Morning Star reaches Osaka after 39 days
Tasmanian yacht Morning Star, the smallest and oldest yacht in the fleet, has finished second across the line in the 5,500 nautical mile two-handed, non-stop ocean race from Melbourne to Osaka, Japan.
Morning Star, crewed by Launceston sailors Joanna Breen and Peter Brooks, crossed the finish line at the southern Japanese seaport early Tuesday morning at 02:28:56 AEST.
Breen, vice-commodore of the Tamar Yacht Club, and Brooks, a member of the Port Dalrymple Yacht, spent more than 39 days at sea in the S&S34, a production model of British Minister Sir Edward Heath’s Morning Cloud.
Morning Cloud won the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 1969, the forerunner of the S&S 34 class, noted for their seaworthiness.
In an outstanding display of sailing skills, Breen and Brooks maintained an average boatspeed of 5.5 knots with Morning Star after being first boat away in the staggered start from Melbourne’s Port Phillip.
The boat’s fastest recorded speed was a remarkable 11.8 knots.
Outsailing the cyclone which forced more than half the fleet to seek shelter in Queensland ports, Morning Star led the fleet until late last week when overtaken by the Victorian yacht Chinese Whisper.
Chinese Whisper, a Judel/Vrolijk 62 from Sydney and sailed by Rupert Henry and Greg O’Shea, went on to take line honours early Monday morning, AEST, in the race record time of 21 days 12 hours 41 minutes 13 second.
The small Morning Star, designed more than 50 years ago, started on 15 March whereas the state of the art Chinese Whisper got away from Port Philip on 1 April.
The second Tasmanian yacht in the fleet, Force Eleven, also from the Tamar Yacht Club and sailed by Tristian Gourlay and Jamie Cooper, is still second last in the fleet, having spend three days and ten hours in Southport sheltering from Cyclone Iris.
Words: Peter Campbell
25 April 2018