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Home » ClubNews » Bellerive Yacht Club: past Sydney Hobart winner winters well on the Derwent

Bellerive Yacht Club: past Sydney Hobart winner winters well on the Derwent


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/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1-DSC_0263-642x431.jpg" alt="No, not the starters gun for today's winter series on the Derwent but an ancient cannon on Hobart's Kangaroo Bluff Fort at Bellerive. (Credit Peter Campbell)" />

Bellerive Yacht Club’s Eastern Autobody Winter Series 2014. No, not the starters gun for today's winter series on the Derwent but an ancient cannon on Hobart's Kangaroo Bluff Fort at Bellerive. (Credit Peter Campbell). Credit: Peter Campbell.

This year’s 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will mark 21 years since the Lyons 40 Micropay Cuckoos Nest battled through south-westerly gales to win the IMS overall division on corrected time.

Of the 104 starters only 34 finished the 628 nautical mile course with the 40-footer second yacht to finish as winds of 35-45 knots, gusting over 50 knots, and heavy seas battered the fleet.

Today, on Hobart’s River Derwent the same yacht, now named Nexedge,  led all the way to win Division 1 of Bellerive Yacht Club’s second Eastern Autobody Winter Series race.  The course was just 15 nautical miles, the breeze no more than 10 knots, with just a ripple on the water.

The win by Nexedge underlined the innovative design and stout construction engineered by naval architect David Lyons when she designed the yacht for the late Nigel Holman.

Obviously, boats were made to last those days and the winner of the IOR division that year, Bruce Foye and Roger Hickman’s Farr 43 Solbourne Wild Oats is among the early entries for the 70th Sydney Hobart, again skipper by expat Tasmanian Hickman and sailing these days as Wild Rose.

Since her win in 1993 the Lyons 40 has had a number of name changes, different owners and continued ocean racing success, including sailing in Hobart as Interum before being sold to Melbourne and, last year, brought back here by John Mills and Ian Douglas.

Nexedge today won a close race for line honours in Division 1,  beating David Creese’s Obesssion across the line by just 17 seconds but taking first place on handicap by 1 min 42 seconds from Jeff Cordell’s Host Plus Executive, third to rival Mumm 36 Tas Paints.

In Division 2, Chris Hall’s Pyxis won on handicap from Wildfire (Team Wildfire), which took fastest time, and Just in Time (Mick Sheehan.

Just three seconds separated first and second on corrected time in Division 3,  Kharis (Andrew Dalby) taking the honours from Kama (Don & Rod Cushion), third place going to Piya (Robert Laughlin) with Magnum (Colin Gray) taking fastest time and placing fourth.

Despite a foggy and cold start (7◦ C) as the ‘Bridgewater Jerry’ covered the eastern shore of the Derwent, the skies cleared into a sunny day.

The crews were well rugged up against the chill,  perhaps sparing a thought for the 700 brave Hobartians and tourists who dashed into the Derwent for a skinny dip to mark the end of the Dark Mofo Festival.

By Peter Campbell


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