Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Cruising classes are heating up, with less than a handful of points separating the top placed boats in divisions 2 and 3.
Cruising division 1 looks as though it will be claimed by the X-43 Scaramouche from Mooloolaba, skippered by Graham Smith, which is currently on top of the leaderboard on 21 points. Bryan Dorman’s Beneteau 58, Sympatico, is the nearest rival, on 28 points.
In Cruising division 2 the competition is tight. Robert Pizzie, skipper of the Bavaria C55, Tonic, is tied for first place with Ucan’takeitwithu. There’s nothing between the pair who are leading their division on 32 points.
Pizzie happily admits that ‘at this stage his crew is happy to get a place.’ For tomorrow’s final Molle Islands Race they are hoping that ‘with good weather and wind along with good sailing tactics Tonic will take home the coveted first place trophy’.
As for, Ucan’ttakeitwithu, skipper John Stuckey is hoping that ‘something goes very wrong’ for Tonic. At the end of tomorrow Stuckey too is looking for a top finish and he says it is ‘in the hands of the handicapper’.
Today the Tonic crew sailed their course around Pine Island and back to a Dent Passage finish in high spirits, dancing whilst playing music on board. ‘Today was cruising at its best’ said Stuckey.
Cruising Division 3 has the narrowest of margins for the series scores, the difference between first and second place just half a point. Mike Davies’ West Australian Jeanneau 36 Sandstone, is narrowly ahead of Mark Burton’s Hanse 371 Redline 1 from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, in Victoria.
Burton says ‘tomorrow we want nothing to go wrong and we are hoping for enough wind'. To get them this far it has taken ‘absolutely seamless crew work’ says Burton, who will also be back next year for his 14th Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which happens to be the event’s 30th anniversary.
Cruising results here
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 website
by Stephanie Hobbs
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9:55 AM Fri 24 Aug 2012GMT
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2012 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
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