Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - The large contingent of cruising boats once again provided the colour and spectacle, particularly in today’s Lindeman Island Race when 200 strong fleet split into their respective divisions and set off from the same extended starting line off Hamilton Island’s Catseye Bay.
Each division was called to the start line at five minute intervals by race officer Megan Kensington, leaving the fly boys of the IRC grand prix division until last to work their way along Pentecost Island and through the entire Race Week fleet.
The final kite run to the finish in Dent Passage was a blaze of colour with spinnakers filling the horizon with the two giant superyachts Perseus and Kokomo pressed up reaching in under the fleet with their acres of spinnaker stretched.
The mighty Condor, David Molloy’s charter maxi that has a long and colourful history in Australian ocean racing muscled its way through the Cruising division 1 fleet to finish top placed boat.
Molloy today paid tribute to two key crew members, Japanese sailmaker Seiichi Wosheikawa, who drove for most of the final Lindeman Island Race, and Peter Jervis, an air traffic controller from Sydney. Both have been Molloy’s guests for the past three years and 'make the boat hum' said the winning skipper.
After running aground last year and finishing last, Molloy is delighted with Condor’s result this week. It was a narrow victory with Bill Hili’s Salona 44 C’est La Vie finishing just three points behind. Bruce Gray’s Inon was third.
Victorious in Cruising division 2 was Kym Clarke’s South Australian Beneteau Imagine, two points separating first and second placed Espilon, Annie McComb’s Cavalier 395 sailing for the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. Third was Bo Wharton’s Mango Madness.
Jonathan Threlfall’s Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Jeanneau Sunfast 36 Campeador won Cruising Division 3 on a countback, beating Peter Lewis’ Charlie’s Dream having put away enough early wins to counter their lacklustre result in today’s final Lindeman Island Race.
'We do a lot of sailing in Sydney Harbour which gets a little tedious, the allure of sailing around such beautiful islands and the warmer weather keeps bringing us back,' said Threlfall, who co-owns the boat with wife Mary. For this regatta he raced with a group of seven friends, with an average age of 60, rather than his regular Sydney crew.
Hoping 'all this winning business might pay off', Threlfall, who brings the boat up to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week on a threadbare budget, wanted to mention his sponsors Pengana Capital and Quantum Sails with a view to possibly garnering their support again. www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au