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Alive smashes record: Tasmanian yacht Alive, previously Black Jack, has smashed the course record in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria's Melbourne to Vanuatu ocean race.


Tasmanian yacht Alipe has smashed the race record for the 1885 nautical mile ocean race across the South Pacific from Melbourne to Vanuatu, reaching Port Vila in just under six days.

Owned by Phillip Turner and skippered by Duncan Hine, both members of Hobart's Derwent Sailing Squadron, Alive crossed the finish line off Port Vila at io:?aam (Australian Eastern Time), giving the Reichel/Pugh 66 an elapsed time of 5 days 23 hours 53 minutes and 45 seconds.

The powerful Reichel/Pugh 66, previously owned in Queensland and called Black Jack, slashed the record of 7 days 17 hours 06 minutes and 00 seconds set by the Sydney yacht Andrew Short Marine, a Volvo 60, in the inaugural Melbourne to Vanuatu race in 3006.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race contender enjoyed fast spinnaker running conditions since the start from Portsea, just inside Port Phillip Heads, at 10.30 am on Monday, June 30, a start that had been delayed for 25 hours by gale force westerly winds. Strong winds and 'messy seas' caused two retirements from the small fleet, the first in Bass Strait and the second in mid-Tasman Sea.

Alive averaged more than 15 knots for most of the voyage, enjoying strong running winds for most of the race, only slowing down when she had to tack into Port Vila Harbour.

Alive blitzed the fleet all the way and when she finished, the Tasmanian yacht was 750 nm ahead of the next yacht, Matthew Lawrence's Bakewell-White Z39 Jazz Player-TPF from the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron.

Another Victorian yacht, Cartouche, Steven Fahey's Benita First 50 from Royal Brighton Yacht Club was more than 125 miles further astern. As we went to press the rest of the small fleet was still at sea.

In addition to owner Turner and skipper Hine, Tasmanians in the crew of 13 were Simon Desmarchelier, Simon Webster and Stewart Gray, with other crew members from Queensland.

Alive has been unbeaten in offshore races since Turner, a Tasmanian businessman based in Thailand, bought the yacht earlier this year, including winning all handicap honours in the Brisbane to Gladstone Race at Easter.

Turner has sights on winning this year's 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race with Alive, with the yacht's next long race being the Brisbane to Keppel Race, followed by Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August.

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Title Annotation:RACE & REGATTA ROUND- UP
Author:Campbell, Peter
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Geographic Code:8VANU
Date:Aug 1, 2014
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