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Airlie Beach RaceWeek 2007

ImageArticle: Sail World - www.sail-world.com
Lead up to Race 1: Quantum Racing which has the same tactical team of skipper Ray Roberts mainsheet Jamie Wilmot and World title winning tactician Steve McConaghy aboard will start as the favourite based on their win in 2006.

However the Quantum Racing team will be forced to retain a consistent all angle sailing speed to protect their winning chances not only against Beau Geste but also be aware that former Sydney-Hobart race winner Bob Steel has the crew on Quest who have the hard racing experience to force the championship battle into a three boat match race.

RACE 1: At the top mark Quantum Racing, sailing in canting keel configuration with a canard lifting her upwind rather than with centre locked keel as she has done in some recent regattas, was controlling Quest as the two leaders came in on port tack. Quantum Racing slid around the mark with Quest a length astern.

Alan Brierty’s Limit came in on port tack also, but swung too wide and Michael Hiatt’s Cookson 50 Living Doll shot through inside her.
Quantum Racing extended slightly as she crossed towards Armit Island.

The breeze was continuing to build to 18’s.

Quantum Racing finished first overall in IRC ahead of Quest, with Beau Geste third ahead of Living Doll and Geoff Pearson’s Archambault 35 Arajilla in fifth place.

In IRC Race 2, Geoff Pearson’s little Archambault A35 Arajilla won the day sailing a clever race to win from Michael Hiatt’s Cookson 50 Living Doll, with Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest in third place.

The race started with Alan Brierty’s Corby 49 Limit on the pin, Ray Robert’s Quantum Racing immediately above her, then Bob Steel’s Quest, with Jamie McPhail on the helm, a boat length below.

Rob Bassett’s Bakewell-White 52 Wired kicked to port and headed straight for the mark followed by the little Archambault 35 Arajilla, sistership to the IRC offshore champion Alegria. These boats found a nice little shift.

Wired was the first boat to the starboard lay line then first to the mark and headed towards Pioneer Rock, four lengths ahead of Quest. Quantum Racing was next with Limit inside on her hip, behind her was John Meade’s Ran Tan, and widest was Karl Kwok’s Reichel Pugh Beau Geste and Living Doll. Russell McCart’s Farr 40 Night Nurse was close behind Living Doll at the mark and the little Arajilla was well advanced.

At Pioneer Rock, Quest headed straight for West Molle, whereas the leader Wired and Quantum Racing dug down the mainland shore before crossing over.

Jamie McPhail from Quest explained. ‘The game plan was to go across the Molle Channel as fast as we could, that paid. We had 1.8 knots ebbing north soon after we left the corner but by the time we were two thirds of the way across it was down to 0.6 knots against us.

‘We were the first boat to get current relief and then we had a 40 degree shift in our favour.

‘By Denman Island Wired had sailed into second place behind us carrying the biggest chute we’ve ever seen on a 50 footer. By Grimston Point the fleet had closed up, but we extended on the way to the finish.’

Michael Hiatt’s Cookson 50 has had her canting keel removed and replaced with a fixed keel. Today Hiatt saw the benefit. ‘It’s a big handicap advantage – it’s like racing a new boat…lots to learn but we have smooth hull lines, 400 kilo extra on a deeper keel and half a metre more rig.’

Behind the big boats the battle against the tide was yielding good results.

Geoff Pearson’s French built cruiser racer, the Archambault 35 named Arajilla (the name derivation is secret, you know the story…if we told you we’d have to …..) is being helmed by Nev Wittey from Doyle Sails.

He explained their focus was the tide. ‘We had planned to get tidal relief on the Schute Harbour side, but we could see the wind swinging so we headed straight for West Molle (Day Dream) and we then crept along the eastern shore line of the island.

'At the bottom of the island we did not go all the way across to South Molle, there was more pressure wide; we did one beautiful dig into the beach then scooted round the reef. We had good pressure outside the Molles’ and the combination delivered us a great result.’

Overall, Quest leads the division after two races from Arajilla and Living Doll.
Racing continues in the 18th Meridien Marina’s Airlie Beach Race Week tomorrow morning.

 

Series Results [IRC] up to Race 4 (Drops = 0)

Place

Ties

Sail No

Boat Name

Skipper

From

Design

Sers Score

Race 4

Race 3

Race 2

Race 1

1

 

6669

ARAJILLA

Geoff Pearson

MHYC

Archambault A35

8.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

5.00

2

 

R50

LIVING DOLL

Michael Hiatt

rycv

Farr

12.00

4.00

2.00

2.00

4.00

3

 

52002

QUEST

Jamie Macphail

CYCA

Farr Tp 52

14.00

3.00

6.00

3.00

2.00

4

 

HKG2245

BEAU GESTE

Karl Kwok

HKG

Reichel Pugh

19.00

5.00

5.00

6.00

3.00

5

 

43218

LIMIT

Alan Brierty

CYCA

Corby 49

20.00

6.00

3.00

5.00

6.00

6

 

8899

QUANTUM RACING

Ray Roberts

CYC

Cookson 50

21.00

8.00

4.00

8.00

1.00

7

 

A33

INVINCIBLE

Harold Clark

BYC

Farr 1104

24.00

2.00

8.00

7.00

7.00

8

 

9009

NIGHT NURSE

Russell McCart

rqys

Farr 40

26.00

7.00

7.00

4.00

8.00

9

 

NZL10303

WIRED

Rob Bassett

RNZYS

Bakewell-White

36.00

9.00

9.00

9.00

9.00

10

 

NZL8977

RAN TAN 2

John Meade

RPNYC

Elliott 50

40.00

10.00

10.00

10.00

10.00

 
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