Start of Eastcoaster, Westcoaster and Melbourne to Hobart races

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Sport

Sailing

Date

December 28, 2013

  • (1)


The 27 starters in the initial phase of the Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster and Eastcoaster and the 2013 Melbourne to Launceston race got a clean getaway on Friday afternoon with a breeze from the southwest at 14 knots.

Simply Fun, which crossed the line third in the Boxing Day Dash, sailed to the front of the fleet. Many other boats used spinnakers but struggled to hold them up due to the wind direction. After the first turn Simply Fun was still in the lead, followed by Shamrock and Spirit of Downunder was battling it out with Gusto for third.

Gusto, which holds the Boxing Day Dash record, was unable to put up its spinnaker as skipper Brian Pattinson is sailing the race two-handed. Pattinson said soon after the start: ”We still got a good start and while both of our hands are full there is no trouble for us yet.

”The conditions are now looking good for us.”

Pattinson is sailing in the Melbourne to Launceston race and will escape the heavy wind conditions set to affect the west-coast boats.

The nine boats in the Hobart Westcoaster will be sailing into heavy weather on Saturday due to a deep low heading across from Adelaide which is expected to bring gale-force winds.

Shamrock was a late withdrawal from the Westcoaster due to the rough sail ahead. Eight boats, now including Shamrock, will be sailing in the Melbourne to Launceston race and the other 10 boats will be sailing in the Hobart Eastcoaster.

 


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