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29 March 2005, 12:16 pm
Little Catamaran Outpaces Fleet
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17th Hydro Tasmania Three Peaks Race
Tasmania

The little Devonport catamaran Elite Renovations sailed to a stunning victory in the 17th Hydro Tasmania Three Peaks Race, her running team clinching victory with a fast run to the peak of Hobart's Mt Wellington and back to the Hobart waterfront.
The team, sailors Phillip MARSHALL from Devonport, Steve WALKER from Wynyard and Charlie NOLAN from Mt Nelson, and runners Mark GUY from Hobart and Paul McKENZIe from Launceston, had a winning time of three days, three minutes and thirteen seconds.

The Chamberlin designed 9-metre catamaran, led the fleet out of the Tamar River on Good Friday, with the team extending the margin throughout the 335 nautical miles of short-handed sailing around the Tasmanian East Coast and 131 km of endurance running which included total mountain climbs of 2646 metre on the three peaks - Strzelecki, Freycinet and Wellington.

Lack of wind forced the winning crew to row out of Coles Bay on the final sailing leg to Hobart until the approaching southerly hit them.
With strong headwinds and rising seas Marshall elected to sail round Tasman Island, rather than take the shorter route through Denison Canal.

Predicted conditions of 25-30 knot south-westerly winds hit after dark last night and Marshall quickly reduced sail for the beat across Storm Bay.

Mark GUY and Paul McKENZIE, running the race as a team for the third time, began the 33 km run up Mt Wellington after Marshall docked the catamaran in Kings Pier marina at 10.35 on Monday morning.

After a one and a half hour run to the summit of Mt Wellington and back the pair crossed the Mawson Place Pavillion finish line at 13:18, where family, friends and the public had gathered to congratulate the winning team.

Geoff WILLIS, CEO of Hydro Tasmania, presented the five crew members with their medals of participation.

Marshall said; 'Having lost last year to Orana Respite Mersey Pharmacy by only 86 seconds we were determine to go one better this year. The crew trained all year for this, and really put in a great effort; Paul carrying both packs when Mark's legs nearly gave out.'

The Hobart yacht Underwater Video Systems, Jeff CORDELL's Mumm 36, turned in the best performance by a monohull, crossing the finish line at 15:21, followed by the Cruising Division entrant Liberte at 16:45 and the Hobart sloop Jail House Rock at 17:30.

Meanwhile, there was drama at sea with Peter NEWMAN's 40ft catamaran Plan Four becoming stuck in the cutting at the Dunnalley Canal and the West Tamar sloop Haphazard going aground at the entrance to the Narrows, the approach to the Canal.

Haphazard was able to get back into deep water without assistance, with skipper Bruce EDMUNDS then electing to sail the longer route around Tasman Island, while Plan Four reported she was moored at a jetty on the southern side awaiting winds to negotiate the narrow exit channel.

At the 16:03 'sked' with the fleet, Haphazard was at the bottom of Tasman Peninsula, Brunetti four miles from the Iron Pot at the entrance to the Derwent River, City of West Tamar was already in the river, Pippin north of Eaglehawk Neck and other yachts still sailing down the East Coast.

Eliza Grey and Peter Campbell, Image: Race Winners at Cole Bay, © Event Media
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