World News – AU – Extasea in record speed in Melbourne for the Devonport Yacht Race

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Perfect wind conditions over rough seas welcomed the 19 starters in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s “Rudder Cup” Melbourne to the Devonport Yacht Race morning. North winds of 25 to 35 knots made it possible to reach Portsea to Port Phillip Heads quickly with cloudy skies and a risk of rain.

Here the fleet turned south and waited for the forecast of up to 30 knots to the southwest, in order to propel it very quickly to its destination on the north coast of Tasmania.

Paul Buchholz’s Cookson 50 Extasea started in the back of the fleet and enabled a shorthanded entry, RMS, the honor of leading the line. How bizarre and faster forward were close behind.

But the great Cookson didn’t take long to make a name for herself. Extasea, who took a victory at the Cock of the Bay yesterday, took the lead just 1,600 yards to go and was the first to turn south through the Heads. With more than 10 knots, their lead was considerable after less than an hour of racing in the following pack.

The front came through much earlier than predicted and there was a short transition period without wind. Boats that had blown spinnakers out of their heads quickly dropped them and set out on a wet and wild ride.

Extasea immediately began increasing its speed to 15 knots, breaking Prowler’s race record of 19 hours, 32 minutes and 56 seconds set in 1998 – in hours instead of minutes.

Extasea under the leadership of Paul Buchholz will lead the fleet in ORCV Melbourne 2020 for the Devonport Rudder Cup towards Port Phillip Heads. On Sunday the 27th. December, 21 yachts sail from Portsea on the 195 nautical mile dash across Bass Strait to Devonport. Following the cancellation of CYCA’s Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and ORCV’s Melbourne to Hobart, this will be the only interstate yacht race in Australia during the Christmas season.

As the rest of the fleet left Port Phillip, two chases formed. Arcadia was in second place, just ahead of Lord Jiminy. Audere was the third of this group to go further west in search of the wind shift.

To the east, a second package has been headed by RMS, a new Jeanneau 3600 sailed by Barney Cole and Jade Walker, who are hoping to take Australia to the new two-handed offshore mixed event at the 2024 Paris Olympics represented. RMS has been closely followed by Blue Water Tracks, Summer’s Lease, and Soiree Bleu.

Blue Water Tracks, owned by ORCV Commodore Grant Dunoon, went further west than most boats to pick up the west early and have a better angle of attack. Just before 2 p.m., they sent a text update stating that they were in a 25-knot west.

“We have ribbed the head well and the self-adhesive jib has six rotations on the furling so that not much is sailed up at all. Our boat speed is 9 knots and we are pointing directly at Devonport. ”

With tactics and positioning critical in the first 24 hours of the race, favorites for the Rudder Cup, Australia’s oldest ocean racing trophy, are unlikely to show up until tomorrow morning at the earliest. The trophy will be presented to the winner of the AMS Handicap category, which this year includes 17 of the 19 starters. At 3 p.m. AEDT, RMS was the leader, followed by Patriot and Arcadia. RMS had also moved up to third place for Line Honors behind Extasea, who had reverted to the pack a bit in light winds, and Lord Jiminy. The three boats were in sight and less than five nautical miles apart.

If the west winds keep building, Extasea should reach Devonport tomorrow morning shortly after the first light, the rest of the fleet will follow all day and until tomorrow evening.

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Melbourne, Devonport, Racing, Sydney for the Hobart Yacht Race, Line Honors

World news – AU – Extasea at record speed in Melbourne for the Devonport Yacht Race
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