Melges Asia Pacific Update
12 January 2011
Outstanding result, Greg Prescott’s (Enzo) Melges 32 2 Unlimited has taken first place in the AMS Division, second in Line honours, second in PHS and second IRC in the 2010 L2H (Launceston to Hobart) Ocean Race. The L2H is a 285 nautical mile yacht race across Eastern Bass Straight and down Tasmania’s East Coast. The race started on Monday 27th December at 3pm and 2 Unlimited crossed the finish line 24 minutes after the lead boat Mr Kite at 8.27am on Wednesday the 29th December.
Greg decided on Christmas day after checking conditions to go ahead and compete in the Ocean Race. To the amazement of press and other competitors he towed the boat up the Midland Highway to Launceston, stepped the mast, and launched the boat and two hours after arriving was out practicing spinnaker runs with his crew on the Tamar River.
Greg’s game plan had been that with strong headwinds predicted and rough seas on the first night he would ease the boat through the notorious Banks Straight, then open it up for the race down the coast. The plan paid off although challenging variations in wind strength from 0-28 knots and tight competition with Mr Kite (40 foot, canting keel yacht) meant a battle right to the finish.
In other Melges AP news since the start of the season in September both the Melges 24’s and Melges 32’s competed in the Melges East Coast Championships in October at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Sydney. Conditions were extremely windy on day one and racing cancelled. The Wilmot brothers shared their International Melges racing experiences and expertise with competitors back at the club. Day two was packed with racing and fierce competition. Changing conditions throughout the day kept race organisers busy and competitors focused on picking the shifts and tactical decisions. Cameron Miles Roger that won the M24 division. The Business Vaughan Stibbard the M32 division.
The Sydney Amateurs Sailing Club held a stand alone Melges 32 event just before Christmas in spectacular summer sailing conditions on Sydney Harbour. Super tight competition made for close tactical racing with Steve Girdis on Funnel Web claiming victory in the event. Girdis had also taken Funnel Web to Hamilton Island Race Week to compete in the PHS Division back in August.
Two Melges 24’s are currently competing in the 2011 National Sports boat Championships at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Strong winds and flooding across parts of South East Queensland have made for testing conditions with several boats retiring. The M24’s are currently holding third and fourth place in the regatta results with racing continuing until the 2nd January.
The 13th and 14th of January Middle Harbour Yacht Club on Sydney Harbour will host the inaugural NSW Melges 24 State Championships. Two new M24 boat owners will be competing Team Avalon AUS 816 and Accru AUS 679 in the event.
Later in January both Melges 24’s and Melges 32’s will head down to compete at Australia’s largest sailing event, Audi Victoria Week in Geelong, 20-26 January.