TeamVodafoneSailing has won the two-boat multihull challenge to Southport with Sean Langman’s ORMA 60 ‘Team Australia’. TVS also sailed across the finish line more than seven hours ahead of Wild Oats XI, the supermaxi line honours winner of the CYCA’s annual Sydney to Gold Coast race.
'Conditions were peachy all the way,' said Owner and Skipper Simon Hull.
'We started 15 minutes later than the official race fleet, and half a mile further up the harbour. For the first hour we worked our way through the fleet, and then we got stuck into it.' By late evening they were ahead of the maxis.
'We expected it to be harder work in the light conditions, but at night we got some good pressure for a few hours, we legged it on them and were gone.'
Both TVS and Team Australia are ORMA60's imported from Europe and the type is amongst the fastest trans-oceanic multihulls on the planet, and are capable of sailing at 30-40kts for extended periods on ocean passages.
Listening in to the CYCA’s dawn skeds, TeamVodafoneSailing appeared to be 25nm ahead of the official leaders. For the next 18 hours or so, it was plain sailing, and they finished at 2355hrs on Sunday night, or one day, 10 hours and 40 minutes after starting.
'We lucked in and got every shift we were looking for when we expected it, and we had a pretty good race,' says Simon. Unfortunately for Team Australia, which finished roughly 15 minutes in front of Wild Oats, they ripped a headsail early on. 'We were neck and neck with Team Australia for the first few hours, which was wonderful, but after losing the headsail Sean had to fight to stay with and ahead of the maxis.'
TeamVodafoneSailing will now shadow the official race fleet from Brisbane to Keppel Island, departing on Friday, and will partake in both Airlie Beach Race Week, and Hamilton Island Race Week.
Of any controversy regarding the multihulls, which aren’t permitted to race in CYCA events, shadowing the famous race to Southport, Simon says, 'We’ve had no-one to race against in New Zealand, and we are just enjoying having boats of similar speed to sail and race with.'