Old ri­valry to play out at Hamo

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

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.

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