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Melbourne to Stanley finish line on the horizon    
Sun, 4 Nov 2012

As frontrunner Calm comes to within 15NM of Stanley, the majority of the fleet has passed the halfway mark of the race.

There are eight boats packed within 50 and 60NM of the finish in the middle of the fleet, with three of the Benetau First 40s – Mike Welsh on Wicked, Chris Tucker and the crew of Halcyon and ORCV Commodore Simon Dryden on Dry White – packed together within 5NM of each other, sticking very close to the rhumbline. The last First 40, Bandit, is just behind, battling to stay ahead of Turbulence and Trybooking. Grant Dunoon from Trybooking will be pleased the Bass Strait weather hasn’t thrown up any weather curve balls, and there’s no need for his crew to take on any rescues as they did so commendably during the Port Fairy race.

Heading into Stanley the winds are expected to pick up a bit of speed in comparison to earlier today, tending east to northeasterly between 10 and 15 knots, reaching 20 knots later this evening. This will be good news for the back of the fleet as dark starts to set in and they are keen to get on shore and get well-deserved refreshments.

With any chance of grabbing the record of 14:35:15 from Peter Blake’s Kontrol in 2002 dashed by slow conditions, everyone can now know aim for Sheryl Robson and the team at Smithton Lions Club with provisions ready and waiting to be devoured.

by Stephanie Juleff

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