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Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Day 6 - It's a wrap

by Rob Kothe on 19 Aug 2010
Living Doll finishes today’s final race off Denman Island - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2010 Teri Dodds © http://www.teridodds.com
Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Day 6. An important last day for the 1007 sailors and 120 boats in the 21st annual Race Week regatta.

A perfect morning for tourists, but a tad light for sailing, as the fleet sat on the glass in Pioneer Bay.


They say television makes news and with nothing else to do, it took very little time for some fertile imaginations to start work. First was Ian Thomson and SOS Racing; all in the water behind possibly the world's biggest kick-board.

A new Airlie Beach Raft Up record was achieved with 14 yachts, a mixture of multihulls and monohulls, competing.

A Bowsprit walking attempt from the Ketchup kids, the Mr Magoo team almost tipped their boat over trying to retrieve a diving mast from the second spreaders and of course the TV cameras just seemed to find every girl in a bikini.

The AP came down at 11.56am and the fleet was gunned away on a shortened Molle Islands race.

The IRC Racing Divsion 1 start was a close start between Rob Bassett's New Zealand yacht Wired, from series leader Living Doll, Michael Hiatt's Farr 55.

The Performance Racing class start was won by Questionable Logic, Terry Archer's Sydney 40. Another fiasco for Another Fiasco as Damian Suckling's Jutson 43 was caught in the third row.

The tide was ebbing north as Wired, powered by three-four knot breezes, ghosted along the southern shore.



At the first cross there was just inches between Wired and Living Doll.

There were hard luck stories across the fleet. For the Super 30s, some painful OCS's as the boats were unable to tip tow back across the growing patches of glass and the Sports Boats, most notably the Melges 24 Bandit, were just held up.

Gradually the fleets filtered out into the Molle Channel, where the wind was gusting into the low five's.

The Performance Racing competitors and Sports Boats were out on the western shoreline, in very soft conditions, looking for every puff of breeze.

The day turned into a testing time for the tacticians, each tack important as the crews tried not to lose valuable boat speed.

At White Rock, Living Doll continued to lead Wired as she struggled in the light airs to round the rock.

In IRC Racing Division 2, Zen, Gordon Ketelbey's Sydney 38 led the series leader Flying Cloud, Howard Piggott's Beneteau First 40.

Further back Questionable Logic, Reignition (Charles Wallis) and Another Fiasco were virtually sailing on top of each other.

Howard Lambourne's Lambourdini and Bob Robertson's Cracklin Rosie were engrossed in their own private Farr 40 battle, with less than two boats lengths between them in the soft conditions.

PRO Tony Denham shadowed the fleet on the Committee boat and as the wind eased across the course he announced the abandonment of racing in all divisions except the Grand Prix IRC Racing Division 1 in which the 'bride' Living Doll was now extending away from the six race 'bridesmaid' Wired. At the top of Denman Island, Living Doll received the gun. Second was Wired. Behind them a great result for Bob Robertson's Farr 40 Cracklin' Rosie, ahead of sistership Howard Lambourne's Lambourdini.

In the Multihull division it was an easy line honours victory for Bob Dean's lightweight Grainger 075 trimaran Moving Finger. Sistership Sirocco, helmed by Bob Thomson finished second, floating past Keith Robert's red hulled Wild Thing.

In the end Cracklin Rosie, Bob Robertson's Farr 40 won the battle against rival Farr Lambourdini taking todays handicap win in race 7. Living Doll placed third. The Doll took line honours.

Michael Hiatt was pleased with Living Doll's regatta. 'We are happy with the results and happy with the way we sailed the boat this last week.

'The whole focus was on trying to sail the boat faster and better. With not many boats around us we had to race ourselves the whole time and that was a really good thing to happen.

'The only modification we made was a bit of a drop system set up for the kites, which we were experimenting with and it worked brilliantly.

'It is important to come to this regatta. I love this place. This is a totally relaxed area to come sailing to and all the crew love it.'

Between the Multihulls today competition was tight, with Intriigue, Peter Hackett's Corsair 27 taking handicap honours. Sirocco, Bob Thomson's Grainer was second with Robert Dean's Moving Finger finishing third. Moving Finger beat Wild Ting by just under a minute to take line honours.


The progressive results from yesterday stand as the final results in all except IRC Racing and Multihull divisions.

The fleets headed back into Pioneer Bay. For the trailerables and sports boats its the most important race of the week - first back is first to the trailer and first in the queue and first to the bar.

And the sailors favourite band the Wolverines will be headlining at Race HQ.

Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2010 Series Overall results stand as follows:

IRC Racing Division 1. Michael Hiatt's Farr 55 Living Doll claims this year's crown, making it back to back wins. She was the 2009 champion. Darryl Hodgkinson's Beneteau 45 Victoire was second with Howard Lambourne's Lambourdini, third.

IRC Racing Division 2 champion is Flying Cloud, Howard Piggott’s First 40. Gordon Ketelbey’s Sydney 38 Zen was second with Grizzly, Christopher Jiggins Adams 10 from the Whitsunday Sailing Club, third.

Piggott was very happy dockside. 'This is a new boat for us. I am happy with it and I'm learning more about it each day. This regatta has been very good for us. It has helped us to get used to the boat.

'It's important preparation for Hamilton Island and I don’t think you want to miss the Airlie Beach Regatta. It is a fun regatta, well orchestrated and the courses are excellent. It's given us an opportunity to get used to the south east trades and also the vagrancies of the conditions up here, which are somewhat foreign for us coming up from Sydney in mid winter.'

His rival all week, Gordon Ketelbey congratulated Flying Cloud on the win. 'It has been a serious battle with Flying Cloud and it has been a good one. They have pulled a lot of very lucky moves.

'Yesterday we rounded the bottom mark five minutes ahead of them and fell into a hole in the last leg and they beat us by 24 seconds. That has been happening all week.

'At the end of the day, Flying Cloud is the latest and greatest Beneteau IRC killer. We have a Sydney 38 which was never known as an IRC machine, so we are not disgracing ourselves at all.'

Sirocco, Bob Thomson becomes the 2010 Multihull champion. Moving Finger (Robert Dean) and Intriigue (Peter Hacket) filled the minor placings.

The Performance Racing Division Overall series winner is Terry Archer’s Sydney 40 Questionable Logic from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Damian Suckling’s Another Fiasco finishes second with Kevin Fogarty’s Idle Time third, making it a Whitunday trifecta.

Dockside this morning Terry Archer said 'Its a little nerve wracking. We are feeling under pressure. We found myself in this position last year, against Sunrise in Cruising Spinnakers., but we got them in the end.'

The IRC Cruising Division 1 champion is Stewart Lewis’ Martin 49 Ocean Affinity, finishing one point ahead of Peter Moseley’s Local Hero. Martin Power’s Bacardi was third.

At the start of the day Lewis was hoping the race was abandoned. 'We are looking forward to the AP going up and then no racing,' Lewis said. Luckily for Lewis his wish did come true all be it with a few hours of nervous racing before the abandonment call was made.

The Cruising Class Division 1 champion is Lets Go, Alyn and Danielle Ovenden’s Adams 15. Phil Bedlington’s Beneteau 40.7 Blue Moon was second, with Chris Stockdale’s Beneteau 50 Kat third.

The Cruising Class Division 2 winner is Peggy, Benjamin Meakin’s Austral Clubman 8. Amadeus (Peter Johnson) and Queensland Marine Services (John Galloway) tied on points, with Amadeus second by way of a count back.

The Cruising Non Spinnaker champion is Rumrunner LL, Chris Hillier’s Cole 43 from Sundowner, Norm House’s Farr and Still Dangerous, Ivor Burgess’ Beneteau Oceanis 423, who tied on 22 points.

The Sports Boat champion for 2010 is Brett Whitbread's Egan 7.27 Blokes World. Just half a point back was Bob Cowan's Stealth 8, Stealthy, with Cameron Miles Melges 24, Roger That completing the podium.

'It’s not the best way to win a regatta. It was a tough week. We weren’t doing too well today which makes us feel worse. Stealthy was in front of us and he probably would have been in front of us on handicap as well,' Whitbread said.

Leon Thomas' Gulity Pleasures 111 is the Super 30s winner. Kim Williams Rock 'N Roll finished second with Jeanine and Jon Drummond's LoCo third.

Ross 780 One Design champion is High Tide (Shannan Hart) from Rolls Ross (Rod Caldwell), with Wicked (Derek Foley) third.

The Ross 780s are also being scored under the EHC system. Overall series winner was Jon Griffin’s Rossgo from High Tide and Wicked.

Regatta founder Don Algie was awarded the The Boss Hog Trophy.









Full Results are available at http://www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au

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