Old rivalry to play out at Hamo
THE 150th entry for this month’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, was the famous 76-footer, Hammer.
This Whitsunday yacht will renew one of Australia’s great ocean racing rivalries from two decades ago when she competes against the similar-sized yacht Whitebirds in the upcoming regatta from August 17-24.
Both yachts went head-to-head in many major ocean races, almost always staging great battles for line honours. Between 1988 and 1998 each yacht took line honours on four occasions in the 308 nautical mile Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. However, Hammer was never able to better Whitebirds’ race record time, which stood for nine years.
Both yachts were built in aluminium to designs from Victorian, Kel Steinman. Hammer, owned by Arthur Bloore, was known as Hammer of Queensland, while Whitebirds was launched as Bobsled for Sydneysiders Geoff Bush and Nick Feros.
Hammer has been chartered for the 30th Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, by a group of 10 sailors led by Gerry McGann and representing Perth’s Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. Whitebirds, now owned by Alan Bird, will be very much in her element having been converted to a comfortable cruising yacht.
Hammer and another famous maxi yacht from a bygone era, the 73-foot Condor, will both be competing at Race Week under the banner of the Whitsunday-based charter organisation, Prosail.
Condor, a two-time line honours winner in the Sydney Hobart race and winner of the famous Fastnet race out of England, will be returning to Race Week under charter for the sixth consecutive year.
Prosail owner, Dave Molloy, has advised there are still five crew spaces available aboard Hammer for anyone looking to compete.
For regatta information and online entry visit www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au.