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Last Week Saw the Finish of the 2014 Darwin to Ambon race,
Congratulations to John Mulkearns and his team on Game Set for the overall win, and also to Doc Wardill and the team aboard Australian Maid for the 2nd overall, both using a number of Evolution Sails.
Attached is a short report from Game Set,
beautiful day as usual in the Darwin Dry Season, but only 3-7 knots of breeze with slight outgoing tide pretty even start from the IRC boats with Antipodes (Hong Kong), 72 footer, winning the start at the boat end (wharf end) and Australian Maid (Cassidy 55) Even Karma (Sydney 39) and Gameset (Bavaria 38 Match) at the pin. The breeze was very light and the boats only just made the end of the wharf tight reaching to turn right to the harbour proper with antipodes leading the way. Reaching out of the Harbour with the Codey up, Gameset was at the rear, but soon was 2nd to antipodes by West Point. Trying to keep left looked the way to go, but, as it happens when you put all your eggs in one basket, the wind was better on the right, and Gameset soon found itself at the rear again in about 3-5 knots of breeze. Pretty slow going out of the Harbour with a 5-7 knot breeze coming from the North East, this lasted most of the afternoon. The plan was to be right of the rhumb line by evening at Fourcroy , which is the western most point of Bathurst Island, to take advantage of the angle created by the expected South wester. So here we were coming last, but right of everyone else, with a slightly batter breeze and not looking too bad. the sun set, the wind died and went behind, so we all had kites up looking for breeze. Some radio chatter with antipodes and even karma having some issues with a survey boat not willing to give way!!! Fancy that!! the miracle happened, the south wester came in, only about 7-10 knots, but up went the codey, and we hit Fourcroy at about midnight, flat out doing about 8 knots. We thought we might have had Even Karma, but it wasnt until that morning that Australian Maid passed us, which was a very pleasant surprise for us. Im not sure Doc Wardill enjoyed the moment tho!!! so the day went, with a slow increase in wind strength to about 16 knots at the most, apparent about 100 with the blue assa up, we were in our perfect breeze and kept the Maid in sight for most of the day. Antipodes was long gone, and Even Karma behind us somewhere Pretty nice sailin this race, after fourcroy we had 15-28 knots, mainly behind the beam, so our head sails varied between the Codey, the big white square kite and the big blue assa. At one stage we did have the A3 up in about 20 knots for a bit of height. as it turns out we won the thing on Handicap after, who knows how many gear changes. The crew are competitive bastards and love changing gears!!!....thanks to those big headsails!!!! Antipodes finshed about midnight monday night, (beating the old Mono record) the Maid at about 1045, Gameset about 1530 and Even Karma about an hour later What a race!