Day 2 of Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week promised conditions similar to those on day 1 – great trade wind sailing under the clear, blue Whitsunday sky.
The morning breeze was 12-15 knots from the south east and steady.
Onboard Team Vodafone Sailing, skipper Simon Hull was ready for action after repairs to the ORMA 60 were successfully completed yesterday afternoon.
Course 8, the picturesque Molle Islands Race was chosen by the Race Committee. For the IRC and Multihull division the course was set at 27nms, for IRC Cruising, Performance Racing and Cruising Division 1 24nms and for all other division 22nms. The Sports Boats were set windward/leewards in Pioneer Bay.
The Multihulls were first to face the starter’s gun and were quickly away, in 16 knots from 130 degrees.
It was a clean start. Most of the division gathered at the committee boat end of the line, while Mal Richardson’s Malice and Keith Glover’s Trilogy started close to the pin end.
Team Vodafone Sailing approached the pin end of the start line at speed and was forced to dip to avoid a collision with either Malice or Trilogy. She managed to squeeze over the line and the red giant headed off towards the Mandalay mark with Malice and Trilogy chasing.
Divisional starts followed. Principal Race Officer Jim Hayes advised ‘All clean starts in an ebbing tide, for the Passage race today. All boats were well behaved and no-one was OCS.
‘We started the sports boat division windward/leewards in Pioneer Bay, just off Bluff Point. The breeze had softened to around six to eight knots by race 1 start time but they too managed a clean start.'
At the Mandalay mark Yendys, the J/V TP52 of Geoff Ross, led the IRC fleet. She was followed by Zen, Gordon Ketelbey’s Sydney 38.
Leo Rodriguez's Volvo 60 Merit, from the Whitsunday Sailing Club was first Cruising Division 1 boat to the mark. In quick succession she was followed by Carbon Credits (Trevor Bailey), Loki II (Adrian Fitzpatrick), Lets Go (Al and Dan Ovenden) and the giant Ior Maxi, Condor (Paul Effeney).
Hammer of Queensland (Mick Eckert) was sighted doing a penalty turn, as was the much smaller Archambault 40 Nautical Circle (Chris Carlile).
At approximately midday Team Vodafone Sailing was in sight of the finish boat. She crossed at 12.23.34, taking just 01:53.24 to complete the course.
Colourful spinnakers quickly filled the Molle Passage as the multihulls raced to the finish.
Yendys, the first monohull, also appeared. The TP52 was way ahead of her nearest monohull rival, taking line honours in just over 3 hrs 16 minutes.
Yendys also took the handicap win from Bob Robertson’s Lunchtime Legend (Beneteau First 40) and Take Flight (Beneteau First 40), skippered by Mike Keyte.
The Overall IRC Racing series leader is Geoff Ross’ Yendys. Lunchtime Legend is second with Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen (Sydney 38) third.
David Blanchfield crew boss of Yendys explained dockside ‘The boat has been going well.
'The breeze has been up pretty early on both mornings, at around 15 knots. Today it increased in strength on the other side of the Molle Islands. And it was nice, good test for the boat.
‘At White Rock the wind lightened off so we set the spinnaker expecting a pretty fast run. We had 15 to 18 knots, near perfect conditions, with the boat doing around 16 knots.
‘The breeze got a little softer as we got down into Pioneer Bay, land breeze transitioning with the sea breeze. We slowed up and struggled a bit to the finish, but a good day.
‘America’s Cup skipper Gavin Brady was steering the boat today and our crew is half Kiwis and half Aussies.
‘First time at Airlie for a few of us - it’s all been good, really good.’
Out in the passage between the Molle Islands the breeze was solid 15-18 knots, but coming around Pioneer Rock into the Bay the breeze became shifty and lightened off considerably at the finish boat.
Boats that chose either the land side or went wide around the fleet benefited, managing not to get caught in the 'hole' that appeared in the centre of the course, a trap for many.
Meanwhile on the sports boat course Raptor, Mark Buchbach's Stealth, clearly led the fleet. Guided Missile, John Rae's Stealth 8, was well behind Raptor, who looked likely to lap the division's stragglers.
Raptor indeed blitzed the field, taking both line honours and the handicap win in race 1 of the day, race 2 of the series. She finished just under ten minutes clear of Bob Cowan’s Stealthy from the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, NSW. On handicap Brett Whitbread's Blokes World was second, with Stealthy third.
The wind shifted and lifted in strength for the start of the second race. Raptor led to the first mark, from Guided Missile and Blokes World as the breeze strengthened to 15 knots. Raptor again took line honours and the handicap win from Blokes World and BJ Barwick Electrical (Graham Sherring). It was Raptor again in Race 4, this time on handicap from Stealthy and BJ Barwick Electrical.
Overall, Raptor leads Blokes World, with BJ Barwick Electrical third.
Dockside Bob Cowan, Stealthy, said ‘It was a lot of fun, a good breeze and the boys worked well. We were happy with the boat and picked a few good shifts. Good racing.’
Raptor’s skipper Mark Buchbach. ‘Three line honours and three bullets, we can’t really complain.'
The OMR Multihulls race 2 handicap win went to Team Vodafone Sailing (Simon Hull), with Malice (Mal Richardson) second and APC Mad Max, George Owen’s Grainger 10, third.
Overall series leader is Malice, two points clear of Trilogy (Keith Glover) with Hot Vindaloo, Adrian Fawcett’s Prescott Fire Fly 850 third.
Performance Multihull line honours went to Rum Raider, from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Zippy (Bernie McErlane) took the handicap win from Su Mare (David Eldridge), with Room With A View (Sean Nichols) third.
Overall series leader is Rum Raider, from MC Moggy and Zippy.
The Performance Racing line honours win in race 2 went to UBS Wild Thing (Geoff Lavis). The handicap win went to Twister, Kevin Fogarty’s newly launched Beneteau First 40.7 from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Jeffrey Brown’s Double O Seven (Northshore 38 Mod) also from the host club was second with Peter Mosely’s Local Hero (Bh 36) third.
Overall, Twister is the Performance Racing series leader from Graham Jiggin’s Grizzly (Adams 10), with Ichi Ban (Matt Allen/Walter Lee, Farr 400) third.
Race 2 for the IRC Cruising division on handicap was won by Bobby D, Ross Winterbourne’s Farr from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. White Noise (Jason Close, Beneteau First 35) was second, with Under Capricorn (Phil Bedlington, Borresen) third. Line honours went to Optimus Prime (Trevor Taylor, Marten 49).
Overall Bobby D leads the IRC Cruising division series from Under Capricorn and Tulip (Bernie Van’T Hof).
Bobby D’s skipper Ross Winterbourne was happy. ‘We had a crew of switched on local sailors, who knew how to sail our 25 year old boat.
‘We had 15-18 knots and at times it reached 20 today; we used every spinnaker and tried every sail on the boat and we worked really hard. It was a good day.'
Bruce Moore’s Encore took Cruising Division 1 handicap honours from Nautical Circle (Chris Carlile, Archambault 40) with Wave Nine (Arthur King, Farr 1220) third. Line honours went to Merit (Leo Rodriguez, Volvo 60) from the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
The series leader is Encore, from Condor (Paul Effeney) with Wave Nine third.
Race 2 Cruising Division 2 line honours went to John and Kim Clinton’s Holy Cow (Beneteau Oceanis 50), with its distinctive cow spinnaker and cow bell. Yesterday they were slow to the line and as John related ‘cows can’t count.’ Apparently today they could.
John Clinton laughed. ‘Cows can count to one and we were first over the line for a change.’
When asked why that was John said ‘because we all had breakfast and once we had finished with the paddock and got everything down we decided we had better get a move on.
'It was good today, on the edge of it with our gennaker. We targeted the two other 50’s Biddy Hu II from Melbourne and Silver Minx.
'Yes, another great day’s sailing and we are happy.’
The handicap win went to One Lousy Goat, Derek Cragg’s Jeanneau 409, from Lee-Way/Ensign racing (Tony Horkings, Northshore 38) with Le Rossignol (Peter McKenzie, Ross 780) third.
Overall Division 2 series leader is John Fowell’s Ells Bells on countback from John and Kim Clinton’s Holy Cow. Tony Horkings’ Lee-Way/Ensign Racing is third.
Cruising Non Spinnaker line honours went to Victoire (Darryl Hodgkinson, Beneteau 45). Victoire also took the handicap win from Mim (Mike Walter, Catalina 350) with Still Dangerous (Brian Ellis, Beneteau Oceanis 423) third.
Overall series leader is Still Dangerous, one point clear of Mim. Three boats are tied on nine points; Victoire, Queensland Marine Services (John Galloway) and Sundowner (Norm House). Victoire holds third on count back.
Managing Director of principal event sponsor Telcoinabox Damian Kay, sailing on Merit, summed up the day.
‘It’s been a great regatta so far. We were leading today and unfortunately fell into a hole and the fleet caught us. The fleet sailed around us after seeing our predicament. We got line honours in the end but only just and lost a lot of time. They stayed on the breeze line.
‘Great day, weather was perfect, lots more breeze today from the south. The guys had a lot of fun and we loved it.’
Racing continues tomorrow, Sunday August 12 and will conclude on Thursday August 16. Monday is the designated lay day.
For more information and full results please visit the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week website www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au
* Results are provisional.
by Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week media
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6:24 AM Sat 11 Aug 2012GMT
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