Two yachts have cross today the finish line: the first one was the 45.93 ft. yacht Alex - Team MacAdie followed by Cocorin Interland.
Melbourne father and son duo Jock and Hamish MacAdie have sailed their Jones/Hart 45.93 ft. yacht Alex - Team MacAdie to a line honours win in the 5,500 nautical mile Melbourne Osaka double handed yacht race this morning, April 27, finishing in the elapsed time of 32 days 18 hours 12 minutes 02 seconds.
Contesting their first ever Melbourne Osaka, the two might not have broken the race record of just under 27 days set by Grant Wharington in 1995, but they did steal race from under the nose of the Japanese 52.49 ft. schooner, COCORIN interland, taking the lead in the final stages of the race, shortly before 8.00pm (AEST) last evening.
It is a remarkable achievement for the MacAdies who extended their lead bit by bit through a long and arduous sail last night and this morning, the last 75 miles taking nearly 24 hours to complete.
Their win is even more notable, as a broken boom forced the 55 year old and his 22 year old son to head into Bundaberg in Queensland on the afternoon of April 2 for repairs. They returned to the race in the early hours of April 4.
“I thought it was over when we broke the boom. The repair was rough, but it did the job,” Jock, who steered Alex to the finish line, said this morning.
“Little by little we clawed our way back into the race. Luckily, we got a fairly good run through the doldrums. We had two days of no wind and after that we chased every storm cloud".
The Melburnian admitted: “Like all races, this one had its good points and its bad. We tried to make the best of every current and every bit of wind. We made a mistake early on in the race, went to far south, but we worked hard to get back into it."
“Coming into Osaka in the dark very early this morning, the traffic was extraordinary. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s absolute chaos – little ships, big ships, ferries, fishing boats – it was like lit up ants everywhere".
“At one stage Hamish was steering and got squeezed between three ships. Then I took the helm and thought ‘we’re going to be killed before we reach the finish line. It’s the most dangerous finish to a yacht race I’ve ever seen!”
COCORIN interland is the second yacht to cross the 2007 Melbourne Osaka yacht race finish line today, following a drawn out battle overnight and this morning with line honours winner, Alex.
COCORIN finished the race with the elapsed time of 33 days 01 hours 51 minutes 22 seconds.
On coming ashore, co-skipper John Bankart said: “Alex sneaked up on us in light airs. It’s a better boat for light wind sailing."
“When we came up into the bay last night, our main halyard broke and the main fell down. It happened between 9.00pm and 10.00pm last night, too dark to sort anything out, so we had to wait till this morning to fix it".
“Once we fixed it, a high pressure system came through the bay and it was like glass; hardly a breath of wind. It was so still we were ghosting along doing only a quarter and half a knot of wind at best. It took forever to sail that last seven miles."
It appears the last part of the race, the bay leading to the Osaka finish line is the most difficult part of the race, as those who have not competed before are yet to find. To fight the strong current, get around into the bay and then negotiate the many ships, ferries and fishing boats is hazardous.
The following teams are (according to the ranking on April 27 at 10:00 UTC): Gusto at 50.4 Miles from finish, RYU-JIN-FGI at 308.8 Miles, Tamagomalu at 361.1 Miles, Dekadence at 363 miles, Hullabaloo at 673.6 miles, Southern Light at 675.9 miles, Asadori at 677.5 Miles, Ingenue at 993.2 Miles, Wild Boar at 999.2 Miles, Esoterica at 1,176.6 miles.