Are you warming up for the 2015 NATIONAL PIES Launceston to Hobart race?
This year see’s the ninth Launceston to Hobart Race, now sponsored by National Pies. Both are now icons of Tasmania and it is great to have them so closely allied. This year the ninth and next year after the tenth the race truly qualifies as one of Australia’s iconic events.
So are you contemplating doing the L2H at this early stage or are you “gung-ho” preparing already? Malcolm Cooper is. He’s participated in all eight races since the first in 2007. Mal skippers one of the smallest boats in the fleet, the orange-hulled Kaiulani and has experienced all that the weather gods can deliver, from frustrating calms to the boat and crew challenging gale of 2013. Mal’s looking forward to this one on his way to competing in his tenth race in 2016. This is a milestone for such a small boat and for Mal.
And like all skippers and crew looking forward to the one to three day challenge Mal will be competing in several warm up events before Christmas. The Friday race of DSS Pipe Opener in September is the first overnighter and can deliver from dead calm to gale force conditions, albeit without the variety of ocean swells that yachts expect in the L2H.
Before Christmas there are several other warm up events to challenge boats and crews and get them accustomed to the types of weather conditions that they could encounter during the L2H. In Southern Tasmania there’s the RYCT Maria Island Race and other shorter Interclub offshore events. In the north there’s the PDYC Barrenjoey Race, the Offshore Two-Latitude Race and the PDYC Port Sorell Race. And no doubt there are many lead up offshore races in Victoria and New South Wales.
The beauty of the L2H course, apart from the phenomenal coastal scenery for those crew who have time to look, is the variety of weather and sea conditions experienced as the yachts sail clockwise from the start off Inspection Head Wharf in the picturesque Tamar Valley around the North Eastern tip of Tasmania though the sometimes ”washing machine” conditions of Banks Strait, then South to and around Tasman Island into Storm Bay and finally to the Castray Point finish line in the Derwent.
The competing yachts cross the paths of the 17th, 18th and 19th Century coastal discovery voyages of those early explorers, like Tasman, D’Entrecasteaux, Baudin and Bass and Flinders. In keeping with the spirit of those early voyages the course deliberately hugs the coast, passing through the frustrating conditions of Mercury Passage between Maria Island and Tasmania’s mainland. The course brings added safety, for there is always a safe haven with help and support not too far off the starboard bow.
After the race crews are more than adequately catered for both socially and in events in which boats may compete. Join the L2H crew party held at the Race Centre on the wharf; welcome in the New Year under an impressive firework display; race the iconic King of the Derwent Race on the 2nd January and join in the fun and festivities of the L2H and KOD prizegivings, and forgetting the boat for a bit, enjoy the harbour side fare and festivities at the “Taste of Tasmania”.
If you happen to be cruising north to return home, enjoy the beautiful anchorages and hospitality of the small Tasmanian fishing ports that you didn’t have time to look at on the race south.
The Advanced Notice of Race and Expression of Interest Form can be seen on the DSS website at https://l2h-dssinc.org.au/race-documents/. Those who register their interest early will be sent a race information package and alerted when entries open in the coming weeks.
So the ingredients for the National Pies L2H this year are in the mix. Just add your boat, crew, water and look forward to a tasty experience. Mal will be there for his ninth.
See you there!