A final blast to the Molle Islands and back in trade winds up to 22 knots closed out the 38th Hamilton Island Race Week and decided the trophy winners in divisions where the top placings were still up for grabs.
The near 180-strong fleet featured a cross section of boats from every Australian state plus five international yachts, four from New Zealand and one from New Caledonia. Close to 2,000 sailors put on a sensational display across the week, in terms of performance and mateship.
Duncan Hine’s RP66 Alive was the Rating Division 1 guaranteed victor prior to the final 32 nautical mile traditional series-ending Molle Islands race. The Tasmanian mini maxi scored consecutive firsts across seven races, crewman Darren Jones saying, “it was an incredible week. We are very lucky to have such a solid team on board.” Some of the legends on Alive’s crew list include Doyle experts Chris Nicholson and Stu Bannatyne alongside Adrienne Cahalan, who has signed on as navigator for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart.
“The blend of really good experience at the back of the boat and personalities that all combine make a solid team, which is shown in the results,” Jones added. “With these island races and the tide running, local knowledge comes into it and again, we have amazing experience, which means we can pick and choose from the data we get.
“We are doing the program leading up to the Hobart Race. We’ve really turned Alive into a windward/leeward boat, which is a different mindset.”
In Rating Division 2, David Doherty’s TP52 from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Matador, almost made a clean sweep – their worst was a second place. Matador’s outstanding performance put them a whopping 10.5 points clear of Bill Barry-Cotter’s TP52 Maritimo in second.
“We had the best week; we didn’t make many mistakes and the boat is quick at the moment,” Doherty said.
Hamilton Island Divisions
Most of the Race Week fleet fall under the Hamilton Island Class umbrella and right across the five divisions, epic battles raged, but ultimately it was the picture perfect Truly Classic 78 Drumfire that completed the week at the top of the leaderboard.
Original text courtesy of Lisa Ratcliff / HIRW Media.
Images courtesy of Salty Dingo.
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