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Audi Hamilton island Race Week - A change of plans

by Lisa Ratcliff on 23 Aug 2012
Audi Hamilton island Race Week day 6 fog © Andrea Francolini / Audi http://www.afrancolini.com
A thick blanket of fog rolled on to the Audi IRC Australian Championship racetrack this morning shrouding the readying fleet.

Regatta director Denis Thompson and his team were forced to shift all IRC boats to Whitsunday Passage.

Class A, B and C milled around their windward/leeward eastern course area for a couple of hours while scouts went hunting for breeze and a clearer line of sight. Humming along on a short course format without clear visibility even in light airs is like clay target shooting with a blindfold on.

At 1330hrs windward/leeward racing was about to get underway in a hazy seven-eight knot southerly with hopes of squeezing two of this afternoon’s three scheduled races in.

Monitoring the fog bank situation was Thompson from up on Hamilton Island’s One Tree Hill where he had stunning panoramic views of not only the IRC boats appearing out of the mist along the entourage of race committee vessels once the decision was made to shift the course, but the remaining divisions racing in very different conditions.

To the west of Hamilton Island the performance and cruising divisions contesting their islands race were enjoying consistent breeze and making quick time to the finish without any fog hindrance.

The two Orma 60s, Simon Hull’s Team Vodafone Sailing and Sean Langman’s Team Australia have just pulled into Hamilton Island marina.

Hamilton Island resembles the Hawaiian Islands today with pockets of sunshine, emerald green water and misty mountain tops.

There have been delays at Hamilton Island airport today due to the fog however two planes have just landed bringing a fresh influx of guests and fresh faced replacement crew for the closing stages of the 39th edition of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

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