Peter Campbell (2010-12-24 00:04:05)
Tasmanian yachtsmen have issued a challenge to visiting mainland yacht owners to contest the nation's southernmost ocean race, the Mewstone, to be sailed out of Hobart to 43 degrees south on 21 January 2011. [go back...]
Local yachts already entered include David Creese's Dekadence, Nat Morgan's Hot August Night, Shes the Culprit, to be skippered by Paul Nanscawen, and Whistler, skippered by David Rees.
'We would like to see owners of yachts from Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide leave their boats in Hobart after the races from Sydney and Melbourne at Christmas, then fly back with their crews to contest the Mewstone,' says Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania sailing manager Richard Scarr.
'With the fleet going down the southernmost tip of Tasmania, around a rocky islet first sighted by Abel Tasman some 368 years ago is a challenge for any ocean racing sailor worth his salt.
'We will provide a berth at the RYCT for any owners interested in taking up the challenge of racing down to the Mewstone Rock and back,' offered Scarr, who hopes to compete with his own yacht, Auch.
The Mewstone Race, which will take yachts down to the 'Roaring Forties' along the rugged southern coast of Tasmania, will start on Friday evening, 21 January, so that yachts arrive at the Mewstone in daylight as the rocky islet has no light.
Skippers have the option of deciding whether to sail through the d'Entrecasteaux Channel or on the seaward side of Bruny Island to reach The Mewstone, located at 43.52 degrees South.
The 170 nautical mile race around this rugged outcrop of rock was last held in 1965. The veteran Hobart yacht Natelle II won that year, skippered by John Solomon.
The Mewstone is the second race in the RYCT Three Islands Offshore Championship with the third and final race in the series being Tasmania's oldest long distance race, the offshore/inshore Bruny Island Race, starting on Saturday morning, 12 February 2011.
Notice of Race for the Mewstone will be given to the skippers of each yacht in the Rolex Sydney Hobart and the two Heemskirk Melbourne to Hobart Races when they arrive in Hobart.