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Battle of the southern states in 2000 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race

by Peter Campbell on 30 Dec 2000
Victorian yacht, Another Challenge, has taken Overall IMS handicap lead in this year's Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race but final placings will depend upon the arrival time of the South Australian yacht SAP Ausmaid, to provide the benchmark for final calculations.

Skippered by veteran Victorian campaigner, Lou Abrahams in his 37th Hobart race, Another Challenge, a brand new Sydney 38, has performed particularly well over the past 48 hours, staying near the front of its class on handicap at each position report.

SAP Ausmaid, owned by Kevan Pearce with four-time Bluewater Champion Roger Hickman as sailing master, currently poses the biggest big threat to Another Challenge as she strives for a second overall win, having taking honours in the 1996 Sydney to Hobart Race.

The changing weather patterns will continue to affect the Overall placing as the fleet spreads out and then compresses with each front that hits the Telstra Sydney to Hobart fleet, making an early prediction for an IMS handicap winner impossible.

The Sparkman and Stephens 38 from the UK, Sunstone, skippered by owners Tom and Vicky Jackson is currently in third place on IMS Overall handicap and has consistently appeared in the top five placings at each position report.

Pittwater yacht Polaris of Belmont (John Quinn) is the current IRC Overall leader followed by Summit of Bacardi (Graham Ainley/John Williams) and the Greek yacht Aera (Nick Lykiardopulo).

In PHS overall placings, Alex Whitworth's tiny Brolga 33 Berrimilla is leading from Delta Wing (William Koppe) and She II (Peter Rogers).

The next yacht due to cross the finish line tonight is Nokia, the last of the five Volvo 60s to finish consecutively. Their ETA is 2130 hours, followed by SAP Ausmaid, due at 2200 hours.

The Volvo 60s are due to start their Hobart to Auckland leg at 10.00am tomorrow, however Roy Heiner, skipper of Assa Abloy, has reported generator, water ballast and Inmarsat-C problems which could mean a delayed start for the four yachts, or starting without the Hong Kong registered V60.

Seven yachts have now finished with another 55 still at sea, the tailenders almost completing their Bass Strait crossing and heading towards the north eastern tip of Tasmania.

The latest retirement is Boomaroo Morse Fans, skippered by John McIntosh, which lost a liferaft overboard at 1900 hours. This brings the total number of retirements to 21.

Further information:
Peter Campbell 0419 385 028
Media Director -- Telstra Sydney to Hobart Media Centre
03 6234 1015

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