Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week day 2 - Postcard sailing

IRC Cruising fleet on day 2 of Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week
Airlie Beach Race Week media
It was another glorious for day 2 at Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week and once again the fastest boat in the southern hemisphere delivered a breathtaking speed performance.

With today’s forecast for south easterlies up to 24 knots and with the top of the tide scheduled at 10:25am, then ebbing north, Principal Race Officer Tony Denham was keen to send the record fleet in the same direction.

The Multihulls were first away on their 34.5 nautical mile Saddleback Island Race course. This course is extremely picturesque, taking sailors north west past Grimston Point, Edwin Rock around Saddleback Island and back into Pioneer Bay.

TeamVodafoneSailing on day 2 - Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week
Airlie Beach Race Week media


TeamVodafoneSailing, the Orma 60 of Simon Hull from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, started on the pin end in about eight knots of breeze and headed towards the Mandalay mark. Close behind her was Malcolm Richardson’s Nacra 36 Malice followed by Trilogy, Keith Glover’s Grainger.

The IRC Racing fleet were set the 27 nautical mile Gumbrell Island Race (around Gumbrell and Olden Island and back) and Iota, John McNamara’s Farr 40 IRC, won the start from Peter Sorensen’s Sydney 36CR The Philosophers Club. Yesterday's line honours winner Wayne Millar’s Zoe had a bad start and was way back in the fleet.

On time, the IRC Cruising, Performance Racing and Cruising Diviision 1 were gunned away on their 24 nautical mile Grumbell Island course, while Cruising Division 2 and Non-Spinnaker divisions headed out on their shorter 20 nautical mile course. The Grumbell Island course takes the fleet up to Edwin Rock, around Grassy Island and past Grimston Point and back into Pioneer Bay. The truly beautiful scenery encompasses Dryander National Park (land wise) as well as the various islands, in a sailing paradise.

As the breeze freshened the fleet with colourful spinnakers flying spread out across the Whitsunday Passage while TeamVodafoneSailing headed for home, the finish line in their sights.

It was another impressive display by TVS. She was wide at Grimston Point and was an intimidating sight as she powered towards the finishing line, her hulls rising and falling in the gusts.

Above the hiss of just a single hull in the water, there was the howl of her rigging. The giant red trimaran crossed the finish line at 12:47:45, averaging 15 knots for today's course.

Dockside Simon Hull and his Kiwi crew were smiling again. ‘Nice conditions’ said Simon, ‘we could get used to this.’

Malice crossed the line in second place, well behind the red flyer. Trilogy was third, followed shortly there after by e-Marine Bare Essentials, Tim Pepperell's Grainger.

On handicap it was a clear win to Trilogy ahead of TeamVodafoneSailing with Tim Pepperell's eMarine-World Bare Essentials third. Overall Series leader is Trilogy from TeamVodafoneSailing and J'Ouvert, skippered by local Whitsunday sailor Peter Berry.

Keith Glover commented dockside, 'We over stood Saddleback - only saved because we were not alone. We’ve made some recent modifications to our trimaran, the canting rig makes it a different boat and we are still learning how to sail it.

'Coming past Grimston we fleetingly thought we were going to catch the Nacra 36, we made good gains but we could have done better with the tidal flow in Pioneer Bay.

'Overall it’s great that the multihulls are back at Airlie Beach Race Week. There is certainly renewed interest in racing multihulls world-wide; the America’s Cup is definitely having a positive effect.

'And most of the competitors are happy with the OMR rating system ... I certainly am. The fact that the ORMA 60 (TeamVodafoneSailing) has a third and a second is about right, the Kiwis are sailing it well.'

Fastest yacht in the IRC Racing class today was Wayne Millar’s Zoe, followed closely by John McNamara’s Iota with Peter Sorensen’s The Philosopher’s Club third. Handicap honours went to The Philosopher’s Club from Ross Winterbourne’s Farr Bobby D, with Mooloolaba sailor Gary McCarthy’s Beneteau 34.7 Brilliant Pearl.

Overall Series leader is The Philosopher’s Club. Zoe and Neat Engineering Wailea, Neil Padden’s Beneteau 40.7, are currently on equal points, six off the leader.

Peter Sorensen was smiling as he wandered towards the Competitors Marquee. ‘We won by just eight seconds today. How close is that, in four and half hours of racing.

‘We are enjoying the windy conditions. Over the last season we’ve been doing a lot of work making this boat faster, we reckon our staysail alone was a winning difference today.'‘

IRC Cruising line honours went to Stewart Lewis' Ocean Affinity, from Darryl Hodgkinson's Victoire, with Michael Keough's Evolution Racing third. Victoire scored the handicap win from Evolution Racing, with Mike Welsh's Wicked third.

Overall, Victoire and Evolution Racing are locked on three points each fighting for the Series lead, with Wicked third.

In Cruising Class Division 1 Don Algie’s Warwick 66 Storm 2 took the gun, while close behind in Performance Racing, Robert Green's Pacific 50 Dream was similarly rewarded.

Terry Archer’s Questionable Logic followed Dream across the line, with Damian Suckling’s Jutson 43 Another Fiasco third. On handicap the race 2 winner was Rod Sawyer's Surefoot, from Dream and Questionable Logic.

Overall Series leader Dream is five points clear of Col Pruden’s Sandpiper Wutba, with Duncan Hine’s Custom Steiner 29 Redshift one point further back.

In Cruising Division 1, Hammer of Queensland crossed the finish line some nine minutes behind Storm 2. Third was Eureka II (Chris Stockdale).

Overall Cruising Division 1 Series leader is Ron Hayden’s Cloud Nine, four points ahead of Phillip King’s Last Tango with Don Algie’s Storm 2 three points further back.

Cruising Division 2 line honours went to Peter McAdam’s Manly Too from Gerard Young’s Spike, with Nick Thomas and Col Cox’s Hans-On third. Handicap winner was Peter Mitchelson’s Lorna Rose Too from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Second was Richard Nichols’ Seduction with Spike third.

The Overall Series leader is Spike, with Lorna Rose Too and Seduction equal on points and filling the minor placings.

Cruising Non-Spinnaker race 2 line honours went to Tulip, Bernie Van’t Hof’s Swan 45. Second was Wayne Banks-Smith’s Joie De Vie with Morgan Roger’s Wave Sweeper (Beneteau First 40.7) third. On handicap local sailor Henry Kelder’s Bluenose (Bavaria 34)l was first from Joie De Vie with another local sailor, Roger Boast onboard his Bavaria 36 Serendipity, third.

It is certainly tight in this division. Bluenose and Joie De Vie are equal on four points a piece, with Serendipity currently third.

It was a later start today for the Sports Boats and the Super 30's, who were sailing windward leewards in Pioneer Bay.

In 10 – 12 knots of breeze, in glorious sunshine and under blue sky the Sports Boat fleet started race 1, of the three planned for the day.

At the top mark, Too Hot to Trot, the Lyons 8 of Peter Jamieson found herself ‘in irons’ and almost the entire fleet passed her by.

The SMS Overall handicap win in race 1 for the Sports Boats today went to Bob Cowan’s Stealth 8, Stealthy. Heath Townsend’s Melges 24, Kaito was second, with Pierre Gal’s Sports8xx, Kiss third. Over the line it was a battle between Kiss and Stealthy with Kiss winning by just .09 of a second. Bloke’s World, Brett Whitebread’s Egan 7 was third.

Division 1 SMS Kaito crossed the line ahead of James Rucket’s Thompson 7 Mister Magoo, with Richard Devries' Magic 25, Go Majik third.

Division 2 winner was Stealthy from Kiss, with Cam Rae’s Shaw 650 Monkey Business third.

Townsville sailor Leon Thomas and his crew onboard Guilty Pleasures III took the first of the day's three races for the Super 30s. Jeanine and Jon Drummond’s Farr 30 OD Loco was second, with Where’s Wal? Roger Jepson’s Thompson 870 third.

Race 3 line honours went to Stephen Girdis’ Funnelweb, from Guilty Pleasures 111 and Loco. Handicap honours went to Guilty Pleasures III, Funnelweb and Loco.

Funnelweb was again fastest around the course in race 4, followed by Guilty Pleasures III and John Lindholm’s Dark Energy. Handicap wise, the race went to Guilty Pleasures III from Loco and Jeff Paul’s Mumm 30 RBS Morgan’s Immigrants.

Overall Super 30 Series leader after four races is Townsville’s Guilty Pleasures III, followed by Loco and Funnelweb.

Race 3 line honours went to Stephen Girdis’ Funnelweb, from Guilty Pleasures 111 and Loco. Handicap honours went to Guilty Pleasures III, Funnelweb and Loco.

Funnelweb was again fastest around the course in race 4, followed by Guilty Pleasures III and John Lindholm’s Dark Energy. Handicap wise, the race went to Guilty Pleasures III from Loco and Jeff Paul’s Mumm 30 RBS Morgan’s Immigrants.

Overall Super 30 Series leader after four races is Townsville’s Guilty Pleasures III, followed by Loco and Funnelweb.

Full race results are now posted on the website - www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au

*results are provisional.