Surgical team to tackle Race Week
IT’S a little unconventional, but if all goes to plan, Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire crew should have a memorable time competing at Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week.
Under normal circumstances the high performance Cookson 50 would be crewed by a team of practised professionals but in the case of the newly acquired Victoire, Hodgkinson has decided to invite members of his international plastic surgeon peer group to sail with him.
The seven surgical specialists will travel to Airlie Beach with their families for what Hodgkinson has promised will give them a “real taste of Queensland”.
“It’s a good opportunity, on a very relaxed platform, for these guys to talk to each other at the same level and really get the truth,” he said.
Hodgkinson has been planning this regatta for about a year and it will be his first as a host since the Sailing Plastic Surgeons group was formed three years ago. Hodgkinson’s visiting crew will come from all parts of the globe, including New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, France and the United States. They will arrive today, with just one day of sail training on August 9.
Formerly called Jazz, Victoire has an impressive CV including Sydney Hobart’s and the Fastnet.
Hodgkinson admits it’s a boat that could be a handful when the breeze reaches 25 knots, which often happens during Airlie Beach Race Week. With a canting keel, power winches and huge sail area, the international crew are unlikely to have sailed anything as powerful before, so Hodgkinson will have five of his regular crew on board to shadow his guests.
“There will be lots of mentoring,” he said.
The Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week runs from August 9-16. For event information and online entry, visit www.airlieraceweek.com.
HEADING TO AIRLIE: Victoire, pictured here at the start of the Sydney Gold Coast race. Photo by Crosbie Lorimer.