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All Grins At Hamilton Island Race Week

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    The 36th edition of Hamilton Island Race Week concluded on Saturday with a mixture of courses around Lindeman Island, the traditional landmark of the closing passage race which sorted the finish order in multiple divisions of the Hamilton Island and the Australian Yachting Championship point scores.

    The strong south-east trade winds trumped the showers and there were smiles all around as more than 200 crews packed up wet boats before glamming-up for the traditional prizegiving function at the Hamilton Island Convention Centre.

    Hamilton Island Divisions

    For two Hamilton Island division winners, glory at Hamilton Island Race Week was their first podium finish at a major regatta.

    Mark Drobitko’s Beneteau First 40 Fruit Salid 3, from Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, pipped sistership Flying Cloud (George Martin) and Wayne Millar’s Zoe in Hamilton Island Pink division.
    “We got a bit lucky; the biggest thing for us was putting up our big white kite at Lindeman Island,” said Drobitko. It was blowing 25 knots and we managed to carry it the rest of the way. Sometimes you throw the dice and it comes off.

    “This is a significant regatta and we are tickled to get first. I couldn’t have done it without my crew,” added the Queensland yachtsman.

    Jon Linton’s Dehler 46 Llama II from Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney took out Hamilton Island Yellow division by two points from James O’Hare’s Stratacare Flyaway Paul.

    The winning owner-skipper said “there’s a sense of euphoria among the Llama II crew. It was a fantastic week of sailing, and we are thrilled. The crew did an amazing job - they executed and achieved everything we wanted.

    “This is our first win of any significance. Everyone knew their role and there weren’t too many chiefs. When you get the parts right the overall result is pretty exciting,” Linton added.


    The trailable are the gladiators of Hamilton Island Race Week, the smallest yachts battling the elements as well as each other. Three different point score leaders shone over the second half of the series and in the end, Michael Goss’ Snook 7.8 Halcyon pushed Stu Green’s local RL24 Rhumb Runna into second and Tom Vujasinovic’s Masrm 750 Masquerade into third overall.


    The two F32srcx from South Australia, Crosshair and Peter Hawker’s Carbon Credit, staged a week-long tussle for Multihull White division honours, the pair one point apart going into the final race. Carbon Credit’s second in race 6 to Crosshair’s third was enough to give Hawker and his crew the series win, by two points.

    “We’ve had a great battle all week with Crosshair, our sistership, and against the fleet,” Hawker said. “We have a strong rivalry but great friendliness. If we didn’t win, we’d like Crosshair to. Everything was on the line in the final race.

    “We were happy with the weather though it was a little wild on the final day. I’ve got no idea what wind we had. I lost my wind instruments at Airlie Beach Race Week. Luckily the guy at the chandlery had some VHS plastic tape that I used as my wind indicator this week, tied to the side stays. When the tape hangs down there’s no wind and when it flaps, there’s wind!”

    Multihull Black division went to Pali Pali, Jason Lea’s Lightwave 38 from Newcastle.

    Australian Yachting Championship

    In the Australian Yachting Championship, which combined Rating Divisions 0 to 4 and the Multihull Racing Division, the final race also determined numerous overall victors.

    In IRC Division 0, Duncan Hine’s RP66 Alive took top honours over David Griffith’s JV62 Whisper, the final race splitting the two big guns who started the day on equal points.

    Max Klink’s Botin 52 Caro, sailing for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Royal Ocean Racing Club, took out the Division 1 championship by two points. David Doherty’s TP52 Matador finished second overall and defending champion, Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, was third.

    Bill Barry-Cotter’s Schumacher 54 Maritimo won the final IRC Division 2 race from Bruce McCracken’s Beneteau First 45 Ikon by four minutes, but Ikon had already banked enough points to win the championship, beating Maritimo by three points. Gerry Hatton’s Mat 1245 Bushranger was third.

    Ray Roberts’ Botin 40 Team Hollywood was awarded the Division 3 championship and the Gun Boat trophy after winning all seven races in IRC Division 3. The fight for second and third was fierce but it was the furthest travelled Australian team, The Cadillac, a Barrett 9.5 owned by Peter Chappell, which finished runner-up. Jeremy O’Connell’s Cape 31, PP1, boasting a gun crew including Malcolm Page, Joey Newton and John Flannery, placed third.

    Get It On, Garry Holt’s Adams 10, and Ari Abrahams’ X Yacht Xpresso were two points apart going into the final IRC Division 4 race. Holt won the day when he won the final race from Xpresso.
    In Multihull Racing, Michael Van Der Zwaard’s Extreme 40 Angus tussled with Dale Mitchell’s giant Orma 60 Rex to come out on top, the two multis staging extreme displays of speed and spray in the sporty conditions across the week.

    While the Division 0 championship played out among the 60-footers, the patriarchs took the helm of both supermaxis - Hamilton Island Wild Oats XI helmed by Sandy Oatley and Andoo Comanche helmed by John Winning Sr.

    Full results for all divisions, including the Australian Yachting Championship, available here:

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  • Photoboy
    Brisk and breezy Australian Yachting Championships Day 4

    A sunny day but fresh and chilly this morning for the 2022 Australian Yachting Championships (AYC) at Hamilton Island Race Week in Queensland, with the wind metre registering 30 knots and gusting as competitors rugged up and waited.
    “All Dent Passage starts are postponed. It’s likely the wind will drop to 20 knots a little later, which is manageable. Those on the Eastern line will start on time,” Regatta Director, Denis Thompson, said at 11am. “The next two days forecasts are for similar conditions,” he added.

    Rating Division Zero, along with Rating Divisions 1 and 2, were sent on two short races from the Eastern starting line, Zero away first at 11.25am.

    Racing from Dent Passage began just after 12.30pm, with Rating Divisions 3 and 4 first away. Multihull Racing joined the two divisions on an Island course. Competitors faced a strong tide, some boats going sideways into their start.

    Among those in the Rating divisions this week are Olympic champions Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page OAM from Australia. Page first won Gold at the 2008 Beijing Games in the Men’s 470 with Nathan Wilmot and became the first person in the class to claim consecutive gold medals in the class when he sailed at the 2012 Games with Belcher.

    Page is also the first Australian to achieve back-to-back gold medals in any class and captained the Australian Sailing team between 2005 and 2012. He is at Hamilton Island in Rating Division 2, calling tactics on Brendan McAssey’s Farr 40, S1. They are in fourth place overall after today’s racing.

    Matt Belcher OAM won his first gold medal with Page in 2012, then Silver at the 2016 Rio Games with Will Ryan and Gold at Tokyo Games, again with Ryan. This victory made Belcher the most successful Olympic sailor in Australian History. The Gold Coast Olympian is competing on Matt Allen’s successful Ichi Ban in Rating Division 1.

    In Rating Division 3 on Jeremy O’Connell’s PP1 (Vic), you will find Jessica Watson OAM, who at 16 sailed non-stop, unassisted around the world in 2009-2010.

    Division Zero
    Suffering hydraulic problems, Hamilton Island Wild Oats (Oatley family) officially withdrew from racing today, but will be ready to race tomorrow.
    Two races done and dusted, with David Griffith’s JV62 Whisper (NSW) winning both from Phillip Turner’s RP66 Alive (Tas), skippered by Duncan Hine. There was little more than a minute in the first race. David Gotze’s No Limit placed third in both races.

    Division 1 - TP52’s

    Finding the windward/leewards to her liking, It was Ichi Ban’s (NSW) turn to shine among the TP52s in the first race. Matt Allen’s defending champion took the win from Michael Doherty’s Matador (NSW) and the Max Klink skippered Caro (SUI).
    In the second race, Caro, skippered by Max Klink (SUI), came back and won from Secret Mens Business by 29 seconds (which finished fourth in the morning race) with Zen (Gordon Ketelbey, NSW) third.
    Boettcher was pleased with his day out: “We seemed to get it together properly on the windward/leewards, which is what we mainly do at home, Boettcher said.

    “The first race was a ten and a half mile course to Pentecost and back – a long windward/leeward in around 20 knots. It was very gusty and bumpy. When the breeze settled down, we did a second race, a two-lap windward/leeward. The legs were not quite as far as Pentecost and back. The wind was around 16 knots and the sea was smoother.“
    Boettcher admitted that while Secret Mens Business was good upwind, “She’s a very fast downwind boat.”

    Division 2

    Bruce McCraken won both races with his Beneteau First 45, Ikon. The Victorian knew the top three would be close – and they were. Second was Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger (NSW), the Mat 1245 corrected out to 44 seconds behind the winner. Maritimo (Bill Barry-Cotter, Qld) was third, just two seconds adrift of Bushranger.

    “I found the first race difficult. It was gusty and we were fighting the tide and waves. It was very messy. A different type of sailing to what we do on Port Phillip,” McCraken said. “We were able to keep the boat moving and hang in there. But it was close between the top three.
    “The second race was a true windward/leeward and to some extent that’s what our boat is set up for. The wind had decreased, so the sea state was better, it was a more comfortable race for us,” he said.
    “We are all very pleased with the result and I’m very grateful to my crew,” ended the Victorian yachtsman who has now won four of the five races sailed on a mixture of long, short and windward/leeward courses.

    Division 3

    It appears Ray Roberts and his Team Hollywood (NSW) are unstoppable, today making it four wins from the four races sailed to-date. Roberts competes at the top level regularly in Australia and Asia, so it will be difficult to take a race from his well-honed team.
    Sailing consistently well, West Australian boat, The Cadillac (Peter Chappell) scored her third second place for the series. PP1, a Cape 31 OD, also sailing consistently (Jeremy O’Connell, Vic), finished third, for a third time running. These are the top three overall in the same order.

    Division 4
    Garry Holt’s Get It On was back in the winner’s seat today. The updated Adams 10 beat yesterday’s winner, Ari Abrahams’ Xpresso (Vic) and the other Adams 10, Flyaway The Red Boat (Ian Ford/Jared Macquart). Get It On leads the division overall from Xpresso.
    Multihull Racing

    The Dale Mitchell skippered ORMA 60, Rex, was too quick and took it out from Angus, the Extreme 40 owned by Michel Van Der Zwaard (Qld) and Bob Engwirda’s Stealth 12 cat, Coconuts.

    The Australian Yachting Championships are being held in conjunction with Hamilton Island Race Week. Racing continues tomorrow morning.

    For all the news on all divisions at Hamilton Island Race Week, please visit: https://www.hamiltonislandraceweek.c...ia-centre/news

    By Di Pearson/Australian Sailing media

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  • Photoboy
    started a topic All Grins At Hamilton Island Race Week

    All Grins At Hamilton Island Race Week

    Perfect trade wind sailing blessed the 200-plus strong fleet on the opening day of Hamilton Island Race Week in the glorious Queensland Whitsunday islands.

    Close to two thousand sailors from around the country plus internationals put on a brilliant display in the southeast winds and sunshine, live action for those spectating from the Bommie Deck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club and lunching at the Wild Oats Wines Ladies Lunch at the Beach Pavilion.

    Sixteen divisions split over two starts, Eastern and Dent Passage, wrapped up the Molle Islands race. Line honours went to Dale Mitchell’s monster ORMA 60 Rex in the Multihull Racing Division and in the coveted Division 0, John Winning Junior’s supermaxi Andoo Comanche set the fastest time for the 36 nautical mile course.

    all images Bow Caddy Images

    Derek Sheppard’s Elliott 780 Black Sheep blitzed their 16nm course, accolades for their efforts coming from the finish team via a blast of the finish horn from the Bommie Deck. While the Wollongong team’s goal this week is to have fun, Black Sheep found itself well in front of their trailable mates at the finish in Dent Passage and ended up second on handicap. The downside is the likely handicap penalty for the remaining races – and the one crew sleeping on the boat will be on wet cushions tonight after a rough beat back from the Molles.

    Sheppard downsized from a larger yacht, with all the associated costs and logistics, to a trailable, saying “we’ve done the trip up here a few times via sea and it’s much easier to hop in the car and do 110kph to windward. The Race Week atmosphere is great. It’s a big fleet- over 200 boats - which is a great turnout as it’s a fair distance for most people to travel. The wind is meant to hang in all week so there should be some great rides!”

    First in the Trailable Yacht division on corrected time was Halcyon, Michael Goss’ Snook design from New South Wales.

    Other Hamilton Island Class winners for race one include Wayne Millar’s Murray 41 Zoe, Peter Byford and Rob Aldis’ Azuree 46 Kayimai and Rick Rogers and David Stoopman’s Jeanneau 469 from Southport. In Hamilton Island Multihull white division, Peter Hawker’s F32srcx Carbon Credit opened their Race Week with a handicap win and in black division, Chris Tulloch’s GBE28 Island Girl took the win.

    Last night Hamilton Island officially opened the annual world-class series with a sunset function and fireworks and this evening crews can select from a variety of Eat Street Stalls then head to the main stage on Front Street for live music until midnight.

    Regatta director Denis Thompson was pleased with the opening outing saying, “it was a great way to kick off the 36th edition, typical Whitsunday weather 15-18 knots and some very close racing”. Given the forecast, Thompson has switched the schedule and will run the Nautilus Marine Insurance Classic long race on Monday August 22 rather than the Tuesday before the mid-regatta lay day.

    All information about this year’s Hamilton Island Race Week is on the website:

    Results: https://www.hamiltonislandraceweek.c...r/race-results