Class winners decided
IRC Premier Passage
Graham Jones’ Bluewater, the IRC Premier Passage winner, almost came to grief in the final race today after shaving the northeast corner of North Molle Island a little too close and finding themselves stranded on an outlying reef for just under a minute.
“We didn’t do any damage...not that we know of anyway,” said Jones this afternoon. The Beneteau First 45, which represented both Sydney and Port Douglas at this regatta, is only a month old and this week was its first regatta hit out.
“I’m sailing a new boat with a pretty regular crew, some of us have been sailing together for 20 to 30 years,” said the ecstatic skipper as his crew partied in the background.
Bluewater beat Spirit of Lexus (Michael Keough) and Ross Wilson’s Eagle Rock.
Luke McGrath’s Sydney 36CR Brookwater Golf sailed to a win in the IRC Passage Division, finishing the series on 11 points just a pinch ahead of Peter Sorensen’s The Philosopher’s Club on 12 points. Matthew Percy’s Beneteau First 44.7 Alacrity from Southport Yacht Club finished third.
PHS Grand Prix
Getaway-Sailing.com skipper Peter Goldsworthy said his PHS Grand Prix win had been unexpected in what was an exhilarating final race for the former round-the-world Volvo 60.
"The weather was a bit kind to us but it still wasn't an easy race," he said. "The crew really came together today."
Former CYCA Commodore Geoff Lavis finished divisional runner up with his Inglis/Murray 50 UBS Wild Thing, just half a point in front of Ian Ford and John Griffin’s Beneteau 47.7 Whalewatchingsydney.net
PHS Passage Division 1 & 2
Local Hero owner Peter Mosely from Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney originally thought he had gone from hero to zero in today’s regatta closer. He was elated to discover later in the day that the team had taken out PHS Passage Division 1.
"We feel phenomenal because we really thought we had gone down the gurgler, then the crew phoned in and found out the results," said Mosely.
Taking out PHS Division 2 today also came as a shock for Just Quietly owners Sue and Donald Swanson who were scratching for extra crew this week after one of their original crew dropped out.
Sue Swanson said the competition had been exceptional. "There was some good competition from boats of similar sizes. We were very happy with the way our boat sailed," she said this afternoon.
Full Frontal owner Mark Travis from Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club has claimed the top prize in Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2 in his first Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
"We just sailed our own race and we won. Of course we couldn't be anything but pleased.
"Sailing here is superb," said the winning skipper this afternoon.
For full results for the cruising divisions and all remaining divisions go to www.topyachtsoftware.com/results/2008/hammo/series/index.htm
Final words from the regatta director
Regatta director Denis Thompson is already thinking about how he and his team can improve for next year.
“The courses won’t necessarily stay the same each year, we’ll just keep adjusting as we go by looking at the tides and different courses sailed,” said Thompson this afternoon.
“This year’s record fleet has been great and the level of competition, particularly in the IRC fleet has been strong with results in many divisions going down to the final race.
“The week-long match race between Wild Oats X and Black Jack has been tremendous to watch, like dinghy racing.
“I’m also very encouraged by the level of competition and camaraderie within the cruising fleets. While the big boats get most of the accolades, the strength of the regatta lies with the huge cruising fleet.”
Tonight the winning crews will be called to the stage at the official prize giving dinner to collect their well deserved silverware.