A Clash of the Titans was expected at Airlie Beach but the long awaited battle between Sean Langman’s ORMA 60 Trimaran Team Australia and his kiwi rival, Simon Hull's Team Vodafone Sailing will not be at Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012, after a series of breakages has delayed Langman's sailing program.
Team Australia in Sydney Harbour
Today the high profile skipper explained 'We broke a foil in the Brisbane to Gladstone race. We switched to a back up and during our preparation for an attack on the Sydney to Hobart speed record, currently held by Mari Cha, we discovered very recently that it too had a fault, so we have been rushing to get a new one made in France. We have now been advised that the international air shipment date is too late for us to line up at Airlie Beach.
'Everyone is shattered… it’s a regatta we’ve not sailed and we were very much looking forward to it… there is always next year.'
Langman expects the foil to arrive in time for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, although there could still be issues.
‘Simon Hull and his team sailed from Noumea especially to race against us at Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island and we owe it to Simon and both crews to do our very best to make the start line.'
Airlie Beach Race Week Regatta Director Denis Thompson said ‘We are all disappointed but these things happen with boats. We still have Team Vodafone and a bigger multihull fleet than ever before.
'There’s still two weeks before entries close and with all the entries coming in, I am worried if we have enough skippers kits and back stay flags. It’s going to be a big fleet and quite a spectacle.’
For more information and online entries go to www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au