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IRC Australian Championship – Brilliant conditions on Day 1
Team Beau Geste - 2015 IRC Australian Championship© Andrea Francolini Photography

IRC Australian Championship – Brilliant conditions on Day 1

Brilliant sailing conditions on day one of the IRC Australian Championship inflated adrenaline levels and threw the less practiced straight into the deep end at the 32nd Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in the Whitsundays.

Cool 20 knot SSE tradewinds and breeze against tide for the Dent Passage spinnaker start of IRC divisions on Sunday August 16, 2015 put the sail trimmers on high alert and the photographers in a clicking fury.

There was some panicked yelling when drivers lost control of the helm and boats tipped over precariously, including among the IRC fleet. Conditions required ‘all hands on deck’, and last night’s lavish opening cocktail party for owners and fireworks at Hamilton Island Yacht Club was a hazy memory.

The IRC divisions started first and the biggest were ashore by lunchtime, giving Bob Oatley’s line honours winner Wild Oats X an average speed of 11 knots over the 23 nautical mile Molle Islands race. The 66-footer’s top speed was 23 knots, “you don’t get many races where you are lit up the whole way,” commented Oats’ crewman Chris Links.

IRC Australian Championship – Brilliant conditions on Day 1

Bob Quest division B winner Molle race – 2015 IRC Australian Championship© Andrea Francolini Photography

Division A winner of today’s race around Daydream and the Molle islands was Karl Kwok’s new Botin designed TP52, Team Beau Geste, making its debut at Race Week. Built low profile and minus a coach-house meant that each time the bow was buried, water poured back into the cockpit. “It was very wet; we enjoyed it very much,” Kwok said grinning.

He’s already marked Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, second today on handicap, and Secret Men’s Business, third today and his former boat, as the boats his New Zealand team need to shake off to defend their IRC Australian Championship Class A title. “All the TP52s here have been turbo’d for racing under IRC. It’s a strong fleet and it’s going to be close racing,” predicts Beau Geste’s helm Gavin Brady.

Kwok’s put in a huge bid for another title – bringing tactician Steve Hayles out from the UK, where he is navigator on board the TP52 Ran in the Super Series in Europe, and adding Francesco Mongelli as navigator and Rob Salthouse to his weaponry.

Bob Steel’s new Mat 1180, the only one of its kind in the country and the perfect wide-beamed hull for fast planing rides, did a number on the IRC division B fleet, beating Walter Lewin’s Farr 400 Vento.

David Currie’s IRC Division B entry, Ponyo, retired minutes after their start off Hamilton Island with a crew injury, a nasty rope burn to the hand for Matthew Theauw after the crewman grabbed a free-flowing spinnaker halyard on the modified Farr 40.

There wasn’t time for cocktails on division C entry Gauntlet, Craig Ellis’ Sydney 36 from Brisbane, but if the breeze drops later in the week there’s a new drink on the menu. During the recent slow Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel yacht race the ‘Keppel Bay sunset’ cocktail was born, a combination of rum and powered orange juice, the mixer you have when there’s no Coke left.

Gauntlet finished second in today’s race to Roger Hickman’s Farr 43 Wild Rose in IRC division C.

Today’s Passage division winner, Laurence Freedman’s Espresso Forte powered up in the stronger winds, beating Ian Box’s Toy Box by 20 minutes on corrected time.

Four divisions make up the IRC Australian Championship hosted by Hamilton Island and running alongside Audi Race Week, the 10th anniversary of Audi’s partnership with the world-class regatta and lifestyle event.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for SE winds 16-18 knots and Tuesday August 18, for the Club Marine long race, is 14-16 knots SSE. The IRC fleet switch to windward/leewards tomorrow on the eastern course area and the nine remaining divisions will contest another round-the-islands race.

IRC Division 1

Place Boat Name Sail Num Skipper Sers Score Race 1
1 TEAM BEAU GESTE IVB1997 Karl Kwok 1.0 1.0
2 ICHI BAN AUS001 Matt Allen 2.0 2.0
3 SECRET MENS BUSINESS YC3300 Geoff Boettcher 3.0 3.0
4 HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD AUS8899 Ray Roberts 4.0 4.0
5 WILD OATS X AUS7001 Mark Richards 5.0 5.0I
6 CELESTIAL 6952 Sam Haynes 6.0 6.0
7 ALIVE 52566 Duncan Hine 7.0 7.0

 IRC Division 2

Place Boat Name Sail Num Skipper Sers Score Race 1
1 QUEST 7075 Bob Steel 1.0 1.0
2 VENTO 00400 Walter Lewin 2.0 2.0
3 VAMP 43218 Fuller Wilmot 3.0 3.0
4 KHALEESI 46 Andrew&Pauline Dally 4.0 4.0
5 AFTER MIDNIGHT 8778 Mark & Greg Tobin 5.0 5.0
6 DEKADENCE RQ432 Stephanie Kerin 6.0 6.0
7 MAC 2 USA153 John McDougall 7.0 7.0
8 PONYO 6838 David Currie 9.0 9.0F

 IRC Division 3

Place Boat Name Sail Num Skipper Sers Score Race 1
1 WILD ROSE 4343 Roger Hickman 1.0 1.0
2 GAUNTLET 3627 Craig Ellis 2.0 2.0
3 JUSTADASH 7722 Philip Dash 3.0 3.0
4 THEPHILOSOPHERS CLUB MH20 Peter Sorensen 4.0 4.0
5 L’ALTRA DONNA 6935 Andy Kearnan 5.0 5.0
6 CORUM HKG1088 Todd Anderson 6.0 6.0
7 MORE NOISE SM3131 Jason Close 7.0 7.0
8 BOTANY ACCESS COCOMO 5845 Justin Brownbill 8.0 8.0
9 TREASURE VIII RP36 Robert Davis 9.0 9.0
10 CORROBBOREE 9501 Robbo Robertson 10.0 10.0
11 KOKO 63344 Roy Leslie 11.0 11.0

 

 Cruising Division 1
Place Boat Name Sail Num Skipper Sers Score Race 1
1 PLATINUM SM76 Chris Barlow 1.0 1.0
2 ALLEGRO 6723 Adrian Lewis 2.0 2.0
3 WHITEBIRDS 788 Bob Bird Paul White 3.0 3.0
4 HELSAL3 262 Rob Fisher 4.0 4.0
5 CONDOR KB80 David Molloy 5.0 5.0
6 MISS MINX 0505 Chris & Lauren Thorpe 6.0 6.0
7 VIRAGO II 6813 Dave Rooke 7.0 7.0
8 MAXI RAGAMUFFIN 7007 Keith Batt 8.0 8.0
9 ZOE 98 Wayne Millar 9.0 9.0
10 TAKANI 6981 James Whittle 10.0 10.0
11 INFINITY AUS52 Edward Fader 11.0 11.0
12 ENCORE 00100 T.Lewis J. Milledge 12.0 12.0
13 ONE O NINE 1109 Robert Salteri 13.0 13.0
14 CHRISTINE S77 Paul Bunn 14.0 14.0
15 FIRST LIGHT 6666 P White/ C Stannard 15.0 15.0
16 ABRACADABRA 5612 James Murchison 16.0 16.0
17 PILGRIM E226 Paul Ley 17.0 17.0
18 SMOOTH OPERATOR SB509 Russell Durham 18.0 18.0
19 XSCAPE AUS501 John Foster 19.0 19.0
20 L’ESPRIT 7041 Peter Byford 20.0 20.0
21 SILVER LINING SM1155 Andrew McGrath 21.0 21.0
22 SHAZAM PD447 Doug Ryan 22.0 22.0
23 CONCERTO SM5892 James Morris 23.0 23.0
24 LE COCHON NOIR V NA Roman Guerra 24.0 24.0
25 VANISHING POINT 22000 T Ryan 25.0 25.0
26 PHARLAP 8885 Sandy Spencer 26.0 26.0
27 JOURNEY SM61 Bryan Dorman 28.0 28.0C

Cruising Division 2

Place Boat Name Sail Num Skipper Sers Score Race 1
1 BEDFORDCA THREE CS B45 Charles Cupit 1.0 1.0
2 LUNACY SB445 Chris McSorley 2.0 2.0
3 BUNDABERG G16 John Kint 3.0 3.0
4 VANILLA BOW17 David Perkins 4.0 4.0
5 BARUCH SB560 Glenn Watson 5.0 5.0
6 KATE R53 John Raff 6.0 6.0
7 AVVENTURA 7044 Peter Mumford 7.0 7.0
8 HOLY COW! 6797 John & Kim Clinton 8.0 8.0
9 AVANTI B19 Philip Cormie 9.0 9.0
10 LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE SM501 Sam Pavic 10.0 10.0
11 THAT BOAT 6782 Darryle Dransfield 11.0 11.0
12 COOPERS 3810 Craig Watson 12.0 12.0
13 CHARM OFFENSIVE James Permezel 13.0 13.0
14 VITESSE 1021 Ian Thomson 14.0 14.0
15 ERESSEA 6590 John Bankart 15.0 15.0
16 MORTGAGECHOICE RUMBA 6232 K Burke/R Carr S Cook 16.0 16.0
17 UPSTART L41 Michael Daly 17.0 17.0
18 CEILIDH 237 Peter Williams 18.0 18.0
19 LEE-WAY 135 Stephen Humpeis 19.0 19.0
20 SYNERGY RQ410 Ron James 20.0 20.0
21 ELUSIVE R6608 Rick Pacey 21.0 21.0
22 KITE RUNNER 11000 Phil Jobe 22.0 22.0
23 KICKATINALONG 1317 Graeme Poole 23.0 23.0
24 FLYINGFISH LET LOOSE M604 Walter Jorgensen 24.0 24.0
25 LLOYDS TOO IMPETUOUS 3663 Rudy Weber 25.0 25.0
26 WIDE LOAD 4198 Elaine William Alan Mcclintoc 26.0 26.0
27 CHANTILLY R56 Timothy Dutton 27.0 27.0

Cruising Division 3

Place Boat Name Sail Num Skipper Sers Score Race 1
1 NORTHERN MOMENT C192 Vic Stevens 1.0 1.0
2 SEA WAFER R473 David Pascoe 2.0 2.0
3 ENGARDE B55 Roger Johnston 3.0 3.0
4 WINDSONG OF M’TON M5 Jim Watson 4.0 4.0
5 D’EUPHORIA 6956 Mike Selbie 5.0 5.0
6 OSCARS RIDE RQ1982 Peter Driml 6.0 6.0
7 QUATTRO F8 Jason Daisley/ C&C Monaghan 7.0 7.0
8 OASIS 662 Merv Stephensen 8.0 8.0
9 RHYTHM BOW28 Ray Sweeney 9.0 9.0
10 KARMA BOW27 David Angus 10.0 10.0
11 ESCAPADE C200 Mike Schmidt 11.0 11.0
12 PLUNDER 191 Ry Spalvins 12.0 12.0
13 KAYAMI BOW29 Brian Pozzey 17.0 17.0C
13 SATISFACTION II RQ725 Malcolm Wallace 17.0 17.0C
13 SANUK 11 547 Harvey Michael 17.0 17.0C
13 CONDESA BOW19 Mark Gaskell 17.0 17.0C

by Lisa Ratcliff

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