the Yellowbrick tracker showed Intrigue first on AMS and second on IRC. Philosopher (Shaun Tiedemann) was fifth in fleet, second on AMS and third on IRC.
The overall results won’t be known until Sunday with the last boat in the fleet, Groove, still having 30 nautical miles sail at 8.30pm.
As Alive finished, Tilt, a Martens 49, was leading the rest of the fleet from The Fork in Road (Gary Smith) and Intrigue (Don Calvert) across Bruny Island’s historic Adventure Bay.
“I can see where we could have picked up those 10 minutes or so to break the record,” Duncan Hine told the “Sunday Tasmanian’ after finishing the race.
“We got away to great start, carrying our big spinnaker in the strong north-westerly breeze, hitting a boatspeed of 25 knots or more.
“We carried our spinnaker down the river to abeam of White Rock but for the rest of the sail down the Channel we were on the wind or reaching.
“At the bottom of the Channel near Partridge Island we got some really heavy gusts, 40 knots, before sailing to windward for most of the final 40 nautical miles.”
Alive, which is normally based In Queensland or in South-East Asia where owner Turner lives, has remained in Tasmania following the Sydney Hobart especially to compete in the Bruny Island Race.
“We had a crew of 13, all talented Tasmanian sailors, including Scott Brain, Ollie Nicholas and George Peacock,” Hine added.
Alive will sail to Sydney shortly to contest the Australian Yachting Championships in March while on the more distant horizons in the Melbourne to Osaka (Japan) double-handed Race in 2018.
Duncan Hine and Phil Turner will handle the 66-footer on the 5,500 nautical mile race.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Jimmy Emms
2030/11 February 2017