sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Pioneers return
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Pioneers return


'Audi Hamilton Island Race week 2013 - Hitchhiker'    Andrea Francolini/Audi

Four of the pioneers from the inaugural Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in 1984 are back to grace the boating stage and mark 30 years of history for one of the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest yachting regattas.Among the four original entries is Peter Briggs, skipper of the Perth based Hitchhiker, a Frers 40 that made its Race Week debut at the very first regatta.

Hitchhiker is the only combination of original boat and owner from 1984 racing in the First Fleet Class. The other first fleeters are Ron Knot’s Dusty Muzzle, William Grice’sInch By Winch and Ruby Weber’s Lloyds Too Impetuous – all racing this year under different owners to 30 years ago.

The beautifully maintained 7.5 ton Hitchhiker was transported 5,000kmfrom Perth across the bare Nullarbor Plain to the island on a semi-trailer, apparently the longest distance in the world to drive a yacht of its size. With his three combined trips to Hamilton Island, in 1984, for the 25th anniversary and now the 30th anniversary, Briggs has spent 30,000km on the road transporting Hitchhiker to the world famous regatta.

Hitchhiker crew Peter Briggs far left - 2013 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week -  Andrea Francolini_Audi and Laura McKee   Click Here to view large photo

'In the old days when we trucked over in ’84 we didn’t have to have a lead car and those sorts of things. Today, there’s a lot of rules and you have to have a car at the front saying ‘vehicle following’ which increases the cost considerably - it’s a big effort,' he said. Briggs has witnessed Hamilton Island’s transformation and the regatta blossom into a highly regarded and popular event on the sailing calendar.

'There were 93 boats at the first one, which is quite a lot of boats for the inaugural regatta. 'Having a yachtsman in Bob Oatley as the island owner has been good for yachting,' he said, referring to the patriarch of the Oatley family who has campaigned many boats over the years.

'The island is more modern, there’s more facilities, more people and the boats have become more high-tech of course,' he added. Briggs fondly recalls the events that unfolded in the 1984 regatta. In fresh breezes Hitchhiker played the underdog role and won by a mere one point after entering the final race four points behind. Hitchhiker was built in 1980 and has always been Briggs’ favourite, even though he had the choice of sailing a number of other modern boats he owned.

So advanced was Hitchhiker’s design and construction, and her performance so competitive for the era she was selected to represent Australia at two Admiral’s Cups. 'The reason why Hitchhiker was a great boat in its early days, not so much today, is because it was an all-rounder. It was quick in light, medium and heavy weather,' Briggs said.

A bold battle flag donning a large red thumbs-up signal is flying proudly on Hitchhiker’s fore stay while the crew is immaculately dressed in matching red and white crew uniforms.The concept behind the boat’s moniker and flag dates back to 1980. Briggs’ skipper at the time was brainstorming names and came up with ‘hitchhiker’.
'Initially we thought ‘what a dumb name!’ but hitchhiker means ‘free lift’ and that’s what you want in sailing, rather than when the wind knocks,' Briggs explained.

'The thumb went with the hitchhiking and red is my favourite colour so we went with that.'Now in his seventies, Briggs said he hasn’t lost his competitive spirit after all these years on the water, warning other competitors that his old vessel is a force to be reckoned with.

'We want to beat up on all of the other older boats.There are three other boats here that were in the original event and we would like to keep ahead of them. That will give us plenty of competition.'Racing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week continues today before a rest day tomorrow, followed by three more days of competition for the 157-boat fleet representing all Australian states, the ACT plus overseas entries.

Hamilton Island Race Week


by Laura McKee

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=113420

5:15 AM Tue 20 Aug 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2013

Related News Stories:

20 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race - Tiny Tassie boat triumphing in paradise
20 Aug 2013  Pioneers return to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
20 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Daily weather forecast
20 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Full results for day 2
20 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Might there be sheep in the paddock?
20 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 action shots
19 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Shifting winds and courses
19 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Moran, Kwong and Bennett Takeover
19 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Day 2 - Weather forecast
19 Aug 2013  Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - More action shots from day 1
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland








America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1 by Markus Schwendtner, Istanbul
























Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery by Ingrid Abery/Sail-World.com,


Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England




























2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia
RC44 World Championship - Dramatic improvement for Artemis Racing
18' Skiff International Regatta - Action begins August 25th
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Challenging conditions arise
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record-breaking monohull victory
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng Race Team finishes third
RC44 Marstrand World Championship - Bronenosec the star performer
Bahamian Olympic Sailor to carry flag in honour of Sir Durward Knowles
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Records continue to tumble
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Course Record for Team SCA   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Team Alvimedica completes the race   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
420 and 470 Junior European Championships - A crazy race day 3   
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Monohull record smashed   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds take the early lead   
Frostad proud to have seven Volvo Ocean Race boats with seven sponsors *Feature   
RC44 World Championship - Bronenosec Sailing Team on form   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng defends third position   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind emerges into the sunlight   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Team SCA with the   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Azzam and Team Campos   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Twist of fate on day 5   
Mallorca’s Puerto Portals to host the 2015 TP52 World Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board with Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain with on board with Team Dongfeng   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Teams ready for action   
USA Match Racing Grand Slam Series - Kicks off in Chicago   
U.S. Youth Championships - Climactic finish on Lake St. Clair   
Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games - Lake Jinniu action on the horizon   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT