From adrenalin sail­ing to se­date light air for IRC fleet

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

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.

Photo: An­drea Fran­col­ini

ON THE WIND: Matt Allen's Ichi Ban.

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