Full tilt

Mike Pritchard and his Oskana crew are eying up a tilt at the Launceston to Hobart Race, scheduled for 27 December.

Written by Peter Campbell
Photography by Andrea Francolini

22 August 2020


Crack harbour and ocean racing yacht Oskana may contest this year’s Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race (L2H) – if the young family of owner/skipper Mike Pritchard’s can convince him to enter the 280-nautical-mile coastal offshore race.

Oskana, a powerful Cookson 50 and arguably Tasmania’s fastest locally based racing yacht, has been contesting the Combined Clubs Winter Series on the Derwent with Pritchard’s wife Bianca and their children Oliver, Oscar, Stella and Sebastien in the crew.

“We understand that his family are pressuring Mike to do the L2H race so that they can race together in a long offshore race,” Derwent Sailing Squadron (DSS) Vice Commodore Nick Connor said yesterday.

“If Oskana does compete, the race record will definitely be under threat,” Vice Commodore Connor said, adding that the race provided an opportunity for crew under the age of 18 to participate subject to certain criteria.


“Pritchard – noted as a prominent Targa driver and a successful ocean racing yachtsman – has told the DSS he is considering entering the L2H.

“The Launie is also very well suited to family crews … last year we had six or seven boats raced by families, including the winning yacht from Victoria, Vertigo.”

The Notice of Race for the Launceston to Hobart, which starts from Beauty Point on the Tamar River on 27 December, will be issued within a few weeks.

Vice Commodore Connor emphasised that this year’s race would be conducted subject to any required restrictions by Tasmanian Health Authorities, adding that as things stand, he could see no reason why it would not go ahead.

“We expect a bumper fleet with Tasmanian yachts that may normally contest the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race potentially seeing the Launceston to Hobart as a challenging alternative should that race not proceed. We already have a lot of interest.”

Vice Commodore Connor added, “Unfortunately, we doubt there will be any Victorian entries this year.”

The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria has not made a decision on whether the Melbourne to Hobart race will go ahead and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will make an announcement on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in mid-October.



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