Andrea Francolini /

Hooligan ahead

After the opening day of the Audi IRC Australian Championship

Saturday March 5th 2011, Author: Nicole Browne, Location: Australia

Gusts of up to 20 knots from the south put wind in the sails of more than 320 yachts racing on Sydney Harbour and off the heads in the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta today. The 27 boats competing in round two of the Audi IRC Australian Championship, a part of this regatta, experienced lumpy seas off South Head.
At 1700, only one of the two races planned for today had been completed on the IRC course. The top contenders in Class A - Wild Oats X, Loki, Hooligan and Living Doll – all chose the pin end of the line with Wild Oats X getting the best start of the group and leading to the first mark.
In Class A, race one, series leader Hooligan won on corrected time, followed by 2010 Audi IRC Australian Championship winner Loki, NZ yacht Georgia and, in fourth position, Wild Oats X.
In Class B, Robert Reynolds’ Exile claimed victory on corrected time in race one ahead of Christopher Opielok’s Rockall III, Martin Cross’ Risk and Robin Hawthorn Imagination.
After the first race in Class C, regatta host, Middle Harbour Yacht Club, filled the podium Peter Sorenson’s The Philosopher’s Club first on corrected time ahead of Matthew Bassett’s Local Hero and Andrew Hurt’s Onya.
 In the Ocean Passage Race, Ginger’s run was halted by a man overboard incident about 2nm off Sydney Heads.  As they approached the offshore mark, a small squall and wave hit the yacht at the same time, throwing bowman Sam Sexton and the boat’s spinnaker pole overboard. Sexton spent approximately four minutes in the water before being retrieved by Ginger and was uninjured. Ginger subsequently retired from today’s race but will be back tomorrow.
Jim Cooney’s Brindabella who was close by when the incident occurred and immediately stopped to lend assistance if required, discovered a tear in its mainsail as it brought the jib down - damage that put the boat out of the regatta.
“As soon as the man overboard call came from Ginger we stopped and as the boys were pulling in our main they noticed the tear,” said Cooney. “Unfortunately that’s us done for the regatta as our other main sail is an inshore sail.”
Line honours in today’s Ocean Passage race went to David Pescud and his sailors with disability crew on Wot Eva, followed by Bruce Hogan’s Perpetual Mocean and Tim Cox’s Minerva. Wot Eva also picked up overall honours in IRC in the Ocean Passage while Stormaway won PHS overall.
Racing resumes for all divisions tomorrow, Sunday 5 March.  On Monday, the winning boats in each division will swap the harbour for Eastern Creek raceway where they’ll take to the wheel of an Audi RS 5 coupé and show their driving skills to win a new Audi A1.

Provisional results after two races: |

IRC Division Class A
1 Hooligan Marcus Blackmore RPAYC 1 1
2 Loki Stephen Ainsworth CYCA 2 3
3 Georgia Jim Farmer RNZYS 3 4
4 Shogun Robert Hanna RYCV 6 2
5 Wild Oats X Mark Richards HIYC 4 6

IRC Division Class B:

1 Exile Robert Reynolds MHYC 1 1
2 Rockall III Christopher Opielok RORC 2 4
3 Risk Martin Cross RPAYC 3 3
4 Victoire Darryl Hodgkinson CYCA 6 2
5 Imagination Robin Hawthorn CYCA 4 6

IRC Division Class C:
1 The Philosopher’s Club Peter Sorensen MHYC 1 1
2 Peregrine Ryan Walker RGYC 4 2
3 Local Hero Matthew Bassett MHYC 2 4
4 L’Altra Donna Andy Kearnan CYCA 5 3
5 Onya Andrew Hurt MHYC 3 6


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