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Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look Back

Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Day 2- Tough Day at the Office

by Al Constable on 14 Aug 2010
Living Doll on day 2 of Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Airlie Beach Race Week media 2012
Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Day 2 began under brilliant blue skies.

As the fleet headed out into Pioneer Bay this morning the weather prediction for a 'glass out' followed by light winds eventuated and the fleet sat patiently waiting for a start, some crews making the most of the delay by taking a quick dip in the warm waters.

PRO Tony Denham gunned the fleet away on Course 11 to White Rock, shortly after noon.

Surprisingly, yesterday’s winner Racing Division 1 defending champion Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll was spinning at the back of the fleet. The Doll was then the last Grand Prix boat to start and in two to three knots of breeze the early start was potentially a huge penalty.

Rob Bassett’s Bakewell-White 52 Wired started well and headed out towards Pioneer Point, however it was Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau 45 Victoire that crossed the fleet and led towards Pioneer Rock.

Howard Lambourne’s Farr 40 Lambourdini headed out to sea as Wired sailed to Pioneer Point, the crew working hard in the light easterly conditions.


Seven of the Victoire crew were stacked at front of boat under the headsail to leeward, ensuring they made the most of the light puffs of wind that came through.

Along the shore of the Conroy National Park, even before they had reached Pioneer Rock, Living Doll found more pressure and sailed through Wired.

Living Doll led the mixed monohull and multihull fleet across the Molle Passage.

The breeze had lifted to five-six knots as the lead boats headed towards West Molle Island looking for pressure.

At this early stage of the race Victoire looked the goods for the Division 1 handicap win but the vision faded as the fickle breezes hit them mid-race.

The boats headed down the passage in an eight-nine knot south easter that had kicked in as the fleet headed to White Rock, but as the fleet came back towards Daydream Island there was a shift to a light north easter at the transition point and the Doll became the Bad Doll. She just sat and refused to go allowing Wired to climb through her. Living Doll came back again to take line honours from Wired.

However in the IRC Div 1 the handicap win went to the Farr 40 Lambourdini. Living Doll left her bad start to the day well behind to score a second on handicap. Third was Bobby’s Girl, the Farr 40 OD of John Leman.

Dockside Howard Lambourne (Lambourdini) commented 'We got off the start line well, we were leading for the first ten mins, then they came up the beach, but we made gains against the fleet all day.

'We almost did not get around Daydream, we had to tack around. But the Farr 40's go well in light conditions, so we are in there with a chance.'

Living Doll's owner skipper Michael Hiatt explained ‘that start probably cost us the handicap win today. A miscommunication meant we were port boat in a port starboard. We did our penalty turns, so we were right at the back of the fleet.

'But the boat is just a dream to sail upwind, so we had a really good beat and we sailed to the front. We fell in a hole but got away again.

‘Overall we are working hard on our crew work goals; we’ve now had a lot of time on the boat. We have a top class after guard - Ben Lamb has now been with us for the last two years and we have sailmaker and strategist Ross Lloyd and some top class trimmers. Tomorrow it’s the windward leewards and a new set of challenges.'

Wired’s Rob Bassett was philosophical about the second place on line honours. ‘Twice today were ahead of the Doll. First of all after their poor start, but over on the shoreline they found a big vein of pressure and they came through us.

‘Then over at Daydream, when it went light and swung to the north, we got a jib on faster. Brian Jones our tactician got us moving – we wriggled around the outside of Living Doll but that extra length told on us and they came back and got their time on us.

‘But we are smiling! Overall at the front of the fleet, we had a fair breeze eight-ten knots all day.

‘By comparison in Auckland today it was 4-5 degrees, very dense breeze, if we had been sailing there we’d have been rugged up with beanies. Here in the Whitsundays we are in shorts and tee-shirts.'

In the Sports boat division Peter Sorensen’s Conquistador took line honours and the handicap victory from Bob Cowan’s Stealthy with Laminar Capital third.

Malcolm ‘Smashy’ Dean, the tactician from Steathy explained the frustrations of the day. ‘It ended up being a two boat race, with the smaller boats missing the tidal gate. We and Sorro both stayed in the middle, the others were on the shore.

‘We had our time on Conquistador until the wind shut down. We were just two minutes behind when that happened but we lost another three and that was the boat race. The maximum wind was five knots. We did not ever have the rail loaded at any stage.

‘We are looking forward to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with more breeze.’

There were fun and games across all the divisions. From the Performance Handicap fleet came this comment from Ian Thomson on SOS Racing.

‘My boys learnt something today. We used every sail on the boat and we were sailing upwind under kite, with the wind at the top of the mast different to the direction on the water - it was a totally crazy day.’

The sun disappeared behind Sugarloaf at 1738 and at the official sunset of 1752 there were still a few boats on the water.

Principal Race Officer Tony Denham summed up. ‘A very tough day in the office. We moved almost out to the Channel to get a start and we managed to get most of the classes away. But when we came to the Sports Boats we could see it was still unstable in Pioneer Bay, so we sent them on a Passage Race.

‘It was just a very tough day. The wind would pulse in a wave, if you got that you made ground, if you arrived in the glass, you suffered.

‘The thing is that it is forecast to be worse tomorrow.’

The Overall IRC Division 1 series is tight, with Lambourdini and Living Doll both on three points, with Bobby’s Girl third.

Overall In the Sports Boat Class, Stealthy leads from Conquistador with Roger That, Cameron Miles, in third.

In IRC Cruising Division 1 Stewart Lewis’ Marten 49 Ocean Affinity scored another daily double, proving her form yesterday was no fluke. Stomp, skippered by John Moore finished second on handicap, with Graham Donnell’s Quattro third.

Overall Ocean Affinity leads the series from Quattro, with Local Hero (Peter Mosley) third.

In IRC Racing Division 2 Flying Cloud, Howard Piggott’s Beneteau First 40 won on handicap from the Sydney 38 Zen, Gordon Ketelbey with the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s Double O Seven skippered by Jeffrey Brown third.

Overall, the top three are the same with Flying Cloud and Zen on equal points.

The Ross 780 One design fleet handicap winner today was the Shannon Hart skippered High Tide. Fly ‘N High, Gary Bruce was second with Rod Caldwell’s Rolls Ross completing the podium. High Tide also took the line honours.

Overall, High Tide leads the series from Fly ‘N High with Andrew Milne’s Cunning Plan third.

In Cruising Division 1 Let's Go Alyn and Danielle Ovenden’s Adams 15 took the handicap win from Blue Moon, Phil Bedlington’s Beneteau 40.7. Stephen Keal’s Cyclone took third. Don Algie’s Storm 2 was the divisional line honours winner. Overall Let’s Go leads the series, with Storm 2 and Blue Moon presently in the minor placings.

In Cruising Division 2 Peggy, Benjamin Meakin’s Austral Clubman 8 was the handicap winner. John Galloway’s Queensland Marine Services was second, with Pacific Phoenix, Alan Sneddon, third. Line honours went to Queensland Marine Services.

Overall Peggy leads the series from Amadeus, Peter Johnson’s Bavaria 36 with Queensland Marine Services third.

The Performance Racing winner today was Damien Suckling’s Another Fiasco, with Terry Archer’s Questionable Logic second and Kevin Fogarty’s Idle Time third. Line honours winner was Questionable Logic.

The series leader is Questionable Logic, with Another Fiasco second and Ropabull, Mike Roper, third.

Bob Thompson’s Sirocco won the Multihull battle today, from Robert Dean’s Moving Finger. Peter Hackett’s Intrigue was third. Line honours went to Moving Finger.

Sirocco and Moving Finger are tied on points for the Overall series lead, with Intrigue third.

Kim Williams Melges 32 Rock ‘N Roll was today’s Super 30’s winner. Leon Thomas’ Farr 30 Guilty Pleasures 111 was second, while Heath Walters Melges 32 Funnel Web was third.

Overall, the series leader is Rock ‘N Roll, one point clear of Funnel Web with Guilty Pleasures 111 third.




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