Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Peter Millard and John Honan's 98ft maxi Lahana. Image copyright ROLEX/Daniel Forster.
by Di Pearson
The Queensland super maxi Lahana, owned by Peter Millard and John Honan arrived in Hobart this afternoon, docking just before 5.00pm after finishing the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the eighth yacht to cross the line of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race.
One of the first things principal helmsman Bob Fraser said on stepping ashore was: “We were supposed to have lunch at the Shipwright’s Arms today, but I had to ring and change it to dinner instead.”
Fraser next asked his wife Sue where the scallop pies were. Like the bulk of the fleet, Lahana’s crew thought they would be in Hobart long before they were and accordingly packed enough food for two days for the 27 guys on board – it wasn’t enough and they ran out - reduced to slim pickings in the last 12 hours.
Hobart’s famous scallop pies safely aboard, along with the obligatory few drinks, Fraser, a veteran of 27 Hobart races said it was “an easy but frustrating race.”
It was awful, he said “looking at the Rolex tracker and watching Ludde (Ingvall on YuuZoo) go from 10 nautical miles behind us to 20 in front and beat us over the line by just over three hours.
“They ought to get rid of that tracker,” Fraser said laughing.
Prior to the race start, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Rob Webb told the crews participating in the race that mixed weather conditions would beset the fleet for four days.
“It was very stop-start,” Fraser said. “Coming into Bass Strait we fell into a big hole. Some of the guys in front of us hardened up and went west. We were sort of in between and were pretty much forced to go east. We got through that pretty well,” he added.
“In the last bit near Freycinet (around 111 nautical miles from the finish line in Hobart), we had a jibtop and staysail up and the breeze dropped out, so we put a drifter up and flopped over to port and within 20 minutes we had a really good breeze.
“The breeze dropped off then and we made a mistake and went west and ran out of breeze. It was hard to have a strategy because of the very mixed weather,” said the former sailmaker from Sydney.
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race