Sur­gi­cal team to tackle Race Week

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

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.

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