Assa Abloy takes Hobart finish

Neal McDonald first home in close finish

Saturday December 29th 2001, Author: Peter Bentley, Location: United Kingdom
Assa Abloy, a magnificent sight sailing at nearly 10 knots, appeared to open up a gap over Nicorette midway through the 11 nautical mile race from the Iron Pot to the finish.

Assa Abloy now has three and a half hours to undertake media interviews, accept trophies and return to the mouth of the Derwent River to resume the third leg race to Auckland, NZ.

Behind the battle for handicap prizes continues. With variable winds in Bass Strait it could be up to three more days before the small boats are all in but with winds falling, the prospect of a small-boat victory looks remote.

In the IRC division, computer predictions are showing Lodka Bols, the Polish Maxi as a likely winner. The Frers-designed 80-footer was built in 1988 for the 1989-90 Whitbread Race, competing in that event and the next round the world race as Martela. She is competing in the Hobart race with a mixed crew of professionals and amateurs, including 13 chosen by lottery in Poland.

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