Melbourne to Osaka Yacht Race - Optimus Prime full speed ahead

Melbourne-Osaka Cup 2013 - Cadibarra and Optimus Prime
Sally Williams
The 2013 Melbourne to Osaka Double Handed Yacht Race is currently under way and in the twelve hours from 2300 yesterday, Optimus Prime, having joined the race after repairing her forestay, has put on the gas, reducing her distance to Osaka by 135 nm. At 1100hrs today she was still 886 miles behind the leader, Escapade who had the next best overnight performance of 73nms. She has broken away from the coast using a 17 knot headwind to get east fast and hopefully find that elusive north flowing current.

The staggered race start gave Escapade one week to create the gap that she has put, between herself and the mid fleet. She has sailed a remarkable race and it will be interesting to see, in the days ahead, how the fleet starts to come together.

After clawing 60nms closer to her goal overnight, the tracker on Turbulence has stopped transmitting. Her position as at 1900hrs was 24 32S 155 12E

At 1500hrs, Spirit of Downunder, currently wearing the IRC crown, is now off the south Queensland coast. At some stage she and Wasabi who is 145nm ahead and hugging Stradbroke island, have to break away and navigate the south flowing current off the coast. Funnel Web has made the leap and joined Cadibarra 8 offshore. They are parallel, about 40 miles apart and heading north-east in what appears to be a very light northerly.

Kiss Goodbye 2 MS is back on the racetrack having left Coffs Harbour after making critical sail repairs to her main. The pole traveller was ripped off the mast in a Bass Strait squall and the pole pierced the bottom of the main. Sailing with one reef in four knots of breeze was not skipper Tony Warren’s usual style.

Samurai Jack is still in Coffs working hard to reinforce their keel-frame which was cracked during the relentless headwinds as the yachts clawed their way north up the coast and Southern Cross discovered serious engine problems when she pulled in to Brisbane to pick up parts for a broken steering cable.

Gusto is approaching Sydney and has reasonable conditions so can hopefully get in to collect and fit her new Tuff Luff in good time.

Melbourne Osaka website