Cruising to victory at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Luckily Graham Smith’s Scaramouche had built up plenty of points in the early part of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, the eventual Cruising Division 1 winner narrowly scraping in for the win by one point after posting their most disappointing result in yesterday’s Molles Islands race.

The X-43 from Mooloolaba Yacht Club had mixed results throughout the week, opening strongly with its highest place a first on day one and their worst result, a 13th on corrected time, on the final day however they still had enough credits to push them over the line.

Smith said this year’s Race Week was ‘a ton of fun’ and he was ‘very happy with the end result’, an overall win with 33 points. ‘My crew and I really enjoyed the atmosphere’, he added. As for next year, Smith assures he will be back for the 30th anniversary of one of Australia’s premier regattas, but maybe in a different boat.

Coming in second place was Bryan Dorman’s Beneteau 58, Sympatico, from Sandringham Yacht Club in Victoria. Its final series score was merely one point shy of Scaramouche, showing how tight the racing was.

Third place with 37 points went to the Jeanneau 49 Muir, skippered by brothers Ross and John Muir.

Cruising Division 2

In division 2 things weren’t decided right up until the very last day. Scores were neck and neck between Tonic and Ucan’ttakeitwithu but Psycho II, a Bavaria 39 skippered by Philip Bates, slipped through both of them to grab the silverware.

This afternoon Bates hadn’t quite come to terms with the result, ‘I’m over the moon considering it was anyone’s game yesterday’.

The boat’s moniker comes from the Hollywood blockbuster Psycho, with Bates’ surname the name of the motel featured in the horror flick.

John Stuckey’s Ucan’ttakeitwithu was awarded second in Cruising Division 2 while third place went to Tonic, skippered by Robert Pizzie.

Cruising division 3

Cruising division 3 results were also up in the air until yesterday’s Molles Islands race decider. In the end it went in Sandstone’s favour, skipper Mike Davies admitting ‘we just scraped in thanks to getting off in quick time right from the start’. Sandstone is a Jeanneau Sunfast from Geographe Bay Yacht Club, Western Australia.

Andrew Robertson’s Beneteau 31.7, Rex, placed second place in Cruising division 3 with 41 points.

Non-spinnaker

The Non-spinnaker division victory belonged to Les Batchelor’s Temeraire but only just, finishing a point ahead of Stuart Pascoe’s Christina Jay.

Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke highlighted the changes that have made the cruising divisions feel even more welcome at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

‘Adopting some new initiatives like an afternoon sausage sizzle and free ice delivered to the cruising boats was the right move. We wanted to make sure that they felt like they were an important part of the regatta, which they are.

‘The new measures for boats berthed on F and G arms are a small give on our part but which make life a lot more comfortable and easy. We’ll continue in that vein going forward.’

Regatta director Denis Thompson has witnessed great racing among the cruising fleet. ‘We’ve been innovative with the courses and I think they’ve enjoyed that, we’ve sent them to places they haven’t been before and the feedback has been positive.’

‘We are trying to make Race Week as varied and interesting as we can,’ Thompson added.

Results at http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/2012/ahirw/series/index.htm

Video highlights at http://www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au/race-week-tv-radio/tv

All information relating to Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 is on the regatta website – www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au.

Luxury carmaker, Audi, returns as the title sponsor of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2012. The German premium brand will host a range of special events on the island for yacht owners and guests to enjoy during the week.