Brady pushes the limit

An update from glamorous Hamilton Island Race Week

Sunday August 23rd 2009, Author: Rob Mundle, Location: United Kingdom
After finishing almost bottom of the pile in yesterday’s opening race, Alan Brierty’s RP63 Limit displayed some threatening form today, New Zealand America’s Cup import Gavin Brady showing plenty of grit on the wheel at the start of the second windward/leeward as he shaved the pin end smack bang on the starting signal and backed it up with the all important handicap win.

However in the pre-start Limit tangled with the pin mark, crewman Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones diving overboard to try and free the mark to the delight of the other race crews who cheered as they watched the spectacle unfold. Eventually the anchor rope was cut and the boat freed, the crew’s embarrassment left in the wake of Brady’s sizzling on-water form.

“After hooking the mark it was good to get off the start line in great shape,” admitted AC sailor Rodney Keenan, who is part of Limit’s impressive afterguard.

Black Jack’s blistering regatta debut yesterday was a distant memory in this morning’s first race with the Queensland RP66 finishing second last over the line after being caught short in a local glass-out on approach to the finish. Skipper Mark Bradford made amends in the second race, finishing ahead of the pack and second on the progressive pointscore in front of Ray Roberts’ Cookson 50 Evolution Racing.

In the first race this morning Bob Oatley’s Reichel Pugh 66 Wild Oats X packed its first regatta punch, scoring a runaway line and overall handicap honours win in the 8 knot northerly breeze.

Wild Oats led the fleet around the track to even the line honours tally with Peter Harburg’s Black Jack then in the second race were again out-classed by Black Jack and Limit from Sydney after their spinnaker tack blew out.

Second on handicap in the first race was Graeme Wood’s JV52 Wot Now with Rob Date’s new Victorian RP52 Scarlet Runner, helmed by Graeme ‘GT’ Taylor with Will Oxley navigating, claiming the final podium place.

These results are provisional as Wild Joe's crew has just lodged a protest against Wot Now for a port/starboard incident in today's first race.

The IRC grand prix fleets enjoyed fairly consistent breeze with a single postponement between races while the race committee moved the course further south to the breeze line, and while rendering the pin start mark Limit-less.

In IRC grand prix division 2 Jim Farmer’s Auckland registered Farr 43 Georgia One followed the All Blacks’ lead in last night’s Bledisloe Cup, relegating Phil Coombs’ DK46 Dekadence from Victoria to second in the opening race.

The Aussies fought back in the next race, Andrew Saies’ brand new South Australian Beneteau First 40 Two True Evolution, with Michael Spies calling tactics, scoring its first win in what was only the owner’s third time on the boat.

The Cruising and Performance Racing boats weren’t as lucky, wallowing in no breeze in the Southern start area until regatta director Denis Thompson moved more than 150 boats to the northern end of Dent Passage and sent them on an alternate 15 nautical mile island hopping course starting at 1330hrs, three hours after their scheduled race start.

Due to the ongoing light air forecast tomorrow’s Club Marine Classic Long Race will be replaced with a short round-the-islands race with the IRC grand prix divisions first off at 11am from Southern start line. The long race may be rescheduled later in the week when the breeze is forecast to freshen.

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