The final week of 2017 has been a busy one for many of our competitors in the Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Cup. The big news of course has been the annual races to Hobart from Sydney and Melbourne.
Allegro, Dare Devil, Jazz Player and Mr Lucky started in the Sydney to Hobart, all fully crewed and Sibby brought Dare Devil into Hobart first from this group. Starting on Boxing Day and run in ideal weather, the race was a fast one, with a new race record being set.
The Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster which started from Portsea on December 27th had 10 of our Osaka Cup entries line up for the 435 mile trip. Electra, Force Eleven, Kraken, Lord Jiminy, Maverick, Morning Star, Red Jacket, Spirit of Downunder, Try Booking and Utopia 2001. All but Spirit did the event double handed, some as a qualifying passage but for all it was a great opportunity to check both the boat and themselves for the main event which is now less then three months away.
Unlike the Sydney to Hobart, the weather was a real test for some, especially those at the back of the fleet, with quite strong conditions in the last 24 hours of the race. A number arrived in Hobart with stories of boat speed records and there were repairs to be made for others. This three day event was a great test for all as they line up for the 5,500 mile journey to Osaka in March.
From across the other side of the world, Cheryl and Garry sent the latest news about Ceramco. After having crossed through the Panama Canal and settling at Balboa Yacht Club, a number of weeks have passed while repairs on several items have been completed. Now a departure date of January 12th has been set for the trip across the Pacific to Bundaberg.
Bartolome one of our two entries from Osaka, is well on her way to Australia after having departed Pohnpei on December 27th. They plan to celebrate the New Year right on the equator and expect in Brisbane by mid January.
The second boat from Osaka, Arcadia, still has most of her cruise to Melbourne in front of her. Those of you who have been keeping up with progress on the tracker would have noticed that updates ceased only a couple of days into the journey. Jukka and John have arrived safely in Chichi Jima after having faced some severe weather which left them with sail damage and some problems with their electronics and communications.
The weather for the start of the Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster was great as can be seen in this video clip covering the action at Blairgowrie and Portsea on December 27th.
Three days later they started to arrived in Hobart. Spirit of Downunder came in before the sun came up and well after dark a crowd was still there to cheer Morning Star home. All day, everywhere around the port, there was celebration as Hobart became the centre of action.