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Fremantle to Exmouth Ocean Race - Indian sets the pace

by Bernie Kaaks 9 May 16:20 BST 8 May 2021
Fremantle to Exmouth Ocean Race start © Mark Loader

Barrelling along in fresh south-south-westerly winds today in the shadows of the infamous Zuytdorp Cliffs, Indian and Enterprise NG continue to battle it out at the head of the fleet.

At 4:00pm today, Indian was sailing at nearly 19 knots (36kph) with 377 nautical miles left to travel. Enterprise NG is sailing at similar speeds and is now about six nautical miles behind the race leader, so is still well in contention.

Paul Schapper's big Bowman ketch Toroa IV is next and is the first of the Rally fleet, followed by Bravehearts close behind.

Mark Nagle's Weapon of Choice, designed to excel in hard running conditions, is relishing the breeze and is the "best of the rest". Much interest centres on the medium sized yachts in the fleet, which are well matched and have been close in most races this season. John Rayner's Al Fresco, another noted downwind flyer, is leading Checkmate, Giddy Up, Lithium and Obsession, all close between Kalbarri and Port Gregory.

Not only will they be close at the finish, they will also be vying for handicap positions. At this stage, Enterprise is ahead in the IRC standings, not just in Division 1 but also the overall. The double handed entry Kraken, sailed by Todd Giraudo and David White, leads IRC in division 2, but with 473 nautical miles to go, results are still wide open. This is virtually the halfway mark for the majority of yachts in the event.

The first arrivals should cross the Exmouth finish line some time on Monday night.

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