State’s best eye Island
TASMANIA’S best racing yachts are gearing up for the Maria Island race next week with Sydney-Hobart competitors Oskana and Midnight Rambler and Launceston to Hobart champion Fork in the Road leading the entries.
The 180-nautical mile race is a major shakedown and qualifying event ahead of the Sydney to Hobart and Melbourne to Hobart races.
It will be the race debut of new kid on the block, Midnight Rambler, whose owner Ed Psaltis — winner of the 1998 Sydney-Hobart — relocated to Hobart earlier this year.
It will also be the debut of John Dryden’s new acquisition, the Bakewell-White 39, Jazz Player, which has done the Sydney-Hobart and Melbourne to Osaka twohanded races.
Ahead of the Maria race, the host club Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania will conduct race three of the combined clubs pennant series on the Derwent today.
The race will be a run from Castray to a mark near the Iron Pot and return.
“All the big names are entered and the forecast is for moderate wind from the west so it will be challenging for the crews,” said RYCT sailing manager Nick Hutton.
Meanwhile, entries for the 2019 Launceston-Hobart closed yesterday with Fork in the Road committing to this year’s race but last year’s line honours runner-up Tilt a notable absentee.
A fleet of 21 yachts has been entered.
Peter Watson, of the host club Derwent Sailing Squadron, said it was not too late to enter.