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Combined Clubs Long Race Series - Race 3 overall    
Sun, 8 Dec 2013

The Combined Clubs Long Race Series third race was held on Saturday on the Derwent and Storm Bay. Sydney Hobart entrant Martela and Launceston to Hobart entries Black Magic, Footloose and Masquerade sailed impressively in their last lead-up races to the two long ocean races.

However, in overall AMS and IRC scoring corrected times they were overshadowed by the virtually unbeatable Invincible, Harold Clark’s Farr 1104 from Bellerive Yacht Club which does not race offshore.

The moderate, light at times, southerly breeze favoured to the smaller boats, sailing home under spinnaker in a freshening sea breeze. The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania sent Group A boats on a 32 nautical mile course around Little Betsey Island, across to Yellow Bluff and return, with the other groups sailing shorter courses.

Tony Harman’s IMX38 Martela is regarded as Tasmania’s best chance for a division win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and for Harman and his crew today was the finalè of an extensive race preparation for the bluewater classic.

In yesterday’s race, Invincible won both the AMS and IRC handicap divisions, winning AMS from the Mumm 30 Cleopatra (Matthew Denholm) and Martela, and taking out IRC from Martela and Pisces (David Taylor). Masquerade, sporting a new spinnaker, placed a close fourth in AMS.

Black Magic, Graham Mansfield’s Dubois 40, wound up her preparation for her fifth National Launceston to Hobart Race, with a comfortable Group A PHS division win from Moonshine (Bruce Palmer) and line honours winner, the little trimaran Rocket Alice (David Graney).

Stewart Geeves and Kaye Roberts’ Young 88 Footloose also had a good lead-up to the Launceston to Hobart, winning Group B AMS division from another L2H entrant, Twitch (Clive Anning) and Moonshadow (Anthony Ellis). Under PHS scoring, Footloose placed third to Just in Time (Mick Sheehan) and Harmony (Russ Middleton).

In Group C, Peter Alcock’s Mottle 33 Kindred Spirit scored her second win of the summer, winning today from Epoxy Warrior (Ross Mannering) and N-Yacht (Phil and Glenn Wilkinson).

Today’s race was the third of six races making up the Combined Clubs’ Long Race Series for the summer season.

In Group A, Black Magic and Cleopatra equal on 15 points in Group A, PHS, with Martela on 13.5 points. Invincible heads Group A, AMS, just one point ahead of Cleopatra with Martela a close third. In Group A, IRC, Invinble has a one point lead from Martela, another point to Pisces.

Footloose heads both the PHS and AMS pointscore in Group B. In PHS the Young 88 has a four point lead from Storm Dragon (Tom Pilkington) and Twitch (Clive Anning). In AMS, Footloose has a big margin over Twitch and True Colours (Rob Nalder).

In Group C, Kindred Spirit has a one point margin from N-Yacht, with Epoxy Warrior another point back.

The next Combined Clubs Long Race is scheduled for Saturday, January 18.

by Peter Campbell

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