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Fine fleet of 26 entered for L2H race

A fine fleet of 26 yachts has entered for this year’s Riversdale Estate Wines Launceston to Hobart race, the 285 nautical mile race along the rugged northern and eastern coastline of Tasmania.

Yachts from southern and northern clubs, and one from Victoria, will contest Tasmania’s longest offshore race, a highly successful venture now its 12th edition.

Three Tasmanian enterprises, the Derwent Sailing Squadron,the Tamar Yacht Club and Riversdale Estate Wines have again joined forces to conduct and promote the event.

The fleet includes several past line and overall handicap winners as well as newcomers to the coastal passage race that starts from Beauty Point on Tuesday, 27 December and finishes off Hobart’s Castray Esplanade.

The fleet size has grown from last year’s, again a quality line-up of many of the State’s most prominent racing yachts.

The L2H 2018 was launched ‘on the lawn’ at the Derwent Sailing Squadron last Sunday, highlighted by the colourful Commodore’s Cup contest in which flag officers from Tasmania’s major yacht clubs raced in Hanse 303 dinghies.

The winners were Commodore Felicity Allison and Vice Commodore Bridget Hutton from Sand Bay Sailing Club.

Heading the Riversdale Estate Wines L2H 2018 fleet is race record-holder The Fork in the Road, Gary Smith’s Bakewell-White 42 which has taken line honours six times since the L2H was inaugurated in 2007, and also won one race overall on corrected time.

Other past overall winners in this year’s fleet are Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36, B&G Advantage, Stewart Geeves’ Young 88 Footloose and Paul Einoder’s Beneteau Oceanis 34, Off-Piste.

Last year’s AMS, IRC and PHS and overall winner, Mako, is not entered but runners-up Prion (AMS), Footloose (PHS) and B&G Advantage(IRC) are lining up again.

Philosopher won the Maria Island Race in November

This year the overall winner of the Launceston to Hobart will be the first placed yacht under IRC scoring, in keeping with the Combined Clubs move to make IRC the premier scoring system for the Summer Pennants,Inshore Championship, Offshore Trophy and major races.

A newcomer to the L2H, with strong potential under IRC and AMS is Shaun Tiedemann’s Philosopher, a Sydney 36cr and three times Australian Yachting IRC champion, which has proven to be a very competitive yachting Hobart and nationally.

Philosopher is contesting the Maria Island race this weekend for the third consecutive year, having been runner-up in that even tunder IRC and AMS in 2016 and 2017, winning PHS in 2017.

Another strong IRC contender in the L2H is the syndicate owned Filepro, a Lyon 40 skippered by Tim Gadsby which previously contested this race as Nextedge in 2015.

Originally named Micropay Cuckoos Nest, Filepro won the1993 Sydney Hobart on corrected time after surviving a gale-force battering in the Tasman Sea.

Filepro is expected to be a strong contender.

A significant aspect of the entry list for this year’s L2H is the number of entries from yacht clubs outside Hobart.

They are Avenger (Peter Marmion) from the Huon YachtClub,  Rad (Brent McKay) from Kettering Yacht Club,  Sagittarius (John and Vonda Hall) from Spring Bay Boat Club at Triabunna, Talofa (Rob Cawthorn) from Kettering Yacht Club, and Whirlwind (Damien Betts) also from Kettering Yacht Club.

The Victorian entry is Saltair, Sarah Allard’s Elan 410 from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, while Northern Tasmanian entries are Lawless, Stephen McElwee’s Green 31 from Port Dalrymple Yacht Club, Sassy, Tim White’s Delphia 37 from Tamar Yacht Club, and a late entry from Force Eleven, Tristian Gourlay’s Adams 12, also from the Tamar Yacht Club.

Gourlay skippered Force Eleven in the Melbourne to Osaka double-handed race earlier this year.

Words: Peter Campbell

10 November 2018

Categories: Media, Race lead-up

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