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SAP Ausmaid heads Overall handicap as 22 boats finish

by Peter Campbell on 30 Dec 2000
The South Australian-owned SAP Ausmaid still heads the Overall IMS provisional handicap standings for the 2000 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race with 22 boats finished and 38 still at sea at 1730 hours today.

SAP Ausmaid, a Farr 47 owned and skippered by Kevan Pearce, a member of the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, crossed the line late last night in eighth place.

Her sailing master is the widely experienced Roger Hickman, a Rear Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, competing in his 24th Sydney to Hobart Race.

Based on positions radioed in from the fleet at 2.05pm today, and the elapsed times of yacht that have finished, SAP Ausmaid is provisionally in first place ahead of the Nelson/Marek 46, Quest, chartered by British yachtsman Chris Bull.

Holding third place is Yendys, Geoff Ross' Farr 49, the Overall winner of the 1999 race, both Quest and Yendys finishing in the early hours of this morning.

Projected provisional IMS results indicate that the only yacht still racing with a chance of beating the three top placegetters is the low-handicapped veteran British cruising boat Sunstone, jointly owned and skippered by husband and wife, Tom and Vicky Jackson.

To beat Ausmaid she would need to finish before 2340 hours tonight, but at the 2.05pm 'sked' the Sparkman & Stephens 38-footer was still 100 miles from the finish, battling 20 to 30 knot southerly headwinds.

The Overall results will be officially announced at Constitution Dock tomorrow at 11am when the Tattersalls Cup and the Tattersalls medallions are presented to the winner skipper and his crew.

Speaking after finishing last night, SAP Ausmaid's sailing master, Roger Hickman said the yacht had been 'hard on the wind from Montagu Island to the finish.'

Hickman reported the worst time for the crew on board SAP Ausmaid was off St Helens when a cold front, gusting to 55 knots, had hit the boat. Conditions had also been tough off Cape Raoul.

'The boat was absolutely perfect, the crew excellent,' added Hickman who said they had already signed on for the 2001 race, which will be his 25th.

Yachts to finish during today, up to 1730 hours, are: Yendys, Quest, Ragamuffin, Loki, Cruise Control, Ninety Seven, Eureka, Doctor Who, Terra Firma, Interum, Aera, Kaos, Sorbent Helsal II and Summit Bacardi.

Strong to near galeforce south-westerly winds are still blowing off the East Coast of Tasmania as the remaining 38 boats battle their way to Tasman Island and up the Derwent River.

The water-ballasted big boats dominate the IRC overall provisional results with line honours winner Nicorette, the Swedish maxi skippered by Ludde Ingvall, heading the leader board from the Volvo Ocean 60s, illbruck (John Kostecki) from Germany and TYCO (Kevin Shoebridge) from Bermuda.

However, the Sydney based Swan 48, Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) heads IRC Division 2 in a close battle with John Quinn's Polaris of Belmont and the Victorian yacht Summit Bacardi (Graham Ainslie and John Williams).

The PHS division won't be decided until at least New Year's Day, with three boats in the running - Delta Wing (Bill Koppe), Cruz Control (Maynard Smith) and Berrimilla (Alex Whitworth).


Further information:

2000 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Media Centre
03 6234 1015
Peter Campbell 0419 385 028

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