Matthew Short's Shortwave breaks West Coaster record

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 29 Dec 2008 12:44:00
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The Short family’s TP52 Shortwave, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, has smashed the 12 year-old record for the Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster Race by 5 hours 32 minutes and 01 seconds.

The Short family’s TP52 Shortwave, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, has smashed the 12 year-old record for the Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster Race by 5 hours 32 minutes and 01 seconds. 

Shortwave, crewed largely by members of the Short family, including owner/skipper Matt Short’s wife and three daughters,  crossed the finish line in the Derwent River at 5.28am today. 

For skipper Short the race followed in the wake of his father Fred Short,  who competed in West Coaster Races in the early 1970s with his family, including Matt and his brother Andrew, as crew.

"It was sensational," skipper Matt Short said after berthing in Hobart this morning.

"‘We have spent dollars on this boat and it is wonderful to win a prestige race like the (Melbourne) to Hobart.  My daughter Nicki reckons the Melbourne Hobart race is much nicer than the Sydney (to Hobart). 

"It’s much prettier and there is a lot to see.  The girls were impressed with the sheer size of the waves.  We were really hoping to break the record and are pleased to have done it by so much."

Kylie Short, eldest daughter and navigator, is an experienced sailor added, "It’s amazing how many dolphins we saw and seals; I have never seen anything like it.  It is so pretty around the South West Cape and it was great to see Maatsuyker Island."

The South West Cape is notorious for wind and seas as the boats dip into the Southern Ocean.  Shortwave had rounded with 25 – 35 knots of westerlies, but as the evening wore on the breeze strengthened and took its toll.

The second group found themselves in 40 – 45 knots with lumpy seas and gusts over 50 knots. 

The former Sydney yacht Ninety Seven, skippered by Alan Saunders, had the misfortune to lose their steering.  As the crew affected a fix to the broken steering table the mainsail was flogging badly.

Navigator Neville Rose reported this morning, "by the time we got the main down it was in 47 pieces.  So we are coming up under trysail which means we won’t be able to point as well as we would like. We are still doing 10 knots but can’t hold the lay line." - Jennifer McGuigan/Peter Campbell

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