Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012 is just a few days away.
Wilparina II is always great to watch - Airlie Beach Race Week Multihulls
With the big gathering of talented crews and amazing boats descending on Airlie Beach this year for undoubtedly the best ever multihull fleet up this way, the barflies have started the debate on who is going to win the silver.
The line honours will undoubtedly be going to the awesome 60’ Team Vodafone machine that we are so pleased to be flogged by, just to be on the same paddock for a few days.
I asked a few locals who have been watching the gathering fleet assembling in Pioneer Bay, and here are a few of their tips.
The bigger fleet sailing with the Offshore Multihull Rule that all serious racing in Australasia is based on takes in sail size, boat and crew weight, and boat length to come up with a single number that has proven pretty good over the years at rating a wide variety of boats.
The trimaran Trilogy with the latest incantation of Keith Glover’s canting rig and Mad Max the carbon catamaran of Tony Considine with surreal straight line speed will provide the entertainment at the fast end of the fleet, both crews keeping up as much mylar as they can around the big races.
Their challenges might come from the locals who surprisingly don’t wear 'flanno’s' but do push big boats hard like Peter Berry’s J’Ouvert, a Pescott Whitehaven 11.7. Peter showed last year that comfortable does not necessarily mean slow, and he has headhunted some of the best locals off boats like 'Cynaphobe' and 'Sirocco' in his quest.
The Victorian owners of Bare Essentials reckon they have mastered the curved foils and canting rig that got this boat so many podiums, and not far from their home, Rob Remilton will bring up the seasoned Wilparina II from SA to show what a pimped up Farrier tri can do with her foils.
At the smaller end of the fleet, the boat to watch is New Tricks, a Corsair Sprint 750 MkII sailed by current national champion David Renouf from Sydney.
In the equally as competitive PCF division, the smart money is on Peter Boyd’s Goldfinger, another boat up this way from South Australia, after a strong result at this season’s national championships, but there are a few dark horses
Whatever the result, the passage race schedule has all of us dribbling with anticipation, starting with the famous reach out to The Cones. Let’s go!