Audi Hamilton Island Race Week : Trans Tasman ‘Grudge Match’
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
The long awaited clash to decide the fastest ocean racing yacht in the Southern Hemisphere reached an interesting stage during the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week yesterday.
New Zealand’s Team Vodafone the first of the exciting ORMA 60 trimarans to sail at Hamilton Island in 2011 presently holds the title which faced a serious match race from during yesterdays 64 n/ml Club Marine trophy race.
They started almost together and raced in hotly contested sea space on the long slog into the 15-18 knot trade wind until there was a sail drama on Team Australia.
Her expensive mainsail started to delaminate during the final stages of the windward beat which forced skipper Sean Langman to nurse the speed sailing Team Australia through the fresh wind gusts.
However when spinnakers were set for the exciting run home they only had the thought of engaging their equally impressive New Zealand rivals in a boat on boat match race.
Both crews recorded a peak speed of 33 knots as they entered into a spirited match race at times sailing close to infringing the fair sailing rule.
“While we sail for the thrill of the sport there are no real prizes for coming second in match racing” Sean Langman said.
They were facing that outcome when Team Vodafone entered Dent Passage with a 100 m lead and a short sprint to the finish off the Hamilton Island Yacht Club
But the race was far from over when the Team Australia executed a relentless attack on Team Vodafone to finally edge clear on the final gybe to snatch a 21 second win.
However while Team Australia won the race on the water the result remains provisional until a rule breach protest is resolved by the international jury.
By Ian Grant.
See Hamilton Island Race Week images
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 August 2012 )