FULL RUNDOWN: Airlie Beach Race Week winners crowned
Contributed by Di Pearson.
A FLEET of 64 boats took part in the 2020 Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, hosted by Whitsunday Sailing Club, and the winners have been crowned.
Here’s how competitors in each division fared:
Following a week of close racing between Dale Mitchell’s ORMA 60 and Michel Van Der Zwaard’s Extreme 40, Back in Black, ORMA 60 finished on top by winning the final race of the series.
She only arrived in Australia recently.
The two crossed swords all week and finished on equal points after Back in Black scored second in Race 7 – that’s how close it was.
Terry Archer’s G’Nome finished third overall.
“The whole week’s been great,” Mitchell said.
“It looked like it was between us and the Extreme, but that sneaky little G’Nome was a real threat.
“It’s a local boat like us.
“We know them well, they’re great mates and sailed well.
“It’s a real credit to the multihull OMR rule – everyone has a shot at winning.”
John Williams’ Tyee III from Victoria got the better of Robert Dean’s Cut Snake to take this division out, after the latter led for most of the week.
Cut Snake had it in the bag but scored her worst result of the six-race series today, with an uncharacteristic sixth place.
Michael Hayes’ Renaissance took third place.
Bruce Kellerman on Tyee III said the crew was pleased.
“Unfortunately Willo (Williams) is stuck in Melbourne. He’ll be sad he’s not here, but happy he’s won,” he said.
“His daughter Elizabeth and crew regular Trish Wallace-Smith are on board. They both live in Queensland.”
IRC RATING PASSAGE
Ray Roberts cleaned up and was only beaten twice in the series.
Barry Cuneo’s Envy Scooters finally got the better of Team Hollywood, a Botin 40.
The TP52 won Race 6, while the Sydney boat settled for second to win overall.
Desperado, Graham Sherring’s little Atkinson 25, took on the grand prix boats and finished third overall with a third place today backing up its win on Wednesday.
Ray Roberts said it was a short course today and easy to get tangled up.
“Good racing and good Envy got a win at the end of the regatta – they tried hard all week,” he said.
“It was good competition with them.
“They were a boat we could target and they kept us focused.”
Damian Suckling’s Top Gear held a half point lead over the hungry Mister Magoo (Goggles) coming into the final day.
Could it be any closer?
Race 7 decided the series in favour of Mister Magoo, when she finished second, while Top Gear finished third.
Lance Vinnell’s 4 Shaw won the race, by far her best result.
Goggles said it was close.
“There was a bit of a glitch with the handicaps, but it was sorted out after the lay day, all good. We won by half a point,” he said.
“Top Gun was much faster than last year.
“I’ve been doing this regatta for 15 years, and we make our gains through crew work.
“It kept us on our toes, especially in light winds, where we usually do well.
“But we struggled trying to shake him off.
“The first day was a bit of a lottery and he got the winning numbers, which helped them.”
In Division 1, Noel Hardy’s Envy was just two points ahead of Daniel Farmer’s B52.
The top two scored their worst results today, Envy with a 12th and B52 a 10th, handing the series to Hardy by one point.
Graham Furtado’s Matrix snuck into second place overall ahead of B52.
“We were aware of each other’s presence on the water,” Angela van Daal said, choosing her words carefully when asked if there was any ‘hunting’ going on between Envy and B52 today. “We’re both from Southport Yacht Club, we know the B52 crew well.
“It was a wonderful regatta and we are so glad they went ahead with it – everyone here feels the same way.”
Division 2 was decided in the last race.
After winning yesterday’s Race 5, Mark Beale’s Crossbow was top dog, with Daniel McSweeney’s Brigus in second and Craig Piccinelli’s Wobbly Boot third, all on 23 points each.
However, Race 6 was decided in favour of previous leader, Curlew (David Lewis), and her fifth place was enough.
Wobbly Boot finished on equal points to take second overall.
Crossbow settled for third and Brigus missed out.
“One second place saved the day! It was a lovely day,” Lewis said.
“We had a terrible day yesterday with mistakes.
“Wind came when we weren’t there and we didn’t sail well.
“All the boats were close, so that’s pretty good handicapping.
“It’s also a game where seconds count and you don’t give up.”
QMS, owned by John Galloway, led into Race 6 from local hero, Peter Harrison’s Awesome, which has won at Race Week in the past.
Michael McCarthy’s Sunrise was perched in third with four points separating the trio.
Galloway prevailed, with Sunrise second and Awesome third overall.
This was a battle from start to finish, but after retiring from Race 4 for sailing the wrong course and losing a win and the division’s top place, Leon Weaver was determined to make amends with Jakal.
Leading into the final race, he had reclaimed the top spot on the leaderboard.
However, Ian Vonk’s Revival, which had replaced Jakal at the top of the board after Race 4, was sitting second and equal points with Jakal.
Early series leader, Lunasea (Thomas Jordon) was in third, a point away.
So who got there in the end? Revival did.
She won the final race to beat Jakal by three points after the latter finished fourth in Race 6.
On the week of racing, race director Ross Chisholm said given the sailing conditions thrown at them, he was happy with the amount of racing that took place.
“Because of travel restrictions, we are missing a lot of our experienced race officials and volunteers,” he said.
“Their replacements are learning as they go.
“They’ve done everything correctly, so it’s worked out well and improves our scope of volunteers for the future.
“I’ve been receiving comments from competitors, all positive, saying how well Airlie Beach Race Week has been handled.
“They’ve liked the courses, even the first day, which was quite challenging.
“Whitsunday Sailing Club, as a whole, is happy we could provide a regatta for competitors.”
For full results and all information click here.