Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Boats fly in big winds

Likatiger - Audi Hamilton Race Week 2011
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - From all the screaming spinnaker runs to Double Cone Island in today’s fresh sou’easter, David Turton’s Mooloolaba based FT10 Likatiger had one of the most exhilarating rides.

Starting 25 minutes ahead of Wild Oats XI, Turton and his crew of five had the 33 footer nudging 20 knots and laid it over a couple of times. Not only was Performance Racing 2 division boat to reach Double Cone Island, they were second to the island behind the supermaxi Wild Oats, which is more than three times the length.

An exhausted Turton admitted this afternoon, 'It was busy downwind, we had a couple of good rests [laid over] but everyone is smiling. We’ve had plenty of rides like that before however not with a five hour beat afterwards.'

They might have hot-footed it to Double Cone Island but heading back into the breeze and chop was back-breaking for the crew and tiny boat. As well as resting the crew’s weary bones, tomorrow’s layday will be spent repairing a bent stanchion and broken lifeline.

Likatiger contested the Brisbane to Keppel Race then was sailed from Yeppoon to Hamilton Island for the boat’s first Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Turton’s fourteenth.

Many boats are still finishing the Club Marine Classic Long Race however the IRC A Grand Prix and C results have been finalised with Marcus Blackmore’s TP52 Hooligan’s fourth handicap win giving him a three point breather from Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki which was scored DNF after a mainsail blowout.

Michael Hiatt’s Victorian Farr 55 Living Doll surfed into second place on handicap in today’s long race while fellow Victorian Rob Hanna rounded out the podium places.

In IRC Class C Matt Owen’s Local Hero won the Double Cone Island Race from Peter Sorensen’s The Philosophers Club and Andrew Hurt’s Onya. Local Hero is the clubhouse leader by two points.

Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke is showing no mercy in the SB3 division, now eight points clear of the second placed Mike McLean’s Wagop after six races.

In the Melges 32 Sports Boat division Stephen Girdis’ Funnelweb leads the current standings after eight races, his five race wins giving him a handy two point lead at this stage of the competition.

'Everyone was a bit nervous about going out this morning and the race committee kept holding us back until one of the Melges went out and put up a spinnaker, then they let us go,' said Girdis.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week website