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FRESH WINDS FAVOUR BIG BOATS.

by Ian Grant on 28 Dec 2000
A tough windward slog across the notoriously rugged waters of Bass Strait overnight has favoured the big yachts to win the highly competitive IRC class Telstra Sydney-Hobart race trophy.

Ludde Ingvall’s Nicorette sailed by a crew who have attained success in America’s Cup and Whitbread globe racing marathons narrowly edged clear this morning.

As expected the steep seas and the pounding motion associated with the very cold wet and uncomfortable sail across Bass Strait favoured the larger yachts.

Ingvall’s helming team kept the average boat speed in the low 11 knot range which allowed her to take the overall IRC class corrected handicap time lead early today.

Her high handicap correction factor of 1.600 still gave skipper Ingvall a marginal advantage over Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing and the Hong Kong registered Volvo 60 Assa Abloy skippered by Richard Brisius.

Moderate to fresh winds and rough seas are expected to favour the maxi’s to not only continue with their line honours duel but also win the major trophies on corrected handicaps.

On the fleet positions reported earlier to day Nicorette held the upper hand in terms of logging the fastest corrected handicap average of 7-03 knots while Wild Thing recorded 6.9knots to lead Assa Abloy 6.25 knots.

The rugged ‘hobby horse’ type sail across the open waters of Bass Strait allowed the big yachts to outsail yesterdays outright leader the Cole 43 Polaris Of Belmont skippered by race veteran John Quinn .

Polaris Of Belmont led the divison 2 class narrowly from the English Swan 46 Aera and the smaller Sydney 10m sloop Impeccable steered by 78 year old John Walker.

However these places could change with Impeccable which still had 384 miles to sail this morning may just blow home with a favourable reaching wind which has been forecast to replace the headwinds late tomorrow.

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