IRC Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onships are head­ing to Hamil­ton Is­land

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

THE 2015 IRC Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onship will land at Hamil­ton Is­land this year.

The pre­mier na­tional IRC rac­ing event re­turns to Hamil­ton Is­land and the Hamil­ton Is­land Yacht Club, which last hosted the cham­pi­onship in 2012.

His­tory was cre­ated at that event, when Mar­cus Black­more took out the IRC Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onship with his TP52 Hooli­gan, mak­ing it back-to-back wins fol­low­ing his suc­cess in 2011.

Rac­ing will again take place in three classes (di­vi­sion 1, di­vi­sion 2 and di­vi­sion 3) al­low­ing sim­i­lar-sized yachts to com­pete in their rel­e­vant di­vi­sion and of­fer­ing fairer rac­ing.

Yacht­ing Aus­tralia Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Phil Jones be­lieves Hamil­ton Is­land Yacht Club host­ing the 2015 IRC Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onship will strengthen and grow the event. “The IRC Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onship has always been a linch­pin of rac­ing in this coun­try and a show­piece in the Yacht­ing Aus­tralia events cal­en­dar,” he said.

“With 31 years of re­gatta man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence host­ing Race Week plus the IRC Cham­pi­onship and a num­ber of world cham­pi­onships we know the is­land and the club will de­liver an ex­cel­lent pro­gramme of rac­ing and off-wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties in 2015.”

A fleet of 182 boats re­cently fin­ished the 31st edi­tion of Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week, with the an­nual event again prov­ing it’s a mag­net for qual­ity IRC boats from around the coun­try, at­tract­ing three di­vi­sions from the BH36 Lo­cal Hero in di­vi­sion 3 up to the cur­rent Audi IRC Aus­tralian cham­pion, Karl Kwok’s TP52 Team Beau Geste which took out di­vi­sion 1 hon­ours.

Hamil­ton Is­land Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Glenn Bourke wel­comed the IRC Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onship back to Hamil­ton Is­land.

“We have some of the best rac­ing and cour­ses in the world and to host the cham­pi­onship again pro­vides a great op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence Hamil­ton Is­land,” he said.

“I ex­tend an open in­vi­ta­tion to all IRC rated boats to come and com­pete in the Whit­sun­days next year and fight it out for the hon­our of be­ing the pre­mier IRC rac­ing teams. Build­ing on the great se­ries hosted by New­cas­tle Cruis­ing Yacht Club this year, we are hop­ing for more than 30 chal­lengers.”

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.yac­thing.org.au.

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