Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden

Hamilton Island Race Week: What a difference a year makes - Day 2

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 19 Aug 2019 08:25 PDT 19 August 2019
Wild Oats X crew clean up after a quick sail change as a wind shift hits - Day 2 - Hamilton Island Race Week, August 19, © Richard Gladwell

A year ago, we were out chasing two supermaxis as they match raced around Baynham Island - one of the outermost of the 75 islands in the Whitsunday Group.

This time a year ago the two supermaxis, Wild Oats XI and Black Jack ducked and dived through the shifts and squalls with frequent lead changes.

Unfortunately in 2019, a super-maxi rematch is not possible as both are undergoing major boat surgery.

Today at Hamilton Island Race Week, the biggest regatta in the southern hemisphere, was as described in the Whitsunday brochures - clear blue sky merging with the aqua coloured sea. Green scrub-covered islands rearing up from the sea, often fringed with white sand beaches and surrounded by the clearest of water.

It was the best that this Mediterranean of the South Pacific can offer.

Why would anyone chose to be at work, and miss sailing one days like today, and a venue such as the Whitsundays?

The five boat IRC division 1 fleet sailed a 22nm course which was essentially a windward and return from a laid start line well offshore, around Baynham Island returning to the finish off the Hamilton Island Yacht Club in Dent Passage.

Like yesterday's opening race in the series, today's course was a tour of the Whitsunday's that only sailors can enjoy. While the first race in the series was sailed in gentle breezes, today the boats were more powered up as the 40-66fters were able to stretch out on the long downwind legs.

But always the conditions asked many questions of the navigators and tacticians along with the crew's ability to react quickly to shifts and pressure as the breeze passed between towering rocks and islands.

Line honours winner Wild Oats X showed the speed of change as they were hit by a sudden shift seemingly in clear water and well away from any landmass, and had to react quickly to drop her asymmetric reaching sail and get onto a single headsail - all while not even losing a knot of boatspeed, and holding her line.

Of course, those following has the shift and pressure change signaled to them and were much better prepared.

The other two IRC divisions sailed a shorter but similar course around the towering Pentecost and then rounding a couple of smaller islands and heading for the finish in Dent Passage

As with yesterday, the Reichel Pugh 66fter Wild Oats X led the five boat IRC Division 1 home by a margin of almost 10 minutes, ahead of 62ft Judel Vrolijk design Chinese Whisper and the 63ft Reichel Pugh design No Limit. Overall the TP52 Hooligan still leads from Chinese Whisper, with today's corrected time winner the TP52 Zen in third overall.

Ray Roberts and crew in Team Hollywood the low profile Botin 40 had another good day with a win on both elapsed and corrected time to lead the seven boat fleet in IRC Division 2. The 42fter Not a Diamond was one of three boats to finish inside a 51second margin for second place on the water, off Hamilton Island YC. However Not a Diamond lifted to second overall again on corrected time and holds second on the overnight leaderboard.

In IRC Division 3 Malcolm Roe and Andrew Banks again took line honours in their Swan45 Amazing Grace, with the modified Farr 40, Ponyo second two minutes back. Overall, Eagle Rock a First 47.7 leads from Ikon (Beneteau First 45) and Highly Sprung (Beneteau First 45).

SE breezes set to crack in for the rest of the week. Tomorrow the wind is predicted to gust to 35kts according to one reliable source, and up to 30kts according to the Race Office.

For full results click here

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
Gul 2019 GAMMA FooterHenri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTERMelges IC37 2019 Footer