Ichi Ban number one entry for Race Week
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.
ICHI BAN: Sydney/Hobart victory.