Drama on Hamo start line
Collisions send three multihulls in to shore
INCREASED winds and a nasty sea-state created drama on day four of racing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, with two pre-start collisions bringing three multihulls ashore before their start gun had even fired.
Peter Hawker’s lightweight Farrier F32srcx Carbon Cre
dit, limped back from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach on Thursday still watertight but with major damage to the starboard float. The South Australian trimaran weighing 1.5 tonnes had a bingle with the nine-tonne Young 57
“It was in slow motion in a sense,” owner/skipper Hawker said.
“No-one got hurt (and) we made sure we were well back. Fortunately we were hit in an area that’s not structural (but) it’s a rotten way to finish the regatta; so disappointing for the crew. Things happen. That’s sailing. We were just enjoying the week…”
Carbon Credit was heading for the start line and preparing for the start sequence when the crew went into a tack and stalled.
“We went into irons and sat there. Earthling was coming down… it was unavoidable,” crewman David Ryder said.
The front half of the Farrier’s float broke in front of the beam leaving daylight coming through the topside of the main hull through a hole.
All Race Week crews had come together at the eastern course area to be greeted by 15 knot average breezes accompanied by a nasty, short wave chop that made maneuvering difficult.
Day four’s testing conditions reversed the fortunes of more than a few yachts holding podium positions before this point, not least in the Racer Cruising and Non-Spinnaker divisions.
“It was like a washing machine out there,” said Star Fer
ry’s skipper John Brand, referring to the wind against tide conditions in the eastern start area and beyond.
Ian Ford, who raced a Soling in the 1976 Olympics and was Etchells World Champion in 1980, “borrowed” Airlie Beach boat Reignition and was sailing it under the tagline Whale-Watching Sydney. Even he had a shocker of a day finishing in 11th place. “(But) it’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings and there’s a lot more sailing to do before the numbers come up,” he said.
HOLED: Carbon Credit after the collision with Earthling in Multihull racing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2015.