Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally - Circa’s time to shine

SuperSled Under Sail
Bernie Kaaks
The glamour super maxi Super Sled may be getting most of the attention in the Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally, but the real battle is going on between the mid sized yachts a few hundred miles behind.

While these yachts were slogging through horrendous seas and gale force winds, Super Sled was so far ahead of the weather system that it is doubtful that she even got her decks wet.

Bill Henson’s Fremantle based Circa, a C and C 115, is one of WA’s busiest offshore racers. The yacht rarely misses an event and is regularly placed in the top half of the field. She battled her way through Tuesday and Wednesday’s appalling conditions and this morning is bowling northwards happily at 7 – 8 knots with about 750 nautical miles to go, having clawed her way up to third place on both IRC and PHS handicaps.

Ahead of Circa, the Eldrid/Disley campaign to win this event on handicap is going according to plan, and while they are still travelling well and holding down first place on IRC and second place on PHS, they are only marginally ahead of Brian de Vries’ Steel de Breeze on IRC, which is leading on PHS handicap.

All three of these yachts are well found and well sailed and their battle over the next 700 miles or so will probably determine the event winner.

A quiet spell appeared to put Super Sled out of record contention early last night, but after midnight she has regained her former speed and is still tantalisingly close to record speed.

Odyssey of Fremantle left Geraldton this morning and some of the other four yachts sheltered there are expected to follow her today.

Farther north, Boomerang is now at Denham, all yachts have left Dirk Hartog Island and only one remains at Bernier Island, so most of the rally fleet is back on the ocean. The Longboat has just left Carnarvon, the first of that group to do so, while Dubonnet is about to enter Carnarvon, presumably to collect more supplies.