Hobart’s yacht racing fleet has a prominent newcomer, 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall winning skipper Ed Psaltis with his Sydney 36, Midnight Rambler.
Psaltis, who has re-located from Sydney to Tasmania, has entered Midnight Rambler in the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s Autumn Short-Handed Series 2019, which starts on the River Derwent on Sunday morning.
The veteran of 37 Sydney Hobarts, Psaltis has recently sailed his boat in the Van Diemen’s Land Circumnavigation Cruise.
His move to live in Tasmania followed the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race with his current Midnight Rambler, with the Sydney 36 placing third in IRC Division 4.
In an ocean racing career dating back to 1971, Psaltis has sailed a number of boats named Midnight Rambler to victory in almost every major offshore race on the Australian east coast. In addition to the tragic 1998 Sydney Hobart, he has won the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race and Sydney Mooloolaba Race (both twice) and the Sydney Gold Coast Race.
On Sunday, he and well-known Hobart sailor Graham McKibben will sail Midnight Rambler a fleet of 35 boats in the Autumn Short-Handed Series, competing in Division 3 (non-spinnaker).
The Short-Handed Series also will see the return to racing of Mike and Michelle’s Bakewell White-designed 39-footer Wild West after missing most of the summer season.
The majority of entries will race two-handed (non-spinnaker), but 15 boats have entered the three spinnaker divisions, including three boats competed three-handed in Division 1: Ian Gordon’s Elan 54, Frontline, David Aplin and Jo Breen’s MBD36, Whistler,and Peter Farley’s Murray/Dovell/Bashford 36, Young Magic.
Prominent Sandy Bay Sailing Club members Felicity Allison (current Commodore) and Jill Abel (Past Commodore) will sail their SB20 sports boat Cook Your Own Dinner in Division 4 (spinnaker) while husband-and-wife crews Peter and Karyn Davis (Jiyuu) are in Division 2 (spinnaker).
Division 1 (non-spinnaker) is shaping up as a very competitive fleet. In addition to Midnight Rambler, the line-up includes David Brett’s Illusion, Mitchael Hutchinson’s Emotional Rescue, Justin Boutchard’s Mem, Mike Denney’s Wild West and Mark Woodward’s Joint Custody.
Division 4 includes four SB20s, with the two-women crew of Cook Your Own Dinner facing competition from Michael Cooper’s Export Roo, Brainwave, skippered by Colleen Darcey and Phil Reid’s Mind Games.
Division 2 (spinnaker) includes Peter and Karyn Davis’ J88, Paul Einoder’s Off-Piste and Steve Harrison’s Temptation from Port Esperance Yacht Club.
The Autumn Short-Handed Series will start off Castray Esplanade from 9.30, with five race days from on Sunday through to 26 May.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Peter Campbell, Peter Watson, CYCA
28 April 2019