Audi Victoria Week -Ikon, Executive Decision win in Audi IRC Series

It was a pattern through the week - Balance and the rest following Ikon
Audi Victoria Week 2011 - Ikon and Executive Decision maintained the status quo of yesterday to respectively win Divisions B and C of the Audi IRC Series today.

Bruce McCraken’s Ikon (Vic) has been the outstanding Beneteau First 45 in Division B all week, pushing away the threat of three others of the same design. Even though today was his worst race, a seventh, which became his drop race, McCraken and crew sailed a consistently good series.

However, McCraken, who was unavailable for comment on his win afternoon, was kept honest by Paul Buchholz’s DK46, Extasea, which finished second by three points. Darryl Hodgkinson rounded out the top three with his Beneteau First 45, Victoire (NSW).

Buchholz, from Royal Geelong Yacht Club, which hosts Audi Victoria Week each year, was proud of his result and pleased he had stopped the Beneteaus from clean-sweeping the series.

'We had a great regatta,' Buchholz said aboard Extasea after racing today. 'We go pretty well in the light (breeze), so we were happy it was light on today, although we only managed a fifth place. We had a nice win yesterday though,' he said of their victory in Race 7.

Extasea had a couple of legends aboard this week; American sailing guru Dave Ullman and the return of Geelong sailmaker Tony Bull. According to Buchholz, both helped lift his crew to the next level at Audi Victoria Week.

Buchholz conceded Ikon was well sailed though. 'She was definitely hard to beat and pushed us hard all week, but we’re happy with our result.'

Last night, Grant Botica made an ‘Executive Decision’ to race today’s final Division C race, 'because I’d love to win AMS as well as IRC classes,' he said.

Botica and his Adams 10 crew were unbeatable once the final points were tallied, but the Victorian was right to hang on and sail again, as he now goes home with the IRC and AMS trophies for Division C.

Executive Decision had an 11-point victory over Penfold Audi Sport, a new Archambault 31 owned and skippered by David Ellis, who won Division C last year with his 20 year-old BB10, Surprise. The two yachts are from different ends of the spectrum.

Executive Decision chases Penfold Audi Sport


Third overall went to Peter Sorensen and his Sydney 36CR The Philosopher’s Club from Sydney. A former skiff and sportsboat champion, ‘Sorro’, the 2008 Audi IRC Australian Championship winner, finished two points behind Ellis’ boat.

Ikon, Extasea and Victoire are now the top three on the Class B leaderboard for the fifth running of the Audi IRC Australian Championship, while Executive Decision, Penfold Audi Sport and The Philosopher’s Club are the top three in Class C.

Round 2 of the prestigious Championship is the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta in March. All three yacht owners have said they will be on the start line.

The Audi IRC Australian Championship is sponsored by Audi and organised by Yachting Australia. All boats will race as individual entries to compete for the title ‘IRC Australian Champion’ and any prizes awarded by Audi.

Full results, pics, video and all the news at: www.victoriaweek.com