Gentle start to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Saturday, 18 August 2012
It was a gentle start to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week for the Cruising and Performance divisions and the super multihulls which opened proceedings with a 14 nautical mile race around Denman Island and run back to a Dent Passage finish.
It’s been a long day for crews following a lengthy postponement this morning on the opening day of Race Week. By lunchtime the race committee was satisfied there was enough breeze to start all but the IRC classes on the western starting area to the north of Dent Island.
Gold medallist at the 2000 Olympic Games, Mark Turnbull, is coaching and calling tactics for a group of friends on the Beneteau First 40 called Iago, which has been chartered out of Sydney.
‘We had a quick beat to the island in a light nor’west wind and we had the tide with us. It was a slow run back pushing into 1-2 knots of current and 3-5 knots of wind.
‘Today was one of those days where it was about staying out of the wind shadow of the bigger boats and not getting caught up with anyone.
‘I’m sailing with a good bunch of mates and the day’s not judged on results, however I think we might have done OK,’ Turnbull added. Iago ultimately placed fourth behind Performance Racing divisional winner Paul Young’s Young Rebel, a Young 11 design, Ropabull and Kioni.
The super multihulls were last off and first over the line and Sean Langman, skipper of the Orma 60 trimaran, Team Australia, which was first home praised the race committee’s confidence in letting the two 60 foot speed machines wind their way through the fleet without incident.
Team Australia and Simon Hull’s Team Vodafone Sailing are near sisterships and the trans-Tasman rivalry is fierce. The score’s 1-0 to Australia after today’s effort, the first time the pair has met and the first time two Ormas have squared off in Australian waters.
‘Simon engaged us at the start so we played along then we got clean air and with our bigger mainsail we had the upwind edge,’ said Langman.
He reported a top wind speed of 8 knots and a top boat speed of 12 knots, demonstrating the efficiency of these radical designs.
PRO Denis Thompson received great support for the decision to hold the IRC boats back and while they could have had the day off, some mooched around the cruising start today then peeled off for some training.
Michael Hiatt’s Victorian Farr 55 Living Doll and Chris Hornell’s New Zealand TP52 Kia Kaha found a sparring partner in each other while Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki, a former Audi Hamilton Island Race Week champion, prowled nearby.
Tomorrow’s schedule has the IRC classes racing windward/leewards on the eastern course area, first race due to kick off at 11am, while the performance, cruising, non-spinnaker and super multis will be sent on an island course to be decided in the morning.
Luxury carmaker, Audi, returns as the title sponsor of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2012. The German premium brand will host a range of special events on the island for yacht owners and guests to enjoy during the week.
By Lisa Ratcliff
See Hamilton Island Race Week images
Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 August 2012 )