From adrenalin sailing to sedate light air for IRC fleet
BRILLIANT sailing conditions on day one of the IRC Australian Championship inflated adrenaline levels and threw the less practiced straight into the deep end at the 32nd Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
By the end of day one Bob Oatley’s line honours winner
Wild Oats X had maintained an average speed of 11 knots over the 23 nautical mile Molle Islands race. The 66-footer’s top speed was 23 knots.
“You don’t get many races where you are lit up the whole way,” commented Oats’ crewman Chris Links.
Division A winner was Karl Kwok’s new TP52, Team Beau
Geste, making its debut at Race Week.
“It was very wet (but) we enjoyed it very much,” said Kwok.
By the regatta half-way mark a weak ridge of high pressure hanging over Hamilton Island had turned the wind gauge down and the colour metre up with flat water and frustrating light air sailing on day three.
PRO Denis Thompson and his team had to make decisions on the fly, shortening courses in three places to
bring the fleet in before dark.
At the mid-way point of Yachting Australia’s IRC Australian Championship for the fleet of 40 contesting the series that is running alongside Race Week, many positions remain unchanged.
Team Beau Geste scored another handicap win, Matt Allen’s TP52 Ichi Ban is running second and Geoff Boettcher’s TP52 Secret Men’s
Business, the IRC division C defending champion yacht, is third.
Bob Steel’s newly imported Mat 1180, Quest, is back out in front in IRC division B.
ON THE WIND: Matt Allen's Ichi Ban.