Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Ross Wilson’s weighty Beneteau First 47.7 Eagle Rock likes a stiff breeze and today’s 20 knots didn’t hurt their performance, a win in Performance Racing Division 1 the perfect end to a sensational island course that finished in Dent Passage just off Hamilton Island’s impressive new yacht club.
'We had a good start and run to Ann Island, everything went according to plan and we picked the right way to go,' said Wilson.
This year is his 10th Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and the Sydneysider can’t speak highly enough of his annual sojourn to the Whitsundays.
'Today was beautiful and tomorrow should be even better. We haven’t had good breeze for many years, with 25 knots forecast tomorrow’s windward/leeward races will be a big test for us.'
Scott Creadon’s Thompson 750 Mustard Cutter, all the way from Devonport in Tasmania, planned to be part of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week two years ago and 'lo and behold here we are' said Creadon following today’s victory in Performance Racing Division 2.
Creadon last crewed on a sports boat at Race Week in 2001 and 10 years later he’s back with his own boat, which was trucked from Tasmania for the two back-to-back regattas at Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week and Hamilton Island.
'It’s such a long way to come we thought we’d stay for the month.'
Mustard Cutter is one of the smaller boats among the 195 strong list of entries and Creadon’s crew is not getting any younger, but they handled today’s conditions with aplomb. Tomorrow’s forecast 25 knots building to 30 on Tuesday doesn’t particularly worry the crew but they know that the aches and pain scale will be tipped as the breeze increases.
'We are all stiff and sore this afternoon. We are not that young and fit anymore but we are giving it a crack,' added Creadon.
The Melges 32 sports boat fleet raced windward/leewards off Hamilton Island’s Catseye Bay, providing plenty of action packed spinnaker runs and the occasional broach as crews struggled to hang on to their cloth in the heavier air.
After five races Angus Reid’s Maxstar is the series leader with a consistent three seconds, a first and a fourth. Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is the opening leg of the seven part Melges 32 Gold Cup Series. Full Results Audi Hamilton Island Race Week website