Audi Victoria Week - Close quarter racing in Audi IRC Series

Hanging around in light air on Corio Bay today - Audi Victoria Week 2011
Audi IRC Series at Audi Victoria Week.

Racing could not get any closer in Divisions B and C at Audi Victoria Week and the top five in each will have to stay on top of their game if they want to cart home trophies on Wednesday night when the series finishes.

Bruce McCraken has sailed Ikon to a joint lead in Division B with Paul Buchholz’s Extasea, which led the series coming into today’s races.

Hobsons Bay YC yachtsman McCraken’s third and second places this afternoon ensured his place at the top after Extasea, which represents Royal Geelong Yacht Club (host of the series), could only manage a pair of fourths.

Andrea Saies (SA) kept his chances alive after winning Race 3 today. He is third overall and only one point behind the two leaders in what is shaping up to be an exciting event.

Division C is just almost as close. Regular Audi Victoria Week competitor, Grant Botica, sailed two excellent races today, with a win in Race 2 and second place in Race 3, this despite losing a crew man overboard before he went on to win the day’s first race.

'He needed a wash anyway – and we had him back on board within a minute,' said Botica who said the crewman did not want to be identified. 'I think it was all caught on film anyway, so everyone can see for themselves,' he said, describing the day as 'very interesting.'

Asked how he went on to win, Botica claimed: 'We just kept plodding away and worked hard. This is one of the toughest series I’ve sailed and so far it’s been really enjoyable. I hope we can keep up our results.'

Botica leads Division C from Penfold Audi Sport (David Ellis, Vic) and The Philosopher’s Club (Peter Sorensen, NSW), who is always an excellent performer.

Like the many other classes sailing on Corio Bay today, it was a slow start for Divisions B and C on Day 2 of the Audi IRC Series, which is round one of the Audi IRC Australian Championship, as winds refused to arrive before they were ready.

Officials were only able to get two of the three races scheduled races completed.

However, the worth was worth it when a nice 10-12 knot southerly blew up on the course suddenly, making everyone jump to attention on the windward/leeward course the two divisions shared.

Race officials from Royal Geelong Yacht Club, which hosts Audi Victoria Week, are planning three further windward/leeward races tomorrow, starting from 12.30pm.

Audi Victoria Week website