Zeus on the verge of Hobart win

Peter Campbell reports on the Hobart handicap situation

Sunday December 29th 2002, Author: Peter Campbell, Location: Australasia
Zeus II, one of the smallest and oldest yachts in the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, is within 25 nautical miles and five hours sailing of winning her second Sydney Hobart race – 21 years apart.

The 30-footer, launched in 1979, at 5am (local time) today was about 25 nautical miles from the finish of the 630 nautical miles and has until 10.08am to oust the state-of-the-art 46-footer, Quest, as Overall IMS winner of the historic Tattersalls Cup.

Zeus II, skippered by Jim Dunstan, sailing in his personal 25th Hobart Race, rounded Tasman Island, 40 nautical miles from Hobart, at 1.50am today and gave her position at the 3am sked as 34 miles from the finish. Skipper Dunstan’s ETA at the finish was 11am.

At 5am, Race Control estimated she was about 25 miles from the finish, but ahead of her is a hard slog up the Derwent River into a moderate northerly breeze and an ebbing tide.

Zeus II’s next waypoint is the Iron Pot, a little rocky islet at the entrance to the River, just over 11 miles from the finish.

Based on the corrected times of finished yachts (now totalling 49 of the 55 boats in the fleet) at the 3am sked, Zeus II heads the IMS division progressive corrected time placings ahead of Bob Steel’s Quest, one of Australia’s most successful IMS racers over the past year.

In third place is the Sydney 38, Another Challenge, skippered by veteran Melbourne yachtsman Lou Abrahams who has now completed his 40th Sydney Hobart Race.

The New Zealand yacht Starlight Express, a Davidson 55 owned and skippered by Stewart Thwaites, is provisionally first placed yachts overall in the IRC Division, heading results from Quest and Another Challenge. Although eligible yachts may enter both the IMS and IRC divisions, Zeus II is only racing under IMS.

In the PHS Division, Delta Wing (Bill Koppe) is still holding first place from Berrimilla (Alex Whitworth) and Kickatinalong (Mike de Berg).

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