Maria Island test for Melbourne to Osaka yachts

  • November 14, 2017

Two Tasmanian yachts entered for the 5,500 nautical mile double-handed race from Melbourne to Osaka in Japan next year will contest this weekend’s 70th TasPorts Maria Island Race.

Force Eleven and Morning Star are among 15 entrants for the 180 nautical mile race and have been accepted as double-handed entries for the race around Tasmania’s East Coast.

Tristan Gourley and Jamie Cooper will sail Force Eleven, an Adams 11.9, while Joana Breen and Joanna Harpur will compete in the S&S 34 Morning Star.

Twilight start of the Maria Is;and race with Mount Wellington as backdrop.

Breen and Harpur will be the only all-woman crew in the marathon race to Osaka and Morning Star will be the smallest yacht in the race.

All four are experienced ocean racing sailors, with Breen having had extensive racing and cruising, including twice sailing around Cape Horn.

Jo Breen with Mitch Ranson from Tamar Yacht Club at the Commodore”s Cup last weekend.

She is Vice Commodore of the Tamar Yacht Club while Harpur is Melbourne-based but is a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.She races her yacht Spirit of Freya on the Derwent from time to time.

Tasmania’s two entries in the 73rd Rolex Sydney Hobart, Mike Pritchard’s highly rated Cookson 50 Oskana and Michael Crew’s Dynamique 62,  a comfortable cruising yacht, will also contest the Maria Island Race.

Whistler, a past overall winner of the Maria Island Race.

A late entry is Shaun Tiedemann’s Sydney 36 Philosopher which last weekend won all three handicap categories of the Combined Clubs pennant river race.

Other entries in the 15 boat fleet include Richard Grant’s Knoop 39, Cromarty Magellan, and past winners Peter Cretan’s Marten 49 Tilt (line honours and IRC last year), David Aplin’s  Murray/Burns/Dovell 36 Whistler (PHS 2015, overall 2014),  Stewart Geeves’ Young 88 Footloose (AMS 2010), Peter Haros’ Northshore 38 Wings Three (PHS 2010) and Tim Maddock’s Kaufman-designed Ramrod (AMS 2016).

Word & Photos:  Peter Campbell

14 November 2017