Drama on Hamo start line

Col­li­sions send three mul­ti­hulls in to shore

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

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

Earth­ling.

“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.

Photo: Craig Green­hill / Salt­wa­ter Im­ages

HOLED: Car­bon Credit af­ter the col­li­sion with Earth­ling in Mul­ti­hull rac­ing at Audi Hamil­ton Is­land Race Week 2015.

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