Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Airlie Beach Race Week: Spills and thrills on Day 4

by Di Pearson, ABRW Media 14 Aug 2018 03:19 PDT 9-16 August 2018
IRC Passage start © Shirley Wodson

A sports boat limped home under motor after breaking its rudder, while other boats broached in up to 25 knots wind with gusts, their crews finding it difficult to control their rides - all part and parcel of the forecast superb windy conditions that arrived in time for Day 4 of Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing.

Heat, the Viper 640 sports boat owned by Luke Ratcliff and family, suffered a broken rudder. The experienced sailors arrived safely back at Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC), which hosts the event, and all on board were fine. The remaining sports boats flew around the course, their crews enjoying the exhilarating rides.

As expected, the pair of TP52s in the IRC Racing division thrived in the big conditions and had an epic battle.

Ichi Ban, owned and skippered by Australian Sailing President Matt Allen, won the day by nearly four minutes from Marcus Blackmore's Hooligan, with Ray Roberts' Botin 40, Hollywood Boulevard third.

Allen's win puts him at the top of the leaderboard. Hollywood Boulevard is second, but on equal points with Ichi Ban, with Hooligan third. All three are from NSW.

"Really good sailing," said Allen from Sydney's eastern suburbs. "There was less wind in Pioneer Bay at the end than there was when we started in 18-25 knots.

"We had a lot of water coming over the deck and were sitting on 17-20 knots all the way going north into the Whitsunday Passage and round the back of the Molles. We continued on coming round the north end of Molle coming back into Pioneer Bay," Allen recounted.

"Hooligan hung onto her spinnaker a bit longer and sailed lower. We sailed higher after dropping ours - and lifts came through that worked for us. It was boat on boat with Hooligan and ourselves for ages."

Ichi Ban's owner said the going was "a bit bumpy" at White Rock, a bit easier for the bigger boats such as his.

"It was good to have good upwind, downwind, reaching and gybing around the current and the wind shear around the top of the Molles. It was warm and wet."

The multihulls were also making an impact, with Ullman Sails and Morticia (sailed by brothers Paul and Dale Mitchell respectively), drag racing the rest of the fleet downwind.

It was not the most fun day for the little Trailables, which were bashed around a bit. Masquerade, Tom Vujasinovic's local (WSC) Masrm 750 won the race to be placed second overall, but John Fowell's First Born (Qld) has increased her overall lead to six points after finishing fourth today.

"Today was survival mode – not Trailable weather," Fowell said this afternoon. "We sailed very conservatively so we could finish in one piece. I didn't pull out the 23 year-old spinnakers, didn't want to end our chances for the last two days. They're much better in softer winds," he said laughing.

Fowell, from Queensland, said he was surprised to find First Born, a Lidgard 795, in the lead: "I only bought her recently as a bit of a wreck and we fixed her up. We're very excited she's going so well – it's totally unexpected, but very nice."

He has sailed here previously with two different boats. "We've finished with second and thirds - the only thing missing is a win. Hopefully this time."

Shifty south-easterly winds of 15 to 25 knots with 30 knot gusts were reported and winds eventually bent around to the east. Some sailors were out of their comfort zones following the milder conditions of the past three days.

The testosterone was alive and well, with yelling heard from boats on the various start lines, amid a couple of General Recalls as some were pushed over the start early when they tried to position themselves for a good start.

The whipping and pulling on of sheets was loud and the seaway a washing machine - but let's face it, this is the type of weather most racing sailors' dream of and live for.

Tonight crews are gathering at Whitsunday Sailing Club for the evening prize giving before being entertained by Chris Matthews. A lot of stories from the day are already being discussed.

Racing at Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing continues tomorrow.

www.abrw.com.au

Related Articles

Airlie Beach Race Week overall
Winners named at another successful Airlie Beach Race Week The 31st running of Airlie Beach Race Week has come to a close late this afternoon and all winners and placegetters will be feted at the official prize giving at Whitsunday Sailing Club this evening. Posted on 15 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 6
Ullman Sails and Evil Gnome win Australian Multihull title at Airlie Beach Race Week Paul Mitchell skippered Ullman Sails to one final win at the Whitsunday Sailing Club's (WSC) 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) to claim the Australian Multihull Championship title; finishing 11 points clear of nearest rival Posted on 15 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 6 preview
Grand finale shaping up to be a beauty The 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) grand finale is shaping up to be a beauty with east/south-east 15 to 20 knot winds expect and Ross Chisholm, the Race Director Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) advising all courses would be on Pioneer Bay for the final Posted on 14 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 5
Competition heats up with one day remaining The 31st Airlie Beach Race Week, hosted by Whitsunday Sailing Club, is in its closing stages with just one day of racing remaining, so all 114 competing boats were out on the various courses today doing their best to cement a podium place Posted on 14 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 5 preview
Another spectacular day expected Day 5 and weather forecasters have promised similar conditions to those of yesterday at Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), hosted by Whitsunday Sailing Club (WS, meaning 12-23 knots under sunny skies again. Posted on 14 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 4
All to play for in the Australian Multihull Championship It's all to play for in the Australian Multihull Championship at Whitsunday Sailing Club's 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week - particularly for the local rock star. Posted on 13 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 4
The diamonds and the dusty Day 4 and the 31st running of Whitsunday Sailing Club's largest sailing event, which reels in the big tourism dollars to the region, hit a new high note today, with winds reaching in excess of 20 knots and gusting 24 at times. Posted on 13 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 3
Glamour and glitz Cruising boats such as Eve, Vanilla 2 and White Swan are providing the glamour at Airlie Beach Race Week, the multihulls and today's weather are the glitz factor, and in fact the entire 114 entries put on a stunning show Posted on 11 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 3 preview
Family pride on the line It's Day 3 at Airlie Beach Race Week and a breeze of up to 15 knots is on the horizon at the Whitsunday Sailing Club's 2019 event, which plays into the hands of the sports boats where winning is just about winning, it's all about family pride Posted on 10 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week day 2
Fun for all on Pioneer Bay Pioneer Bay provided the perfect vehicle for sailors, photographers and spectators on Day 2 of 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW), with Whitsunday Sailing Club officials decreeing all classes sail on the Bay, resulting in a mass of colour Posted on 10 Aug
Melges 14 2019 FooterZhik 2018 Kollition 728x90 BOTTOMNaiad 660x82px_Tourist