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Line Honours in Port Lincoln Race to Ausmaid

by Peter Campbell on 3 Mar 2001

Adelaide yachtsman Kevan Pearce this morning skippered his Farr 47, Ausmaid, to a close line honours win in the Quin's Blue Water Classic ocean race from Adelaide to Port Lincoln.

Ausmaid, overall IMS winner of the 2000 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race last December, swept across the finish line off the South Australian fishing port under spinnaker just before 0719 hours this morning.

She averaged just under 10 knots for the new course of 161 nautical miles, with the fleet of 96 boats enjoying off-the-wind sailing in a brisk south-easterly breeze from soon after the start yesterday afternoon.

The course took the big fleet south down the Gulf of St Vincent, through the Investigator Strait and across Spencer Gulf, waters charted meticulously by the famous navigator/explorer Matthew Flinders around two centuries ago.

Ausmaid's elapsed time of 16 hours 18 minutes 59 seconds is a new record, as the 2001 race started from North Haven with the fleet sailing along the Adelaide beaches to a mark off Henley Pier before turning seaward down the Gulf of St Vincent.

The Victorian maxi yacht Wild Thing held the previous record time of 15 hours 01 minute, with the race then starting from Port Adelaide and over a 170 nautical mile course.

Ausmaid finished just under 14 minutes in front of the Davidson 50, Prime Example, skippered by Graham Williams, with only minutes back to David Urry's Farr 40 One Design, War Games.

Race officials at Port Lincoln Yacht Club expect most of the Racing Division yachts to finish by lunchtime today, with the slower Cruising Division boats coming in during the afternoon and early evening.

Although owned in Adelaide, this is Ausmaid's first race in South Australian waters, with owner Pearce normally keeping the yacht at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney.

Ausmaid will return to the CYCA for the Forrester Properties Sydney - Mooloolaba Race starting April 7 which is also the final race of the CYCA's prestigious Blue Water Championship, with the Farr 47 currently heading the pointscore.

Handicap results are not expected to be announced until this evening, but if Ausmaid wins she will become only the third South Australian-owned yacht to have won both the Sydney to Hobart Race and the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race, two of Australia's oldest ocean races.

The first Sydney to Hobart was sailed in 1945, the first race to Port Lincoln in 1950. The only SA-owned yachts to have won a Sydney to Hobart are Nerida and Ingrid, in the early 1950s when they also both won early races to Port Lincoln.

Further information: Peter Campbell - 0419 385 028 or
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