The latest from Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Wednesday August 26th 2009, Author: Susan Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Racing for all classes contesting Audi Hamilton Island Race Week has been postponed until tomorrow, Thursday 27 August, when SE/NE winds 10 to 15 knots are forecast to bring relief to the almost 2,000 sailors champing at the bit following three days of light air sailing and effectively two lay days.

A dozen buggy trips to the top of One Tree hill and half a tank of fuel later, regatta director Denis Thompson made the call mid-afternoon to keep the cruising and non-spinnaker divisions ashore, then the IRC and performance racing divisions.

“Everyone understood the decision, no-one wants to race in such light and shifty conditions,” said Thompson. “I’m confident we will get everyone out tomorrow."

Racing was due to get underway at 1030hrs this morning but with glass-outs intermingling with a 4 knot breeze out of the ESE, crews waited ashore until 1400hrs when the last AP flag was lowered, signalling the end of the wait.

After considering their options, the race committee has published a revised racing schedule.

Instead of an island course, Performance Racing 1 and 2 will tomorrow race two windward/leewards starting from Eastern start area at 0900, the second race to start as soon as practical after the first.

All other classes will be sent on a pursuit race with a ‘Mark Foy’ start, named in deference to Hamilton Island Yacht Club Commodore Iain Murray’s 18 foot skiff days. Each boat will receive a start time and will have to try and catch the front runners after setting off from the Dent Passage start line tomorrow morning. These races will be timed so all participants and their guests can head to the party on Dent Island immediately after finishing.

Two of the most eagerly anticipated additions to this year’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will be on show tomorrow, the Mark Foy pursuit race followed by the inaugural Dent Island Day.

Dent Island Day will be a day of laid-back activities for competing sailors and their families. Most of the fun will be based around the magnificent new Hamilton Island Golf Club, which stands impressively at the summit of Dent Island.

On Friday 28 August, the series’ penultimate day of competition, IRC grand prix divisions 1 and 2 will aim for three rather than two windward/leewards in the Eastern course area starting at 1100.

The remaining classes will as per the original schedule complete a short around the islands course starting from Dent Passage at 1040.

Australia’s most awarded keelboat regatta staged in amongst the stunning Whitsunday Island Group will conclude Saturday afternoon prior to an evening trophy presentation.

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