Yachting leg­ends to change class for Hamo race week

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

FOUR of the best-known off­shore yachts­men in Aus­tralia and New Zealand are ex­pected to com­pete at Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week (AHIRW) this Au­gust, each on a high-per­for­mance MC38 One-De­sign.

Mar­cus Black­more, Lang Walker, Neville Crich­ton and Robin Craw­ford placed or­ders for their new rac­ing yachts with McCon­aghy Boats in Syd­ney just two weeks ago.

Neville Crich­ton is best recog­nised as the owner of the su­per maxi Alfa Romeo. Lang Walker is prom­i­nent in the world of su­pery­achts as well as keel­boat rac­ing. Robin Craw­ford, a long-time off­shore rac­ing sailor, won the IMS di­vi­sion of the 1992 Syd­ney to Ho­bart race with his Farr de­signed sloop As­sas­sin and Mar­cus Black­more has been a suc­cess­ful ocean rac­ing sailor for 30 years.

A Puerto Ri­can na­tional has also placed an or­dered for an MC38 and is plan­ning to com­pete at race week.

McCon­aghy Boats’ joint man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Jono Mor­ris, con­firmed the or­ders, say­ing these new MC38s, along with six oth­ers, were ex­pected to be at the re­gatta from Au­gust 16-23. One of the six ex­ist­ing boats will be com­ing from New Zealand.

Mar­cus Black­more – who last year be­came the first sailor in race week’s 30 year his­tory to win the pres­ti­gious Grand Prix di­vi­sion for three con­sec­u­tive years – said his plans for be­ing at AHIRW 2014 were well ad­vanced.

“We watched the MC38s en­joy­ing some ex­cel­lent close rac­ing last year, so it didn’t take a lot for us to de­cide that would be the class for us in the fu­ture,” he said.

“Now, with four new own­ers en­ter­ing the fray, things can only be­come more ex­cit­ing and sat­is­fy­ing.”

Six months out from the re­gatta, the en­try list is al­ready look­ing im­pres­sive, with the 30th reg­is­tra­tion ex­pected in a mat­ter of days.

The re­gatta is open to the full spec­trum of keel­boats and mul­ti­hulls and the No­tice of Race and en­try form can be found at www.hamil­ton­is­landrace­week.com.au.

ONE DE­SIGN: MC38’s rac­ing on the course at a pre­vi­ous Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week. About 200 yachts are ex­pected to com­pete this year. Photo by An­drea Fran­col­ini/Audi

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