Paul Buchholz’s Cookson 50 Extasea is on the right track to win the line award and break the 22-year race record in Melbourne to Devonport Regatta.
Extasea reached the front just 1,600 meters before the race, which began in Portsea on Sunday morning and was the first yacht to turn south through the Port Phillip Heads.
Extasea was traveling at over 10 knots and took a formidable lead in less than an hour. Then she increased her speed to 15 knots.
The race record of 19 hours 32 minutes and 56 seconds was set by Prowler in 1998, but Extasea managed to beat that mark by hours.
If the west winds keep building, Extasea should claim line hours shortly after the first light on Monday morning.
Extasea made an easy return to the pack during the day and at 3 p.m. AEDT Lord Jiminy and RMS were in second and third place, with the three boats less than five nautical miles apart.
Blue Water Tracks, owned by ORCV Commodore Grant Dunoon, continued out to sea to pick up the west early and have a better angle of attack.
Favorites for the Rudder Cup, Australia’s oldest ocean racing trophy presented to the AMS handicap category winner, are not expected to be announced until early Monday morning, but RMS was leading at 3pm.
The Melbourne to Devonport cruise is the only interstate yacht race on the Christmas sailing calendar after this year’s Sydney to Hobart was canceled due to the coronavirus cluster on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Melbourne, Devonport, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Yacht, Line honors
World news – AU – Extasea sets record speed at the Melbourne-Devonport race
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