Hot finish

The leaders of the Melbourne to Osaka Race are fast approaching Japan with Morning Star less than 800 nautical miles from the finish.

17 April 2018


With days to go in the Melbourne Osaka Cup, the double handed yacht race held every four years, Joanna Breen and Peter Brooks on Morning Star are in the lead. Morning Star have passed through the Northern Mariana Islands near Guam.

Less than 400 nautical miles behind them are Chinese Whisper. The team of Rupert Henry and Greg O’Shea have improved their position on the home stretch, setting up an intriguing finish.

For the last couple of days the fleet has been enjoying 10 knots of breeze, and are making good progress north.

300 nautical miles behind Chinese whisper and chasing hard is Allegro. They are across the equator and into the North East trade winds.

Bortolome are sitting in fourth. Since starting their journey on 19 March, race officials haven’t heard much from Kei and Masa on Bartolome. They have recently provided updates, including their run in with an inverter fire.


“On opening the electrical switchboard I could see that smoke was coming from the inverter that’s connected to the hydro-generator. This was our main source of power generation on board and has left us in a tough situation. She was working hard continually without complaining but moaning through the tough condition until now but finally she fell into an eternal sleep.

“On checking further I discovered that the inverter has been wrenched from the pedestal.

I guess we should consider ourselves fortunate that this smouldering didn’t turn into a fire!”

With the threat of cyclones gone, the rest of the fleet now has to contend with the doldrums and insufferable 30 plus temperature.

Tristan Gourlay and Jamie Cooper are at the back of the pack on Force 11. They reported from off the coast of Papua New Guinea. “Very hot up here and have made a shade sail out of a small tarp, a sarong out of an Australian flag and wearing my sombrero to battle the sun. We see lightning every night and our little 12v fan is getting a workout. The wind has been light and will be for a few more days.”

Utopia 2001 has deviated from their course and, after consulting the race’s medical staff, has diverted to Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands. There are medical concerns for co-skipper Steve Evans, and he is receiving medical treatment.

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