Whitsunday sailors in the fast lane on Hamilton Island
TWO Whitsunday sailors are aboard what is shaping up to be the fastest boat competing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (AHIRW).
Mike Keyte and Paul Mitchell have joined Sunshine Coast skipper Matt Johns aboard the 8.5m multihull appropriately named Box Office.
Box Office is one of just five boats to have entered in this year’s newly added multihull division.
With its Whitsunday-based Wings Diving Adventures branding, the carbon fibre racing catamaran has been making an impression on the AHIRW course.
During Sunday’s inaugural race of the regatta, the sailors hit speeds of 18 knots – believed to be faster than those achieved by Bob Oatley’s super maxi Wild Oats XI on the same course.
Mike Keyte, who has sponsored the boat, says this is just what the sport of sailing needs to ensure it attracts young people and continues for generations to come.
“From the outside it [the boat] looks pretty technical but it’s actually pretty easy to sail,” he said.
Skipper Matt Johns said competing at AHIRW had provided a great opportunity to showcase the boat, which was only launched in February and is the first of just three of its kind built to date. “And it’s great that they’ve opened it [the regatta] up to multihulls,” he said.
LOCAL HOPES: Mike Keyte and Paul Mitchell have joined Sunshine Coast skipper Matt Johns aboard 8.5m boat Box Office, one of the fastest boats at Hamilton Island Race week.