Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Photographer: Jack Atley/Andrea Francolini
No short – edge of surprises
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week-
IRC division 1 results have delivered Alan Whiteley’s Melbourne based TP52 Cougar II its first win on corrected time from Bob Steel’s sistership Quest. Despite coming to a crunching halt when they hit an outlying rock off Surprise Rock at low tide - the impact sending Quest’s helmsman Jamie Macphail flying forward causing him to break the port wheel post at the base - Steel and his crewnot only managed to continue racing but finished second on the podium ahead of Andrew Short’s Shockwave – Club Marine.

Today three IRC Division 1 boats found out the hard way where the name Surprise Rock came from. A mark of the 26 nautical mile Course 12, the Banyham Island Course, eventual line honours winner Shockwave – Club Marine bumped over the reef surrounding the Island while Quest and Michael Hiatt’s Living Doll took much harder hits. A thrilling tacking duel in Dent Passage, where many races have been won or lost, played out this afternoon before Shockwave – Club Marine claimed its first line honours victory from five races.

With Black Jack bow down with her big Code 0 flying and closing the gap on Shockwave in the closing miles as the two rounded the northern tip of Hamilton Island, it looked like the 80 footer was going to be relegated to second. But once the maxi turned the corner into Dent Passage and her huge sails filled with the sprightly 12 knot sou’easter, she gathered speed and was able to cover the Peter Harburg skippered pocket rocket Black Jack in an exciting battle to the finish.
Most of the week the two have raced within throwing distance but today the Mark Richard’s skippered Wild Oats X couldn’t hang onto Black Jack, letting them slip through on the first upwind leg which is how the positions on the track remained. Steven David’s Reichel Pugh 66 Wild Joe had its best day of the regatta, rounding Banyham Island in second and finishing fourth over the line. Read More...