Ichi Ban num­ber one en­try for Race Week

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT | ON THE WATER -

EN­TRIES for the thir­ti­eth an­niver­sary Air­lie Beach Race Week have opened and Matt Allen, the pres­i­dent of Aus­tralian Sail­ing, is the first of three high pro­file own­ers an­nounc­ing their in­ten­tion to take part.

Mr Allen has en­tered his new ‘Ichi Ban’, the win­ner of the 2017 Rolex Syd­ney Ho­bart Yacht Race.

Ichi Ban, mean­ing No. 1 in Ja­panese, was launched in Oc­to­ber lived up to her name early on when she took line and over­all hon­ours in her maiden event, the New­cas­tle Bass Is­land Race.

Mr Allen said he has al­ways en­joyed Air­lie Beach Race Week.

“We’ll be do­ing Hamil­ton Is­land too, and as it’s dif­fi­cult to get crews to do both, we will have some crew changes,” he said.

“We’re re­ally look­ing forward to Air­lie – we’ve en­joyed it over the years.

“It’s dif­fer­ent sail­ing to Hamil­ton Is­land and it’s re­laxed and fun. We’ve been big sup­port­ers for a long time.

“Our crew house in Air­lie is nearly fin­ished be­ing re­paired af­ter the cy­clone, so it will be good to get back to­gether there.”

In Jan­uary, the Botin de­signed TP52 con­clu­sively claimed Di­vi­sion 1 of the Aus­tralian Yacht­ing Cham­pi­onship in Mel­bourne, win­ning all eight races.

Festival of Sail­ing or­gan­is­ers from Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club are an­tic­i­pat­ing Ichi Ban will be a draw card for other IRC rac­ing yachts com­ing for Race Week, to be held from Au­gust 10 to Au­gust 16.

Last week, other big names from Syd­ney’s off­shore rac­ing scene, Dar­ryl Hodgkin­son and Ray “Hol­ly­wood” Roberts also con­firmed they will be on the start line.

“Doc­tor Dar­ryl” is bring­ing Vic­toire, the Car­keek 40 he im­ported from the USA last year to re­place his 2013 Syd­ney Ho­bart win­ning Cook­son 50, Vic­toire.

Mr Roberts, the orig­i­nal owner of Mr Hodgkin­son’s Syd­ney Ho­bart win­ning Vic­toire, is un­de­cided as to which boat he will ar­rive with – hav­ing re­cently pur­chased two dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent boats.

Ac­cord­ing to event chair­man Ross Chisholm the fo­cus is on pro­vid­ing a fun and mem­o­rable off and on­shore ex­pe­ri­ence for en­trants and their fol­low­ers.

“The event can’t be staged with­out the back­ing of a range of spon­sors, from ma­jor part­ners through to lo­cal busi­ness sup­port­ers,” he said.

For nom­i­na­tion de­tails go to: www.abrw.com.au/ sail­ing/en­tries.

PHOTO: STE­FANO GATTINI

ICHI BAN: Syd­ney/Ho­bart vic­tory.

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