Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Festival of Sails - Audi IRC Nationals - Cliff hanger finale

by Lisa Ratcliff on 27 Jan 2013
Audi IRC Australian Championship Class A Winner Shogun © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
Festival of Sails 2013. The Audi IRC Australian Class A Champion for 2013 has been decided with local entry, Rob Hanna’s Shogun V hitting the jackpot in a cliff hanger countback finish to the nine-race series.

Like the last time the championship was run at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August, the winning numbers didn't drop until the lottery wheel was spun on the final day, and in fact the better score in the final race was the clincher.

Shogun V and Marcus Blackmore’s 2011 and 2012 Audi IRC champion, Hooligan, both finished with 16 points, the former winning the tie-break with Calm 2 third on 18 points.

'That’s amazing, we thought Hooligan had it,' said a surprised Hanna as the news was relayed on the dock.

'We were first around the top mark, Hooligan went for a fractional spinnaker and we went for the big bag (spinnaker) and tried to hold it all the way across; fortunately we could,' a grinning Hanna said on what he believed was their winning move in the final 16 nautical mile special course that finished spectacularly off Hanna’s home club, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.

When asked whether a win for the local lad would be popular, Hanna laughed: 'I hope so! It’s popular with me and my crew.

'There isn't much to separate the TPs here; they are three very fast boats. Congratulations to both crews, Hooligan and Calm 2. We thought we lost it because our crew work in the first race this morning was pretty ordinary, then we ripped our spinnaker. We were shaking our heads.

'I have a really good crew but I can’t say enough about the competitors, they made the regatta and it was a lot of fun.'

Tactician Steve McConaghy was knocked for six:' 'To win on a countback is so special. It’s been good winds and an exciting regatta, it doesn't get much better.'

Once results were announced, runner-up Marcus Blackmore immediately shook hands with Hanna, who had dogged him all week, saying ' They've sailed well and deserve to win.

'It was unbelievable, it’s pretty amazing racing when you have three of the best TP52s in the world all trying to beat each other, and letting the other guys in occasionally. Unfortunately that’s what we did today. We had a Code O up and Shogun didn't, then we got on the wrong side of a 20 degree wind shift,' Blackmore added.

Jason Van Der Slot’s Calm 2 came to the Audi IRC Australian Championship anticipating a third but not such a close finish.

'It was a good weekend; we are still learning the boat and every race we learnt more,' he said. 'We always thought we’d finish third but didn't ‘think we’d be able to take it away from the other boats like we did. Marcus has had his boat for three years, Rob for two and we got on the water in October.'

Before the penultimate windward/leeward in southerly conditions averaging 10 knots occasionally reaching 12, Hooligan and TP classmate Shogun V were frontrunners.

By that race’s conclusion, Jason Van Der Slot’s TP Calm 2 had out-maneuvered the dueling pair and was wedged in between them in second place with a point either side.

The final race, a 16 nautical miler was a thriller, with the wind shifting 25 degrees around 160 degrees and building to 15 knots.

It was a Beneteau triple in Audi IRC Australian Championship Class B.

Bruce McCraken’s Beneteau First 45 Ikon from Hobsons Bay Yacht Club sailed a consistently classy series to close it out with a comfortable six point lead over Chris Manton’s Senna, finishing with 17 points. Alan Woodward’s Reverie finished third on equal points with Senna, 23.



Ikon dropped out of the top standings once from nine races and for his efforts McCracken takes home the silverware and will be presented with a Audi branded North Sails spinnaker.

'Perfect, perfect, perfect as we did some damage to our own spinnaker in this regatta. An Audi kite will look great on the boat!' McCraken said this afternoon as he was organising a crew dinner to celebrate.

In Audi IRC Class C, Grant Botica has collected his own hat-trick, three consecutive divisional Festival of Sails wins. Botica’s worst result was a second, which became their drop, giving Executive Decision the perfect score of nine points from nine starts.

'We had a plan 12 months ago to win, we weren't sure we could do it, but in the end our plan came true.

'The more wins you have can sometimes mean the harder it is to win. I’m just so proud of the boys, it’s fantastic. I just don’t know what else to say, I’m so happy.'

Roger Hickman’s Farr 43 Wild Rose finished second with 14 points. In third place was Tasmanian boat Invincible, skippered by Harold Clark.

Competitors in the three divisions were exposed to a variety of conditions, from the opening day’s soft start to a gale warning and 30 knot SSW winds for Friday’s distance race to mid Port Phillip, the same day that sent many packing up early from the Melbourne to Geelong passage race for the cruising and other divisions.

A cool Australia Day weekend followed, moderate winds averaging 12 to 16 knots on the Saturday and milder south sou’easters for today’s final two races.

Deviating from the normal festival program, the 170th Festival of Sails opened with the Audi IRC Australian Championship.

'We would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved in the 2013 Audi IRC Australian championship - Yachting Australia, Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the Festival of Sails, the volunteers, race management, yacht owners, crews and families,' said Nairn Johnston from Audi Sailing Sport.

'We thank you for your support and commitment to sailing and the Audi brand. We are already planning and looking forward to the 2014 championship in Newcastle where we hope for an equally close fight for the prized title of Audi IRC Australian Champion.'



Trophies will be presented to the three class winners tomorrow at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club at the Festival of Sails prizegiving starting at 10am on the yacht club stage.

Yachting Australia and Audi Australia have just announced that the 2014 Audi IRC Australian Championship will be held at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club in New South Wales. The Championship will be held over the Easter long weekend, with racing taking place between April 17 and 21.

Audi IRC Australian Championship - Division A

1.)Shogun V - Rob Hanna (16 points)
2.)Hooligan - Marcus Blackmore (16 points)
3.)Calm 2 - Jason Van Der Slot (18 points)
4.)Celestial - Sam Haynes (30 points)
5.)Black Jack - Peter Harburg (36 points)
6.)Calm - John Williams (42 points)
7.)Frantic - Michael Martin (60 points)

Audi IRC Australian Championship - Division B

1.)IKon-Bruce McCraken (17 points)
2.)Senna-Brendan Garner (23 points)
3.)Reverie-Alan Woodward (23 points)
4.)Equinox II-Anthony Dunn (27.5 points)
5.)Ginger-Leslie Green (32 points)
6.)Schuss-Denis McConnell (37 points)
7.)Local Mocean-Steven Richardson (52.5 points)

Audi IRC Australian Championship - Division C

1.)Executive Decision -Grant Botica (9 points)
2.)Wild Rose - Roger Hickman (14 points)
3.)Invincible - Harold Clark (26 points)
4.)Archie - Sally Rattle (27 Festival of Sails 2013

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearKilwell - 5Naiad/Oracle Supplier