Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Hamilton Island Race Week business end

by Lisa Ratcliff & Crosbie Lorimer 24 Aug 2018 05:39 PDT 18-25 August 2018
ESE for day 5 © Kurt Arrigo

The business end of Hamilton Island Race Week sees multiple divisions going into the final race on Saturday August 25, 2018 needing those last points to cement victory while in a couple of divisions the winners are already quietly celebrating.

Ray 'Hollywood' Roberts' Fast 40 Team Hollywood wrapped up IRC division two with a race to spare in the 35th edition of the annual six-day series. It's Roberts' third divisional win on the trot and he wonders "does that give me the lifetime option to stay at qualia whenever I like – as a reward?"

"We had a bit of everything; when it's not our conditions we hang in there and minimise the damage and when it's our turn we take advantage," said tactician David Chapman adding, "Ray's done a very good job of driving – it's the toughest job on the boat."

"I'd like to make a comment about the race organisers," Roberts said. "I think they've done a fantastic job in sometimes difficult breeze. They've given us enjoyable racing and a good test of seamanship due to the current. We made plenty of mistakes judging the tide; it's really eyes out of the boat stuff, looking for changes on the water and seeing what the others are doing."

Roberts believes this win is his sixth overall in division at Race Week with various Hollywoods.

The crew of Gerry Hatton's Mat 12.45 from Sydney, Bushranger, will rest easy tonight knowing they've done enough in IRC division three to secure victory.

IRC division 1's key trophy is still up for grabs between the two TP52s, just two points separating the duelling Ichi Ban and Marcus Blackmore's Hooligan.

Mainsheet on Matt Allen's Ichi Ban, Volvo Ocean Race sailor Rob Greenhalgh, said on Friday afternoon at a 'meet the internationals at Race Week' media opportunity: "we were all a bit nervous coming into this regatta, it being inshore racing against Hooligan which isn't really our strength, but there's nothing between the boats. It comes down to the basics of sailing - starting well, tacking on the wind shifts and keeping them behind you. It's been a great place to race boat-on-boat; there's so much going on and the race is never over. Today we got ahead of Hooligan behind Pine island and then we had an amazing match race for the last hour and the boats were separated by five seconds on corrected time at the finish."

The Oatley family's Wild Oats XI added one more line honours win to its tally of five from six starts, Oats' tactician Glenn Bourke describing today's islands race as "tactically exhausting".

Multihulls

Multihull racing comes in all sizes and shapes at Race Week and remarkably the competition has been very close in 2018.

In the Hamilton Island Multihull Racing division 1 Eric Cook's imposing Tag 60 Stardust is showing that size counts, even in more benign conditions. "For a big boat that weighs 20 tonnes we do remarkably well in light airs with a very powerful rig and long waterline that allows us to sail deeper than our lighter rivals," said navigator Ian 'Condor' Smith.

Watching Stardust rounding the top mark in race two today gave the impression that setting a spinnaker was relatively effortless: "Yes, we just spend the whole day leaning on joysticks and I've now got a broken fingernail!" Smith joked.

In Multihull Racing division second-placed Morticia is working hard to make a late bid for the top spot on the podium, lying only two points behind Stardust. Owner Dale Mitchell, who took the all-black Seacart 30 Morticia to the Caribbean 600 this year, would probably prefer more of the severe conditions they experienced in that race than the continued light airs forecast for Saturday. Morticia not only survived Hurricane Irma ensconced in her container on the island of St Maarten, but the crew managed to finish the race despite the consistent 30-40 knots of wind - one of only four of the 13 multihulls that finished the gruelling ocean crossing.

"We've still got some unfinished business, so we'd like to go back again someday," said Mitchell.

In Hamilton Island Multihull Division 1, the all-female Kiwi crew aboard the Crowther 40 are doing for sailing what the All Blacks are doing in the Bledisloe Cup – winning!

The Crowther 40 Ave Gitana from New Zealand is getting plenty of exposure at Race Week and the admiration is mutual, according to skipper Sharon Ferris-Choat, who has circled the world two-and-a-half times but has never sailed in the Whitsundays. "The sailing here is exceptionally beautiful – and challenging – and the organisation of the event as a whole is absolutely second-to-none."

Rod White, whose Farrier 8.2 trimaran Agape is in second position in Hamilton Island Multihull Division 1, is hoping that the Kiwis will get distracted by the beautiful island scenery, but is also enjoying the closeness of the racing: "The handicappers often get a bad rap, but it's their job to keep it close across such different types and sizes of boats and I think they do a really good job at Race Week.".

In the Sailing Instructions there are 40 race courses to cover every combination of wind and tide, but each year PRO Denis Thompson finds that some permutation of conditions still requires a new course or two. And so it was today, with Courses 41 and 42 added to the list for the IRC, Multihull Racing and Hamilton Island Division 1 racing on the Eastern course to cater for an unusual easterly that was set to veer to the ESE. A Dent Passage start and finish had the remainder of the fleet on various courses that headed west and south using Pentecost, Cole and Pine islands as rounding marks.

The forecast for the final day of racing on Saturday August 25 is the slight chance of a shower with winds E-NE at 8-14 knots. Traditionally the Lindeman Island race completes the on-water program before crews attend the awards ceremony at the Hamilton Island Convention Centre.

Results for all divisions

www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

Related Articles

Entries booming for Hamilton Island Race Week 2020
An unprecedented surge of early interest in Australia's premier offshore regatta An unprecedented surge of early interest in Australia's premier offshore regatta, Hamilton Island Race Week from August 15-22, sees the fleet growing at a rate faster than any other time in the event's 37-year history. Posted on 24 Feb
Entries are open for Hamilton Island Race Week
The first entry had been lodged Within two hours of the Notice of Race for Hamilton Island Race Week 2020 being posted, the first entry had been lodged. And, for the second consecutive year, the yacht with that honour was David Bell's Bavaria 39, Four Bells Posted on 28 Jan
Reflections on Hamilton Island Race Week
In this piece of photo journalism, Richard Gladwell gives his take on Hamilton Island Race Week A look at Hamilton Island Race Week, the premier keelboat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere, what makes the event special. Catch the superb video by Broadkast Edge - first screened at the prizegiving to a rapturous reception. Posted on 1 Sep 2019
Bow Caddy Media HIRW videos #2
Bow Caddy Media have delivered this second package of videos from the 2019 HIRW Bow Caddy Media have delivered this second package of videos covering all the action from the 2019 Hamilton Island Race Week. Please enjoy... Posted on 29 Aug 2019
Hamilton Island Race Week concludes
A stellar evening marking the end of the event Week in, week out, year-round, Charles Curran's Murray 60 Sydney can be seen racing on Sydney Harbour and the hard work paid off for skipper David Kellett and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia team at the 36th edition of Race Week. Posted on 25 Aug 2019
Hamilton Island Race Week overall
The show is over at the windiest Hamilton Island Race Week The show is over and the divisional winners at the windiest Hamilton Island Race Week is years are gearing up for a big evening of celebration marking the end of another fantastic series in the sailing wonderland of Queensland's Whitsunday islands. Posted on 24 Aug 2019
Hamilton Island Race Week: Images from Day 6
The beautiful weather came to an end for the final day of the Hamilton Island Race Week. The beautiful weather came to an end for the final day of the Hamilton Island Race Week. Misty rain squalls visited the course several times, as the competitors took one final lap around the Whitsundays. Posted on 24 Aug 2019
Hamilton Island Race Week day 6
All humps and bumps A mother Humpback and calf breached in tandem for the media, away from the race fleet which was doing a variety of courses in the trade winds that have blown all week and were once again in fine form. Posted on 23 Aug 2019
Hamilton Island Race Week: Flying in the MOD70
Sail-World's NZ Editor Richard Gladwell flies around Hamilton Island in a MOD70 - 70ft foiling multi Sail-World's NZ Editor Richard Gladwell flies around Hamilton Island on the MOD70 Beau Geste, a 70ft a foil fitted multihull. Here's his take on the day with images from on-board and a chat with skipper Gavin Brady on the Beau Geste program Posted on 23 Aug 2019
Bow Caddy Media HIRW videos
Bow Caddy Media have delivered this package of videos from the 2019 HIRW Bow Caddy Media have delivered this package of videos covering all the action from the 2019 Hamilton Island Race Week. Posted on 23 Aug 2019
Henri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTERGul 2020 FOOTERRS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - FOOTER