Weather a mixed bag for 2015 regatta
THE 108 sailing crews competing in Airlie Beach Race Week were treated to the full gamut of conditions over the sevenday event.
Friday’s race decided the overall winners in all 10 divisions, although a couple were already clear cut.
In IRC Racing, Matt Allen sailed his recently purchased TP52, Ichi Ban, to the overall win in Division 1.
Allen skippered the yacht for the first time at Airlie Beach and the boat got better as the week wore on.
Jason Close sailed his Archambault 31, More Noise, to first overall in Division 2.
The Victorian yachtsman was surprised to do so well against the likes of champions Wild Rose (Roger Hickman) and The Philosopher’s Club (Peter Sorensen).
In IRC Passage, Tony Horkings from Southport Yacht Club skated to a one-point win with his Northshore 38, LeeWay.
By far the largest entry, the cruising boats were split into three divisions. Cruising Division 1 went to Paul Bunn and his Beneteau First 44.7, Christine.
“I’ve never been to a northern regatta, and I’ll definitely be back to this one,” said Bunn, who described Race Week as “a real challenge”.
Cruising Division 2 went to the Hanse 430, Huahine, owned and skippered by Nick Smail from Whitsunday Sailing Club.
Smail pipped Sandor Tornai’s Farr 30, Skeeter (NSW) by one point.
Another local, Charlie and Betty Preen’s Dehler 39, Deh
ler Magic, which had earlier led the series, finished third.
Two yachts from North Queensland Cruising Yacht Club fought it out for first place in Cruising Division 3 and finished on equal points.
Salty Dog, was announced the winner from Peter McKenzie’s modified Ross 7.8, Le Rossignol.
Cruising Non-Spinnaker winner was Dewi Hughes with his Anthea from WSC.
In the sportsboat category John Rae’s Bethwaite 79er, Vivace, was too good. Apart from claiming line honours every race, the biggest boat in the sports boat fleet also claimed five overall wins from nine races.
Meanwhile Peter Wilcox claimed the Multihull Racing series with Mojo.
Full results and all information on Airlie Beach Race Week can be found at www.abrw.com.au.
SPINNAKER RUNS: Spinnaker runs in light airs were contrasted with heavy gusts on the nose during the 2015 Tropical Festival of Sailing.
WATCHFUL EYE: Race Week founder and "boss hog" Don Algie looks on over the last day of the 2015 regatta.
ON FORM: Local yacht Condor, while not a winner this year, still cut an impressive sight.
RIGHT WAY UP: The crew of Awesome managed to stay the right way up.