The conditions for yesterday’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week day 2, Sunday 19 August, were in stark contrast to Saturday’s balmy opening.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 - PLANIT
While the overcast skies and wind might have conflicted with the regular island guests’ beach and pool plans, the near 2,000 yachties who have converged in the Whitsundays were happy as kids in a candy store.
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet split yesterday, Performance division 1 and 2, cruising divisions and super multihulls were sent on an island course while the sports boats and Audi IRC Australian Championship classes strutted their short course racing prowess off Hamilton Island.
The competition is on for young and old at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, from 11 year old Ezra Pritchard steering the Sydney 32, Southport Mentor, to the more mature crew aboard David Currie’s stately IY60 Belle from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Victoria.
They believe they are the oldest crew at Race Week, and to their surprise are now leading Performance Racing division 1.
Currie had one strategy for Race Week and so far it has worked in their favour.
‘We just wanted to be the oldest crew on the Island, and lucky for us we’ve been successful.’
Currie recorded a top wind strength of 20 knots from the south east out on the water, which pushed them to a top speed of just over 11 knots.
No incidents were reported onboard, but the skipper joked he thought they might have needed a defibrillator at the ready at some points during the race because of the effort required to keep the 60 footer under control in the decent blow.
It’s their 16th Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and Currie says they’ve got some valid competition this year, although he admits they usually decide who they want to beat on the day.
‘Certainly Margaret Rintoul V and Espresso Forte are our biggest rivals,’ Currie said yesterday back at the dock.
The Melges 24 division Planit from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney is sitting pretty on top of the division after four races. While it’s early days, skipper Anthony Passmore had one goal in mind going into Race Week, ‘to go fast’.
That they did yesterday, recording a top wind speed of 15 knots and a top boat speed a smidge over 11 knots.
A proud Passmore said his race crew has been ‘exceptional’ in the past few days and he is hopeful this will continue. As for the competition, the Sydney yachtsman says he isn’t too worried about the others, he’s just focusing on maintaining pace.
Full results for all other remaining divisions here
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 regatta website