Maria Island Race - The provisional winner named

Malcolm Cooper’s 30-footer Kaiulani.
Peter Campbell
At the Maria Island Race, the oldest and equal smallest yacht in the fleet, Malcolm Cooper’s 30-footer Kaiulani, last night was named provisional winner of all three handicap divisions in the 200 nautical mile, the slowest race in decades.

Last boat to finish, Kaiulani crossed the line off Battery Point’s Castray Esplanade at 6.17pm last evening, almost two days since starting with 11 other boats on Friday evening.

The Fork in the Road, Gary Smith’s Bakewell-White 52, finally emerged from the ruck to win line honours at 2:00pm yesterday, taking 43 hours to sail the course. Most of the fleet was becalmed for several hours early yesterday between Tasman Island and Cape Raoul.

The smaller boats in the fleet dominated corrected time results in the AMS, IRC and PHS scoring divisions, due to the long time taken for the race and from picking up a freshening sea breeze to give them a fast spinnaker run up the Derwent to the finish.

Kaiulani is a Snook 30, Tasmanian designed and built to the old Half Ton rule 33 years ago. Cooper’s tactics in the light winds over the weekend kept the little yacht within striking distance of the bigger and faster boats.

In the PHS division, Kaiulani’s long handicap gave her a win margin of three-and-a-half hours from Stewart Geeves’ Young 88, Footloose, third place going to Ian Marshall’s Farr 1104 Hot Prospect.

Kaiulani’s winning margin under AMS, to be Overall winner of the TasPorts Maria Island Race, was only five-and-a-half minutes, with Footloose second and Pyxis, Chris Hadrill’s Northshore 38, third.

Kaiulani’s surprise hat-trick came with victory on corrected time under the international IRC rule, beating two of the bigger boats, Tony Williams’ Sydney Hobart entrant Martela, an IMX38, and David Rees’ successful Dovell 35 Whistler.

Two yachts retired from the 200 nautical mile race, Michael Crew’s 62ft luxury cruising yacht Magic Miles turning back before reaching Maria Island, and Ian Gannon’s 30-footer forced to put into Nubeena to transfer an injured crewman to a waiting ambulance.

With the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania conducting its 66th Maria Island Race, Bellerive Yacht race a short distance race, the Galapagos Duck Trophy race around Betsy Island.

Black Magic (Graham Mansfield) won Division one, Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe) Division two and Sundance (Don Bailey) Division three.

On Risdon Brook Dam over the weekend won the Tasmanian one metre class radio controlled yacht championships, her tactics giving her victory form five times champion Michael Hickman, third place going to ocean racing yachtsman Rod Jackman.