Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Day 5 was another great day of racing in the Whitsundays. The weather has been superb all week and today was no exception, glorious sunshine and breeze, albeit lighter than in previous days.
Kiss leads the Sports Boat fleet - Meridien MarinasRace Week 2011
There were big smiles all round this morning as the record fleet left Meridien Marinas Abel Point Marina.
PRO Tony Denham sent the Multihulls on the longer 42 nautical mile Dent Island race, past North Molle, around Dent Island, past the Hamilton Island resort back to South Molle Island up the Molle Channel past Pioneer Rocks and home.
As the fleet went into sequence the breeze was five knots but just 100 metres away from the start was an eight knot pressure line and the red Orma 60, Simon Hull’s TeamVodafoneSailing hooked into it and disappeared towards the top of North Molle. Bob Thompson’s Grainger 075 Sirocco was three minutes late and the Nacra 36 Malice was four minutes late to the start line.
Towards the end of the race, TeamVodafoneSailing was forced to gybe several times to get to the Bluff Mark, which was almost in glass.
As in previous days, TVS had sped around the course and finished at approximately 12:24pm with no other competitor from her division in sight.
Mal Richardson's Malice entered Pioneer Bay some 30 minutes after TeamVodafoneSailing finished. Trilogy, despite her late start, managed third. On handicap the win went to Whitsunday Sailing Club's Peter Berry's on J'Ouvert. Trilogy was second with Malice taking third.
Overall after five races the Multihull Series leader is Trilogy, four points clear of J'Ouvert and TeamVodafoneSailing, both now tied on 13 points.
The wind was 10 knots as the IRC Racing fleet was gunned away on their 34 nautical mile Pine Island. Wayne Millar’s Bashford 41 Zoe started on the Committee Boat end in pressure, with Rob Davis’ X-35 Nutcracker just behind her. Current Series leader, Peter Sorensen’s The Philosophers Club was the last boat away and was sucking gas at the back of the fleet. Neil Padden’s Neat Engineering Wailea was well back too while John McNamara’s Farr 40 Iota got a good start and was first to the mark.
Line honours went to Zoe, from Iota. The Philosopher's Club sailed well, catching up ground and finished third across the line. On handicap Gary McCarthy's Brilliant Pearl took the win from Ross Winterbourne's Bobby D, with The Philosophers Club third. Dockside Gary was smiling. 'A Brilliant day of sailing... a pearler! We took a gamble and went the other way from the rest of our division and it paid.'
Overall Series leader after six races, Peter Sorensen's The Philosophers Club maintained her lead and is now five points clear of the opposition. Nutcracker is second while Brilliant Pearl is one point further back in third.
IRC Cruising was also sent on the Pine Island race and at the start Cracklin' Rosie (Tony Ross) was over early, pushed up by Evolution Racing (Michael Keough). Ocean Affinity (Stewart Lewis) was boxed in next to the Committee Boat and had a horror start. Charles Wallis’ Reignition came in under the fleet with speed and was quickly leading.
Race 5 line honours went to Ocean Affinity from Evolution Racing. Less than one second back was Darryl Hodgkinson's Victoire. The handicap winner was Mike Welsh's Wicked from Victoire and Evolution Racing.
The Overall IRC Cruising Series leader is Victoire, four points clear of Evolution Racing with Wicked third.
The Performance Racing fleet was next away. Terry Archer’s Questionable Logic and Damian Suckling’s Another Fiasco were OCS but came back and restarted their Pine Island race.
In the end Robert Green's Dream took line honours from Questionable Logic and Another Fiasco. Duncan Hine's Redshift took the handicap win from Colin Pruden's Sandpiper Wutba with Craig Piccinelli's Wobbly Boot third.
The Overall Series leader after six races is Redshift, just half a point clear of Rod Sayer's Surefoot with Wobbly Boot just one and a half points further back. Its tight at the top and tomorrow's racing will decided who takes home the trophy.
In Cruising Division 1, Storm 2 and Hammer of Queensland were both late to the line with Hammer staying well away from the pin after picking up the pin boat on yesterday’s start. Cloud Nine (Ron Hayden) started on the pin and was quickly forward to the front of the fleet. It seemed to be a day for late starters, with Holy Cow (John Clinton) and Sirocco (Greg Egan) arriving ‘fashionably late’ to the line.
The breeze had settled and was blowing with more pressure around 11-12 knots, at Pioneer Point.
Cruising Division 1 line honours went to Chris Stockdale’s Eureka II from Storm 2 with Phillip King’s Last Tango third. Allan Warren’s Granny Apple scored her first win taking handicap honours over Ian Griffiths Wild Honey with Ian Thomson’s Fantasea Vitesse third.
The Overall Series leader after five races is Cloud Nine from Fantasea Vitesse and Last Tango.
Cruising Division 2 and Cruising Non-Spinnaker were set a shortened Molle Islands/Cones Race.
Cruising Division 2 line honours went to Nick Thomas and Col Cox’s Hans-On from Jeff Shipsey’s Sunrise. Peter McAdam’s Manly Too was third. Peter McKenzie’s Le Rossignol scored their first win of the series taking handicap honours from Mike Keyte’s Wings, with Peter Johnson’s Amadeus third.
After five races, Hans-On leads the Series Overall, from Pacific Phoenix with Gerard Young’s Spike holding third. Just six points separates the top seven in this division, tight racing indeed and tomorrow will decide the trophy winner.
The Cruising Non-Spinnaker line honours went to Tulip, Bernie Van’T Hoff’s Swan 45. Wayne Bank-Smith’s Joie De Vie was second, with Greg Sier’s Valdolese third. On handicap the win went to Stuart Garner’s RumGutz from the Whitsunday Sailing Club with Tom Hadfield’s Home second. Third was Graham Manvell’s Blownaway Too.
Overall Series leader is Henry Kelder’s Bluenose from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Second is Blownaway Too, with Roger Boast’s Serendipity third. Just five points separate the top five, and this is yet another division that will be decided by tomorrow’s final race.
The Super 30s started their scheduled windward leewards quite close to the Bluff Point mark, tucked right into the western part of Pioneer Bay.
Where’s Wal, Roger Jepson’s Thompson 870 was on the pin, Leon Thomas’ Farr 30 Guilty Pleasures III next up with plenty of space, then came Jeanine and Jon Drummond’s Farr 30 Loco, then RBS Morgans Immigrant, Jeff Paul’s Mumm 30, and John Lindholm’s Thompson 980 Dark Energy.
Dark Energy headed right in a soft five knots of breeze, but as she headed to the first mark the breeze was increasing.
As the Super 30s reached the bottom mark, Guilty Pleasures III tried to sail Loco away from the mark but Loco led RBS Morgans Immigrant and Guilty Pleasures III around. Dark Energy was fourth.
In the end it was Loco from Guilty Pleasures III and Dark Energy. The handicap win went to Loco from Guilty Pleasures III and RBS Morgans Immigrant.
At the bottom mark of race 2 of the day for the Super 30s, Dark Energy led Guilty Pleasures III who was ahead of Loco by a length. Immigrant was half a length further back.
Guilty Pleasures III came home in the new breeze, which had shifted well to the east, and won from Dark Energy and Loco. Guilty Pleasures took the handicap win also, from Loco and RBS Morgan Immigrant.
Race 3 for the day and Guilty Pleasures III led the fleet right and was first to the mark.
On water Leon Thomas (Guilty Pleasures III) said after racing ‘A great battle between us and Loco. We were match racing much of the time and they got the better of us initially but we turned the tables. ’
Out on the Sports Boat course the fleet was a little too eager to start racing and there were two general recalls.
The third attempt was a clear start with Blokes World, Brett Whitbread’s Egan 7, tacking right with Pierre Gal’s Sports 8xx Kiss. Blokes World tacked back and Kiss crossed well ahead. Kiss and Heath Townsend’s Melges 24 Kaito went to the right, Bob Cowan’s Stealth 8 Stealthy went to the far right, then Kiss tacked back to the left. John Rae’s Stealth 8 Guided Missile was out playing with Stealthy on the left as Stealthy approached the starboard lay line.
At the top mark Mustard Cutter, Scott Creedon’s Thompson 750, led Kiss. Then followed Steve Harrison’s Thompson 7 WA Cromarty Engineers. With a good hoist Kiss sailed ahead, behind her was Guided Missile, Stealthy and Blokes World, doing a 720.
The Race Committee shortened the race as the breeze went light.
Kiss finished ahead of Too Hot to Trot, Peter Jamieson’s Lyons 8. She was followed by WA Cromarty Engineers and Mustard Cutter. Rivals Stealthy and Bloke’s World were well back in the fleet, as some boats appeared to finish on the wrong side of the Committee Boat.
Race 7 of the Sports Boat Series SMS Division 1 line honours went to Too Hot to Trot from WA Cromarty Engineers with Mustard Cutter, just 0.4 seconds further back. On handicap it was WA Cromarty Engineers from Mister Magoo and Go Majik. In SMS 2 Kiss took line honours from Stealthy and Guided Missile. The handicap win went to Kiss from Monkey Business (Cam Rae) and Wha-Ka (Dave Hewitt).
In race 2 for the day, race 8 of the Series, Stealthy was first to the starboard lay line but WA Cromarty Engineers crossed ahead of her as did Kiss, who came in from the left. Kiss led Too Hot to Trot and Cromarty Engineers, then followed Stealthy and the balance of the record sports boat fleet. Situation Normal was unable to get around the mark and had to turn inside, losing a lot of places. The breeze was still light, around five knots, as the fleet headed back up the course.
SMS Division 1 line honours went to the red hot Too Hot to Trot, from WA Cromarty Engineers with Steven England's Ketchup third. Handicap winner was Go Majik from WA Cromarty Engineers and Evergreen. SMS Division 2 line honours went to Kiss, from Blokes World and Stealthy. Blokes World took the handicap win. Wha-Ka was second, with Situation Normal filling third.
Stephen Peel skipper of Too Hot to Trot said between races ‘We’re a much improved boat today. This boat goes really well in light conditions. We've got all the rag we can legally put up today.’
For the final Sports Boat race of the day, race 9 of the Series, Blokes World started on the Committee Boat end and led Monkey Business and Michael Green’s Evergreen to the right. Kiss was fourth and well advanced.
SMS Division 1 line honours winner was Too Hot to Trot from Ray White Mordialloc (Greg Scherwinski) with WA Cromarty Engineers. the Handicap winner was Ray White Mordialloc from Go Majik and Evergreen. Overall Series SMS Div 1 leader is Go Majik, from Mister Magoo with Kaito third.
SMS Division 2 line honours and handicap winners were Kiss, Stealthy and Blokes World. Overall Series SMS Div 2 leader is Kiss from Blokes World and Stealthy.
Kiss leads the Series after nine races, their drop now a 16, after being over the line early in race 8. Blokes World is a further eight points back in second, with Stealthy third.
The Competitor's Marquee was packed as the very popular Wolverines again entertained the crowd and today's prizes were distributed to their recipients.
Tomorrow is the final day of racing at Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week and will decide the trophy winners in many classes and everyone is looking forward to a great finish to a fantastic week.
Results are provisional.
Full results are available at the Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week website - www.airliebeachraceweek.com
Wave Sweeper with tender - Cruising Non Spinnaker - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week