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Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week day 3 - Postcard Sailing

by Rob Kothe on 15 Aug 2010
Spinnakers on day 3 - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Airlie Beach Race Week media 2012
Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2010 day 3, yet another glorious Whitsunday day and the breeze came in, well above expectations.

The fleet was held ashore this morning until a light afternoon north easterly breeze appeared.

Passage racing was scheduled for the Performance Racing, IRC Cruising, Cruising Non-Spinnaker, Super 30, Multi-hulls, Sports Boats and One Design fleets.

From the late start the wind gradually built and stabilised across the Bay. PRO Tony Denham had sensibly moved the start line to the north of Bluff Point.

Progressively the divisions were gunned away from around 1.00pm in six to seven knots of wind, heading out on Course 5/6, a Pioneer Bay triangular course set between Bluff, Grimston and Pioneer Points.

The fleet worked up to the top mark and turned at Grimston Point under spinnaker back towards the Molle Channel.

In the Sports Boat division the Melges 24s of Cameron Miles, Roger That and Matt Allen and Warwick Rooklyn's Bandit stayed on the left and were well placed amongst the fleet, while Bob Cowan’s much faster Stealth 8, Stealthy worked the inside of the course.

As the whole fleet approached the top of the Bay the breeze continued to lift towards eight knots and it was a very colourful spectacle as the Cruising division ran down under kite and reached across to the Big Island shore and went around again.

Pierre Gal’s Sports 8xx Kiss scored the Sports Boat class handicap win today from Matt Allen and Warwick Rooklyn’s Bandit. The Lake Macquarie based Stealthy (Bob Cowan) was third. Kiss was also the fastest boat around the course ahead of Stealthy and Pete Sorensen’s Conquistador.

Dockside Sorro was shaking his head. ‘Today was a horror day... we are busy on this boat with the forward dagger board, rotating mast and all, we had sheet and halyard problems, we did just about everything except hoisting a spinnaker upside down!'

Bob Cowan smiled ruefully as he and his crew packed away the Stealth 8. 'We sailed well, we were fast, but Pierre and his guys sailed better and faster.'

However Pierre Gal was smiling. ‘A good beat and then an even better run. We had a ¾ cut spinnaker, which meant we were able to hold above the Cruising fleet, while Stealthy and Conquistador had to hoist a jib to climb back up to the rhumbline and they copped a lot of disturbed air from the Cruisers.

‘Today’s result was a big relief after the last two days. We finished the Two Cones race carrying 380 litres of water and yesterday we were on the wrong side of the tide and headed for the wrong mark.'

Warwick Rooklyn drove the Melges 24 Bandit today and dockside he commented ‘we are having a battle within a battle with Cam Miles and his Melges 24 Roger That crew. They provide a great bench mark in the class, we are new to the class, and it’s our first outing.

‘The Melges 24 is certainly a lot of fun. I come from a strong skiff background, I did a 49er campaign and sailed the '24 some years ago, a few regattas with the Italians, and felt that it had now reached critical mass here in Australia. So Matt (Allen) and I decide to give it a charge.

‘In today’s race we had the Roger That mob at the start, then they got away from us, then we sailed through them on the shoreline. We extended on the first run, we thought they would get us on the tight reach because we were underweight but we hung on during the beat and we did well on the run.

‘At the end of the day, we might be new to it, but it’s still a boat, we have a talented team so we are catching on. But above all, it’s just been great to be up here in the sun.’

Overall after three races, Stealthy leads Bandit with Roger That, third.

The IRC Racing division was scheduled to do windward/leewards and moved further out into the Bay to begin their racing.

The breeze had reached eight to nine knots as Division 1 was dispatched. Living Doll, Michael Hiatt's Farr 55 crossed the start line, ahead of Rob Bassett's Bakewell-White 52 Wired.

The Doll under laid and had to tack, but she still came into the mark a minute and a half ahead of Wired.

Third around the top mark and very close behind Wired, was Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau 45 Victoire.

Then came the battle of the Farr 40s, Howard Lambourne's Lambourdini leading but closely followed by John Leman's Bobby's Girl and Bob Robertson’s Cracklin Rosie.

Victoire took the handicap win from Living Doll and Cracklin Rosie.

Race 4 handicap and line honours went to Living Doll from Victoire and Lambourdini.

After four races the Overall IRC Division 1 leader is the 2009 Champion Living Doll. Lambourdini and Victoire are tied on 11 points.

IRC Racing Division 2 Race 3 was won by Brilliant Pearl, Gary McCarthy’s Beneteau 34.7 from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club. Howard Piggott’s Flying Cloud and Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen were second and third respectively. Zen and Flying Cloud battled for line honours, with Zen piping Flying Cloud to the win by just by nine seconds.

Race 4 handicap win went to Flying Cloud, from Zen and Whitsunday sailor Jeff Brown on Double O Seven.

After four races the Overall series leader is Flying Cloud from Zen and Double O Seven.

Gary McCarty, the Mooloolaba based skipper of Brilliant Pearl was happy with the day. ‘This is a training run for Magnetic Island Race Week!! We are introducing our White Pearl cruising crew to the world of racing. This is their first racing division regatta.

‘I am driving and calling tactics and Peter Elliott, an old mate from our One Tonne days, is running the boat.

‘We are all feeling much better today, after yesterday’s devastation. We were on fire leading the Sydney 38 Zen and Flying Cloud the Beneteau First 40, when we parked up at the top end of Day Dream and watched the entire fleet sail around us.

‘Today in the first race, we went left from the pin, found two good shifts and were well advanced at the top mark and were rewarded with a handicap first.

‘In the second race we blew the start, underestimated the flooding tide and had to duck the entire fleet to cross on port. With the whole fleet ahead of us, we clawed our way back to sixth.

‘So now to lay day!!’

The EHC win for the Ross 780 class went to Peter McKenzie’s Le Rossignol. Rossgo (Jon Griffin) was second with Wicked (Derek Foley) third. Rod Caldwell’s Rolls Ross took line honours.

After 3 races Shannan Hart’s High Tide, from the Whitsunday Sailing Club, leads from Fly ‘N High (Gary Bruce) and Wicked.

The 780 One Design honours went to Rolls Ross, from Wicked and Fly N High. Overall High Tide leads Rolls Ross and Wicked.

In IRC Cruising Peter Mosely’s local hero won on handicap from Greg Tobin’s Dehler Magic with Stewart Lewis’ Ocean Affinity third. The line honours win went to Ocean Affinity.

Overall Ocean Affinity leads the series from Local hero and Quattro (Graham Donnell).

In the Cruising Class Division 1 eXcapade, Noel Gough’s Northshore Nxs 38 took the handicap win from Let’s Go (Alyn and Danielle Ovenden) and Blue Moon (Phil Bedlington). eXcapade had obviously recovered from yesterday’s escapade, she bricked on Pioneer Rock and had to be towed clear by one of the Race Week safety vessels.

Let’s Go still leads the series Overall from Blue Moon and Don Algie’s Storm 2.

In Cruising Class Division 2 Benjamin Meakin’s Peggy took the handicap win again today. John Galloway’s Queensland Marine Services was second with Peter Johnson’s Armadeus third. Line honours went to Queensland Marine Services.

The Overall series leader is Peggy, followed by Amadeus and Queensland Marine Services.

In Cruising Non Spinnaker Tulip, skippered by Bernie Vanthof took the daily double. Chris Hiller’s RumRunner LL was second with Still Dangerous (Ivor Burgess) third.

Tulip leads the series from Still Dangerous and Serendipity.

The Multi-hull handicap winner today was Sirocco, Bob Thompson’s Grainger from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Peter Hackett’s Intrigue was second with Robert Dean’s Moving Finger third. Fastest multi-hull around the course today was Dave Chittleborough’s Cynophobe.

Overall series leader is Sirocco, from Moving Finger and Intrigue.

In the Performance Racing class Lorna Rose Too, Peter Mitchelson’s Austral Clubman 8 from the Whitsunday Sailing Club took the handicap win, from Questionable Logic and Another Fiasco. Line honours went to Questionable Logic.

Overall, Questionable Logic, Terry Archer’s Sydney 40 leads the series from Damian Suckling’s Another Fiasco, with local Airlie Beach sailor Ian Thomson on SOS Ocean Racing, currently third.

The handicap Super 30s win went to Likatiger, the Flying Tiger (David Turton) from LoCo (Jeanine and Jon Drummond) F30, with Guilty Pleasures 111 (Leon Thomas) F30 third. A battle for the fastest Super 30 around the course today with Heath Walter’s Funnelweb taking the honours, less than a minute ahead of Kim William’s Rock ‘N Roll.

Overall Rock ‘N Roll and Funnelweb are tied on eight points, with LoCo just one point behind the leaders.

A positive comment from Ian Thomson of SOS Racing, who is sailing in the Performance Handicap fleet, at the end of another challenging day, for the Regatta Management team.

‘Given the fact that the high pressure system is still camped on us, today’s racing was a credit to the Race Management team, they nailed it. The delay ashore was sensible and then the round the bay course selection was perfect.'

Breaking news - The final three days of Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week may yet have some extra zing for the Grand Prix IRC Racing Division 1 as Jim Farmer's newest Georgia, the current New Zealand IRC champion out of the same moulds as the Emirates Team New Zealand TP52, is just a hundred or so miles off Mackay (Queensland).

She was hit by two big storms while crossing the ditch but is now caught on the edge of the same weather system the Race Week sailors have been enjoying, so just when she will arrive is still a question mark.

For more news, results and images go to http://ww.airliebeachraceweek.com.au
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