Telecoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week : Moderate breeze for 111 yacht fleet
Saturday, 11 August 2012
A cold 31 knot gust before dawn this morning hinted that the high standard fleet of 111 yachts would face a searching test of heavy wind sailing in the tropical Whitsunday Islands today.
Fortunately the peak breeze recorded at Hamilton Island airport failed to extend the velocity into the northern extremes of the Whitsunday Passage
Instead the skippers, navigators and tacticians faced a more moderate breeze under a warm and clear blue sky when they lined up to contest the 27n/ml Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week Island passage event over the Molle Island course.
As expected the star performer was the speed sailing New Zealand ORMA 60 trimaran Team Vodafone expertly helmed by the thrill seeking Simon Hull.
After setting an exciting course time in the Double Cone, Armit Island race on Friday Team Vodafone was equally impressive in the more moderate and variable southerly trade winds today.
Predictably Team Vodafone set a cracking pace with the windward and main hull breaking clear of the water on the windward slog to the inshore mark off Mandalay Point.
Unfortunately the angle was far too tight to set a ‘screecher but this failed to prevent Team Vodafone from extending her lead while the crew enjoyed a fast ride to eventually complete the 27n/ml course with an average speed of 14.36 knots.
Their elapsed time of 1 hour 53 minutes 34 seconds and line honours winning margin 47 minutes 5 seconds over the Port Douglas Yacht Club Nacra 36 skippered by Malcolm Richardson was enough to win a rare line and corrected handicap double while Malice and the smaller Tony Grainger designed APC Mad Max filled the minor places on line and handicap.
There was a ‘boilover’ in the Grand Prix IRC class when the Norm O’Brien helmed S&S 34 upstaged the Geoff Ross skippered TP52 Yendys to score an unexpected 8 minute 11 second corrected handicap win.
Constellation considered an obsolete design to race against the modern generation yachts including the exciting TP 52 Yendys had her moment of glory when she saved time on her low .921 handicap correction factor to score a popular win over Yendys and the Bob Robertson skippered Beneteau First 40 Lunchtime Legend.
Mark Buchbach’s Queensland champion sports boat Raptor was back in winning mode when they outclassed the fleet to record 9 minute 32 second line honours win in the second race of the series.
Raptor was unstoppable when skipper Mark Buchbach steered the speed sailing sports boat on the faster spinnaker angles.
Their reward reflected in the corrected time results where Raptor finished 6 minutes 36 seconds in advance of Blokes World (Brett Whitbread) while Bob Cowan’s Stealthy was another 48 seconds of the pace.
By Ian Grant.
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Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 August 2012 )