|SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA-(5-11-2006) Victorian yachts entered in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race have dominated IRC handicap results in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s 152 nautical mile race across Bass Strait from Melbourne to Stanley on the north-west coast of Tasmania.
The race started at 1am Saturday from Queenscliff, just inside The Rip at the entrance to Port Phillip, with the last boat crossing the line off Stanley’s famous headland, The Nut, shortly after 7am today.
Winner of the IRC Division, announced by Race Director Angus Fletcher, is Michael Hiatt’s Cookson 50 Living Doll, with second place going to Peter Blake and Kate Mitchell’s Farr 52 Goldfinger, the former Ichi Ban, by a margin of 5 minutes 44 second. Third place went to Rob Hanna’s DK46 Shogun.
All three top placegetters have been nominated for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, along with the next three boats on IRC corrected times – Nautilus Marine Rush (John Paterson), Bacardi (Graeme Ainley and John Williams) and Terra Firma (Nicholas Bartels) which won the Sydney Hobart in 1995.
Goldfinger took line honours last evening with a fast elapsed time of 16 hours 35 minutes 15 seconds and also won the AMS handicap division on corrected time. In the AMS Division second place went to Thorry Gunnersen’s wooden boat Tilting at Windmills, third to Addiction (R. McGarvie and P. Davison).
Another Rolex Sydney Hobart entrant, Laurelle, Ray Borrett’s Farr 42, won the PHD division with Goldfinder second and Addiction third. Laurelle is the first production built Farr 42 by Austral Yachts and is a design tailored to the IRC rating.
In Sydney, another Rolex Sydney Hobart entrant, Stephen Ainsworth’s Reichel/Pugh 60 Loki, scored an impressive IRC win in the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s prestigious Gascoigne Cup short offshore race.
In other Rolex Sydney Hobart news, Geoff Ross’ latest Yendys, a Reichel/Pugh 55, is on its way on a barge down China’s Pearl River Delta to be shipped to Australia. Yendys is the first grand prix yacht to be built in China and is expected to be a strong contender for IRC honours in the Hobart Race.