Please select your home edition
Vaikobi 2020 - LEADERBOARD 3

Hamilton Island Race Week, Day 2 - Fleet about to change gears

by Lisa Ratcliff 19 Aug 2019 15:41 BST 18-24 August 2019
Hamilton Island cruising classes set off under kite - Hamilton Island Race Week 2019, day 2 © Salty Dingo

Day two at Hamilton Island Race Week was the classic calm before the storm, another picturesque light-air outing and procession of coloured kites setting off for their designated island marks of the course belying the approaching weather change.

Trade winds lightened throughout the afternoon of Monday August 19, the morning 10 knot sou'easter fading to 6-7 knots for the some of the Hamilton Island Class cruiser-racers which struggled to the finish line. Tuesday's forecast of 25-30 knots, potentially gusting higher, will shake things up for Race Week's near 2,000 sailors from every Australian state and the ACT, plus internationals.

Day two sailing highlights thanks to Broadkast

IRC divisions

David Griffith's JV72 Chinese Whisper is finding it difficult to get the better of the TP52s in IRC division 1 - both in terms of today's results and series scores - though second overall to Hooligan in that fleet demonstrates they are close to matching strength. The high-calibre team, which includes Matt Pearce, Murray Spence, Tom Braidwood and Michael Coxon, has big plans looming, namely this year's 75th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Boat tour of Chinese Whisper and chat.

Gordon Ketelbey's TP52 Zen beat Marcus Blackmore's Hooligan by 50 seconds on corrected time over a 2 hour 50 minute race which began from the eastern side of Hamilton Island and took the fleet around Baynham Island before finishing in Dent Passage, off the Bommie Deck of Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

The rest of IRC division 2 are finding it tough to rein in Ray Roberts' Botin 40 Team Hollywood. The slippery 40-footer is stacked with talent, Roberts commenting after racing: "We probably won that race in the first hour, going around Pentecost. It was actually a typical Hamilton Island day - very challenging coming off the start line in a stable breeze then the pressure fluctuated and became shifty. It's hard to get it right, and you can easily get it wrong." On tomorrow's gear change he commented, "We are excited about tomorrow, if it's manageable. Thirty knots is probably on the edge for most of the boats here."

Hamilton Island divisions

It's already tight at the top in Hamilton Island class's Yellow division, with Robert Robertson's Bavaria C45 Ambition, It's Time, Craig Watson's Jeanneau 53 Coopers and Peter Byford's Jeanneau 469 L'Esprit all on five points. For the L'Esprit team it's very much a family affair. "We've been to Race Week around eight times, but this this the first time with three generations of the Byford family, my two sons and grandson. My youngest son is doing bow with his wife as 'bow assist', and my grandson is learning the ropes," Byford said. "With a first and second across the line and a second and third on handicap we're probably in the handicapper's sights a little early. But we should be alright in the heavier airs tomorrow. We've got all the right sails."

Multihull Hamilton Island Class

Gavin Webb's Queensland Leopard 39 Living Life shares the pointscore at the top of the Black division with Gerald Carroll's Lagoon 500 Flyaway. The battle for second and third is equally close for two Lightwave 38s, with Ian Johnson's Salacia sharing points with Ken Plowman's intriguingly named Red Undies. "In brief, frustrating" said Ian Johnson when asked about Monday's race. "We had a really good look at Pentecost, after falling in a big hole, and there were about 50 boats all floating around in different directions when the current started up. We don't like the light stuff, so tomorrow's forecast will suit us just fine" said Johnson, who lives on Magnetic Island, where he'll be returning for Magnetic Island Race Week immediately following Hamilton Island Race "if the body can hold up".

Regatta director Denis Thompson will be monitoring the front's arrival Tuesday morning and has contingencies that may include delaying racing across the fleet or sending only some divisions out. The race committee will communicate with competitors via the usual channels, and they will be standing-by for the green go or red stop signal.

Related Articles

Hamilton Island Race Week 2020 cancelled
Tough decision made due to increasing travel restrictions The Queensland Government has recently declared numerous COVID-19 hotspots and yesterday announced the inclusion of Greater Sydney. In light of this announcement we have made the tough decision to cancel Hamilton Island Race Week 2020. Posted on 30 Jul 2020
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 2020
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 2020
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 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 day 4
Mad aliens and wipe-outs on a windy day The brand new Tf10 Mad Max up on one hull through a gybe and Kim William's Melges 32 Rock n Roll living up to its name by performing a massive wipe-out at the northern end of Dent Island in a gust made for a colourful day four of racing. Posted on 22 Aug 2019
Hamilton Island Race Week Day 3
Beau Geste hits 35kts plus on Day 3, as the monohulls clocked 25kts on fast ride. With two days of light airs kicking off Hamilton Island Race Week, the hype building for some serious heavy air racing on day three delivered. Big Tuesday opened with a bang, the southeast winds whistling across Dent Passage. Posted on 20 Aug 2019
Hamilton Island Race Week day 1
All divisions completed round-the-island courses in patchy light sou'east breezes Two hundred and thirty-four crews enjoyed a gentle entrée to racing in the annual Whitsundays series, light trade winds and winter sunshine bathing the second largest Hamilton Island Race Week fleet in event history. Posted on 18 Aug 2019
234 boats for Hamilton Island Race Week 2019
The second largest fleet in the event's 36-year history The second largest fleet in Hamilton Island Race Week's 36-year history - 234 boats - and the most interesting cross-section of sailboats seen at the longstanding winter regatta will fill the marina to bursting point by the time Saturday evening Posted on 15 Aug 2019