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16 April 2001, 11:43 am
Records Smashed
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Australian Three Peaks Race

Rob Chamberlin achieved another remarkable success when he skippered API Mersey Pharmacy, to a record-breaking victory.
API Mersey Pharmacy, owned jointly by Chamberlin and Devonport yachtsman Terry Travers, has now competed in four Three Peaks Races for a win, two seconds and a dismasting, and has crossed the Tasman Sea four times, winning both the TransTasman double-handed and single-handed races.

Chamberlin himself is a veteran of seven Three Peaks Race, having also sailed three times as crew on another of his designs, the trimaran Twisted Sister.

Chamberlin and Travers also sailed the catamaran to Antarctica in January-February 1999, the first multihull yacht ever to sail that far south.

At 6pm Sunday, five yachts had completed the sailing legs and three teams had also finished the Mt Wellington climb, the last of three legs totalling 131 km on Flinders Island, at Coles Bay and in Hobart.

Three teams of runners were still on the mountain tonight and six yachts were still at sea with the tailenders, Camp Quality and Club Marine Team Youth, not expected until tomorrow morning, having sailed through the Denison Canal at Dunalley just after 7pm.

API Mersey Pharmacy's marathon runners Andrew Kromar and Nigel Aylott from Victoria excelled on the final early morning run in darkness to the peak of Mt Welllington, 33km and 1270 metre high above the city of Hobart.

Running this highest mountain leg in 2 hours 41 minutes 53, marathon runners Kromar and Aylott were back at Hobart's dockside by 6.23.35 this morning - just 4 minutes 25 seconds inside the overall Three Peaks record.

Their time was only 14 minutes outside the running record for the Mt Wellington leg, which was set in daylight in the 1995 race.

The new Three Peaks record, for total sailing and running times, is now 2 days 8 minutes 35 seconds as against the previous record of 2 days 16 hours 30 minutes set by the Tasmanian team, Southern Cross News, in 1995.

A lone Scottish piper welcomed the catamaran and its crew as its appeared out of the darkness on a chilly Hobart morning and within minutes the runners had set off on the final mountain leg to the peak of Mt Wellington, towering over the city of Hobart.

Ashore at Constitution Dock, an elated skipper and designer Rob Chamberlin said the catamaran's win in the final sailing leg from Coles Bay on the Tasmanian East Coast to Hobart had largely been due to the rowing process of the crew. "We started from Coles Bay in no wind yesterday and with just a 20 minute lead over our nearest rivals, Southern Cross, but we rowed hard out into Great Oyster Bay, picked up a light breeze, set a spinnaker and opened our lead to two hours," Chamberlin said. "Later we sailed and rowed through the Dunalley Canal, then again at the Iron Pot at the entrance to the Derwent before beating up the river into a light, but cold, northerly breeze."

Describing the Three Peaks Race as "more an event than a race", Chamberlin praised his team, which also included Hobart yachtsman Peter Fletcher. "The runners really excelled themselves on Mt Wellington, climbing up the Zig Zag track in darkness, to break the overall record held by the monohull yacht, Southern Cross News," he added.

Second boat to reach Sullivan's Cove was Southern Cross, the Radford 15m sloop skippered by Nick Edmunds from Sidmouth on the Tamar River, at 9.24.03 am, followed by the Hobart catamaran, Sea to Summit, skippered by Richard Clennett, and Haphazard, Richard Edmunds' Radford 15m, at 1.59.27 pm.

In light and patchy winds in Storm Bay and the Derwent River, it took the another four hours for the fifth boat to finish, the newly launched Jones 40, Tasmanian Craftwoods, crossing at 5.45.48 this evening, the runners setting off for their run in darkness to Mt Wellington.
News Editor / Peter Campbell
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