Van Diemen III sparkles at Hamilton Island
The RYCT-registered, but much travelled cruising yacht Van Diemen III was not only one of the most attractive boats competing at last week’s Hamilton Island Race Week, she also proved to be one of the front-runners in her division.
Despite having had to accept a penalty after being provisionally placed first on handicap in race one of Hamilton Island Division 1, Van Diemen III finished third overall.
Van Diemen III is owned and skippered by one-time maxi yacht watch captain Robbie Vaughan, a Californian-based member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania who spends much of his life these days cruising the Pacific and Tasmanian and Queensland waters.
Van Diemen III was one of three Tasmanian-owned yachts to gain a third place overall in the very competitive fleets at Race Week.
Alive, skippered by Derwent Sailing Squadron member Duncan Hine, finished third in IRC Division 1 won by Marcus Blackmore’s TP52 Hooligan. Astern of Alive in final standings were the two super maxis Wild Oats XI and Black Jack.
First Light, skippered by Ben Davidson, placed third in Hamilton Island Division 5.
During the six races for Hamilton Island Division 1, Van Diemen III had held first place, then shared the top of the leader-board and, with one race to sail, had been one point behind the leader.
Unfortunately, she placed eighth in corrected time in the last race which, while her discard race, meant she had to carry the five points from race one.
Owner/skipper Robbie Vaughan grew up in Hobart and began his saiing on the Derwent, heading overseas as a young adult where he crewed on the famous maxis Kialoa II and Windward Passage, becoming noted for his seamanship skills.
Van Diemen III is a wooden-hulled, fractional 7/8 rigged Muir 64, designed by Californian-based yacht designed Warren Muir and built by New Zealander Dave Blair.
The 22 metre LOA cutter’s lines are influenced by the famous US yacht designer L Francis Herreschoff, notably the clipper bow and bowsprit and her distinctive rounded transom.
She has crossed the Pacific four times and spent four summers cruising in Tasmania.
Words: Peter Campbell
26 August 2018