Andrew Short to trade up
He’s heading to the famous yachting town of Newport, Rhode Island with a view to buying a well-known maxi as a replacement for his equally well-known Australian big boat, Brindabella. If the negotiations are successful then the race will be on to have his new offshore racer at Hamilton Island in time for Race Week, which begins on August 23.
The yacht that Short is pursuing is the 2000 vintage Shockwave, which was built for kiwi Neville Crichton by McConaghy Boats in Sydney. She made her successful international racing debut in impressive fashion at Hamilton Island Race Week that same year.
“I’m 95% certain we will do a deal,” Short said just before boarding his flight. “Everything is looking good. I’ve paid the deposit, so now I just need to see the yacht so I can make sure she’s in racing condition. I have to say that the thought of racing this yacht at Race Week really excites me. She has a great record.”
Short said that if his negotiations were successful then the purchase would be finalised within two weeks. After that he would need to decide if the yacht would be sailed on her own bottom, or shipped, back to Australia: “The sole aim is to have her ready for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. I’d also like to have her back in Australia in time for us to make some modifications, in particular to fit a long bowsprit so we can set larger spinnakers.”
A great supporter over many years for what is Australia’s premier keelboat regatta, Short purchased the maxi Brindabella last year “just to have a yacht to sail at Race Week.”
“After campaigning the old girl for almost a year I decided that I should modify her to make her more competitive,” he said. “Then I realised that for less than the investment needed to gain a fraction of a knot in improved performance with Brindabella, I could own Shockwave - a newer, lighter and much faster boat with a comparable rating. That made a lot more sense to me.”
Short confirmed that he might retain ownership of Brindabella for hospitality sailing on Sydney Harbour; however he had two groups interested in buying her for backpacker cruises in the Whitsundays. Three other yachtsmen, including one from the Gold Coast, were looking at buying her for racing.
20 additional entries have been registered for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in the past week. This takes the fleet number to the impressive figure of 70 three months prior to the series. Current projections are that last year’s record fleet of 216 will be exceeded this year.
The latest entry received was from West Australian yachtsman Peter Briggs for his 41ft Hitchhiker, the outright winner of the inaugural Hamilton Island Race Week in 1984. The yacht will be trucked across Australia especially for what is Race Week’s Silver Jubilee event.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is Australia’s most awarded regatta. It has been recognised as Queensland's ‘Best Significant Event’ at the annual Queensland Tourism Awards on three occasions, and also taken out two Australian Tourism Awards