Australia Day Green Island Race.
Yachting legend Gordon Ingate yesterday steered his 1977 America’s Cup challenger Gretel II to a line honours victory in the 40 nautical Australia Day Green Island Race – nearly a quarter of a century since he last helmed the yacht in a race.
The near 85-year-old flew down from Sydney at the invitation of current owner Mike Maxwell to helm the beautifully refurbished International 12 metre class yacht, which is in Hobart for next month’s Australian Wooden Boat Festival.
'It was a great sail, frustrating at times, but we had a brilliant spinnaker ride back up the d’Entrecasteaux Channel and the River Derwent late this afternoon,' Ingate said later at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
'I think the last time I sailed GII in a race was on Sydney Harbour in 1987,' recalled Ingate who wore his original jacket and distinctive pale blue hat that he wore at Newport, Rhode Island when he led the ‘dad’s army’ crew with the former challenger.
Yesterday 1970 and 1977 America’s Cup challenger made a magnificent sight as she powered past the Sandy Bay Regatta under spinnaker before a strong sea breeze.
Joining Ingate as tactician was Don Calvert, the doyen of River Derwent racing who, like Ingate, is a past winner of the prestigious Prince Philip Cup for the International Dragon class.
Ingate and Gretel II got line honours by just 39 seconds from an unusual, for him, competitor in yacht racing, the trimaran Rocket Alice, skippered by David Graney.
On handicap, the winner of the 175th Australia Day Trophy, linking the Green Island Race with the historic regatta held on Sydney Harbour yesterday, was Graham Inglis’ Kaufman 33 Rouseabout.
Second place went to Take Five, Ian Gannon’s Peter Cole-designed Traditional 30 and third to Grizzly Adams, Joel Bultman’s Adams 8.
In the Australia Day Sandy Bay Regatta, overall winner of the dinghies, decided on yardstick handicaps, was Ed Hargreaves sailing a Sabot. Second and third placings overall went to International Cadet crews, with Maddi and Elliott Salter second and Silas and Rupert Hamilton third.
First place in the windsurfers went to Steve Charles from Dave Morehead and Will Shore in the strongest turn-out of windsurfers on the Derwent in Years – with the fresh sea breeze providing idea conditions.