Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

Airlie Beach Race Week - Battle lines drawn for Cookson 50 conflict

by Tracey Johnstone on 8 May 2014
Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week. Victoire in among the IRC fleet in last year’s racing - Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 Tracey Johnstone
2014 Airlie Beach Race Week - There is going to be Cookson conflict on the IRC race course in the Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week, being held from eighth to 15th August 2014.

The battle lines are already being drawn as the two Sydney-based Cookson 50s, Colin Woods’s Pretty Fly III and Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire, prepare to take each other on, boat against boat in regatta racing.

The boats lined up at the start of last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and never let go of the challenge of being the best at the end of the 628 mile. Victoire came out the winner of that challenge, taking out both the coveted overall handicap trophy and IRC Division 0, while Pretty Fly III had to settle for a well-fought 10th overall on IRC and second to Victoire in Division 0.

To rub salt into the Pretty Fly III wounds and proving Victoire was not a one-time winner when it comes to long offshore races, Hodgkinson’s team went on to take handicap honours in the second longest Australian ocean race, the Mount Gay 40th Gosford Lord Howe Island Race.

On the race track at Airlie Beach, however, Woods and his Pretty Fly III team intend stamping into the Race Week record book their dominance of the Cookson 50s.

'We actually wanted to beat them to Hobart. As luck would have it, they had their luck and also sailed very well and deserved to win.

'We are going to pull them back this time, well at least try,' Woods said.

He knows Pretty Fly III can take on Victoire whether they are racing long offshore or inshore passages. 'The boats are very close. It depends how well you sail them on the day and how much luck you have. They are pretty much identical boats,' he added.



Hodgkinson, while stating he wants to spend more time enjoying his racing now that he has achieved the pinnacle of offshore racing in Australia, still can’t help voicing his competitive nature. 'We are looking forward to racing against them. We are similar boats. It will be very boat on boat. That’s fun too. I think that adds a lot to it.

'We will rise to the challenge,' Hodgkinson said.

With the two owners claiming the boats are similar, the differences are going to be in preparation, crew work and Race Week course knowledge.

As the teams continue their congenial banter on the dockside at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney, the owners have chosen different Race Week preparation paths. Hodgkinson is competing in his club’s winter series and will then quietly slip up north.

After a lay-off from racing since late last year, Wood intends shaking off the cobwebs with a few home club winter races before contesting the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race.

Hodgkinson last year raced with an unconventional crew of four regulars and seven sailors from his international plastic surgeon peer group. This year he will have his four regulars back, another four visiting sailors from Sydney and three or four Airlie Beach locals. Woods is going with the usual race crew which includes a few local sailors.

What’s then left is the team’s knowledge of the course area which includes several challenging long courses and just a few windward/leewards. Both owners agree that with a bit of wind, the long courses will see the Cookson 50s revelling in the conditions. The short Pioneer Bay races will come down to crew work and working the bullets off Mandalay Point and Funnel Bay.

No doubt both owners will be looking to the locals on board to add valuable input and a winning difference to each team’s performance.

In the meantime, there is still plenty of opportunities for both teams to wind each other up before they hit the start line in Pioneer Bay at Airlie Beach on the 9th August.

The Notice of Race and the online entry for the nine divisions is at here. Entries close Friday 1st August 2014.

Wildwind 2016 660x82navathome 660x82T Clewring One Design

Related Articles

2014 Airlie Beach Race Week - ABRW wins major award
Airlie Beach Race Week which is the club’s largest annual regatta has grown over the last 25 years 2014 Airlie Beach Race Week - Whitsunday Sailing Club is thrilled after winning the Major Festivals and Events category for Airlie Beach Race Week at the 2014 Whitsunday Tourism Awards.
Posted on 24 Oct 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 - Perfect sailing day for close of regatta
There were several moments on final racing day of Airlie Beach Race Week when rain squalls whited-out fleet. There were several moments during the Pioneer Bay course when the rain squalls whited-out the fleet and the 25 knot gusts caught some trimmers unaware, but they only served to keep the pressure on the competitors and racing exciting.
Posted on 15 Aug 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week- Strong wind and tide tested even the toughest
The Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week fleet continued to experience strong winds and close racing. The Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week fleet continued to experience strong winds and close racing on the penultimate day of the seven-day anniversary event. With the Sports Boats choosing not to venture out on Pioneer Bay for their scheduled windward/leeward races, today’s attention turned to the other divisions and their long passage race.
Posted on 14 Aug 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week - Second half promises more tough competition
Regatta Director Airlie Beach Race Week Denis Thompson has been watching carefully the forecast for remaining race days. Regatta Director Denis Thompson has been watching carefully the forecast for remaining race days. 'It looks like it going to be good up to Thursday when it may get up to 23 or 24 knots. I expect there to be some good sailing from here on in. 'These conditions are fairly normal for this time of year. It’s all being driven by the large high pressure down in Bight in South Australia.' Thompson said.
Posted on 12 Aug 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 - IRC fleet take centre stage on Day 3
Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice showed the IRC fleet how it is done when they took centre stage on Pioneer Bay today. Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice showed the IRC fleet how it is done when they took centre stage on Pioneer Bay today in the Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week winning two from two races to remain in first overall. While the remainder of the record fleet headed off on a picturesque passage race north to Gumbrell Island, the IRC fleet had two windward-leeward races on the bay.
Posted on 11 Aug 2014
Vision Surveys Airlie Beach Race Week - Sports Boats shine on Day two
Sports Boats stayed in bay in Airlie Beach Race Week. Little five-boat fleet were on fire after a dramatic first day. The fleet headed out to the start line in sunshine and a building breeze kicking 20 to 25 kts in Pioneer Bay and similar conditions out wide. All divisions, except the Sports Boats, enjoyed a quick ride out across the bay, around White Rock, West Molle and return. The Sports Boats stayed in the bay for a windward-leeward race day. The fleet were on fire after a dramatic first day.
Posted on 10 Aug 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week - Day 1 damage to rigs, rudders and reputations
The weather models said there would be wind and rain today at Airlie Beach Race Week, and they were right. The weather models said there would be wind and rain today at Airlie Beach Race Week, and they were right as the south-east kicked up high on and around Pioneer Bay for day one.
Posted on 10 Aug 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week 2014 - Getting ready for a windy regatta
The record fleet of 135 monohulls and multihulls have spent today carefully checking and re-checking race equipment. The record fleet of 135 monohulls and multihulls have spent today carefully checking and re-checking every piece of race equipment as they prepare for tomorrow’s start of the Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week regatta.
Posted on 8 Aug 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week - Performance divisions guaranteeing hot racing
The 21-boat fleet is a mix of the known and unknown, new, refurbished, re-built and old boats line up in two divisions As the skippers gather in front of the Registration table at the Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week, the talk is about the depth of competition expected in the Performance Division.
Posted on 8 Aug 2014
Airlie Beach Race Week - Monohull experts cross over to faster side
The Multihull Racing Division for Airlie Beach Race Week has attracted a surprising and impressive team of sailors. The Multihull Racing Division for this year’s Vision Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week, which starts on Saturday, has attracted a surprising and impressive team of sailors to its ranks.
Posted on 7 Aug 2014