Another Chapter wins slow dance in Melbourne to King Island Race
Another Chapter, Neil Sargeant’s Beneteau 44.7, has won the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s slow and fluctuating Melbourne to King Island Yacht Race, while Paul Buchholz’s Extasea took line honours.
Sargeant can breathe easy now after an extremely close race between the top three overall, decided under AMS. Just 11 seconds decided the winner from Scarlet Runner (Rob Date) and Solera (Stuart Richardson), which placed second and third respectively.
Sargeant, who was surprised when told Another Chapter had won, gave a good synopsis of the 114 nautical mile race that started off Queenscliff at 5pm on Friday, “The worst of it was bobbing up and down going nowhere – and backwards – for eight hours,” he said.
“The best part was coming into Grassy (where the race finishes) on the wind in a nice breeze. The crew was on the rail, we were fully powered up and going like a dream. We finished while it was still daylight (at 7.12pm).”
Paul Buchholz from Royal Geelong Yacht Club got an early jump with his Cookson 50. Extasea increased her lead in the weak and capricious conditions to take line honours at 1.26pm on Saturday. Rob Date’s Scarlet Runner was next, at 4.14pm. Charles Meredith’s multihull, Peccadillo, was next.
Extasea’s result means Primitive Cool’s (John Newbold) now 10-year-old race record of nine hours 50 minutes 21seconds stays intact for yet another year.
“It was a bit slow and painful. We did a couple of 360s and spent an hour and a half going round in circles,” confessed Buchholz, who also won IRC and ORC overall.
“It was fine when we left the Heads, but at 10pm it started to fizz out. By 2am it was all over the place. We just kept going south in the easterly and it paid off for us, because a south-westerly breeze came in. When I say ‘came in’, it was only 3 to 4 knots.”
If you followed the Blue Water Tracks race tracker, the tracks of the yachts were a mass of contradictions, loop the loops, backwards, sideways and sometimes forward were part and parcel of this frustratingly difficult race.
These conditions explain why Extasea sailed 175 nautical miles to complete the 114 nautical mile course with an average speed of 3.8 knots! The rest of the fleet had similar and even more extreme times.
The breeze finally reached some of the fleet before midday on Saturday and at least it was a beautiful sunny day in Bass Strait – and it’s not often you can say that!
Michael Culhane’s Northshore 38, Weekend Option, brought the race to a close, crossing the line at 2:37am this morning.
The King Island Race started off Queenscliff at 5pm on Friday. At the end of the difficult race, competitors received manna from heaven – sirloin steak sandwiches with the various winners also on the receiving end of prizes that comprised of crayfish and King Island cheeses. Way to go!