Audi Hamilton Island Race Week : SB20 Sports Boats reach new level
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
The human element challenge to successfully sail the exciting one design SB20 Sports Boat in the fast lane reached a new level during this week’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
Top level Sunshine Coast sailors Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith sailing with multiple World champion Glenn Bourke of Hamilton Island and rival Mooloolaba skipper Phil Gray remain locked in tactical combat to be presented with the important trophy at the gala presentation on Saturday night.
Meanwhile both evenly matched crews Glenn Bourke helming Club Marine and Phil Gray skippering Dulon Polish.
While they remain intensely focused on winning this series the Australian crews are sailing in practice mode to be race ready for the UON World Championship at Hamilton Island in late December.
Both the Club Marine and Dulon Polish crews have been evenly matched over the past 12 months and the battle at Hamilton Island has continued to show there is little between them in terms of skill and boat speed.
Phil Gray and his Dulon Polish crew realise they are up against a tough team however they are prepared to ‘push the envelope’ in their selection of tactics.
Gray admits one design racing is not for the feint hearted and is always prepared to protect his sailing space.
However on occasions he has fallen short with the outcome presenting him with an unwanted expense including the replacement of a broken mast.
This unfortunate mast snapping incident which occurred during the 2011 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week series contested in brute trade winds sent an important message to Phil Gray to never take a chance to force the port and starboard rule from the wrong side.
He paid the penalty with a collapsed mast when the spinnaker pole on Club Marine clipped the back stay on Dulon Polish.
Their boat on boat match race continued in the 2012 Australian Championship on the River Derwent when Dulon Polish entered the final holding what appeared to a championship winning 2 point margin.
But at the end of the day the Dulon Polish crew had to accept that they were second best when master tactician Glenn Bourke and his equally determined crew mates Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith completed a remarkable fight back to win the National trophy by 1 point.
The exciting match race to decide Australia’s number one team for UON World championship has continued this week on the tactically demanding windward-leeward courses off Hamilton Island.
After seven races Club Marine with a 1-2-1-4-1-2-2 score lead Dulon Polish 3-1-2-3-3-1-1 by 2 points with the championship hanging in the balance between the two evenly matched crews.
Based on average elapsed times Club Marine has been the faster by 26 seconds however Dulon Polish is poised to again test the tactical experience of their rivals when the final battle lines are drawn to decide the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week SB 20 champion for 2012.
By Ian Grant.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 images
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 August 2012 )