Pic: Hamilton Island Photography
Tasmanian crews have taken top honours in two of the three cruising divisions contesting Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
Southern excellence has made a big splash in what is once again the largest division racing at Hamilton Island where the competition wrapped up today with the abandonment of the final Molle Islands Race. Competitors were given an early mark and more time to doll up for tonight’s official trophy presentation and celebrations.
Brothers John and Ross Muir and their majority Tasmanian and ex-Tasmanian crew scored well enough over five races with their chartered Jeanneau 49 called Muir to finish strongly on 22 points. Second was Mathew Barlow’s sistership Saphira and third was David Molloy’s mighty IOR maxi Condor, celebrating its 30th birthday year.
Peter Maitz’ modified Beneteau 50 Leonardo is campaigned once at year, at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, by a “bunch of amateurs” confesses the skipper. Given this fact it’s perhaps surprising but not unwelcome that a first in Cruising Division 2 has come their way.
Maitz and his crew wore very distinct shirts for the week-long regatta attended by a total boat and shore crew of 14 adults and 13 children with nine on board Leonardo at any one time. On the front is the Vitruvian Man, Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous diagram of a man in perfect proportion, something that as a plastic surgeon appeals to Maitz. On the back of their shirts is a picture of three young boys atop a raft with a square rigged tablecloth as a sail, supposedly how sailing began in Austria where Maitz was born.
Now that he’s won his division, Maitz is in the running for the major prize at Race Week, the all new Audi A1 which will be announced tonight at the formal presentation of trophies. His result on the water will be combined with his wife’s result at the Final Drive Challenge run on the layday. “She hit every single witch’s hat,” laughed Maitz as he celebrated with his crew.
Leonardo only narrowly triumphed; just one point the difference to second placed Colin Pruden’s Queensland based Swarbrick S111 Sandpiper Wutba. Third was Andrew Molnar’s Victorian Bavaria design, Jemson.
In Cruising Division 3 Tassie sailors once again demonstrated their flair. Derek Cragg’s Jeanneau 36i Knee Deep, representing the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, finished half a point ahead of Steve Clarke’s Jeanneau 39i Topaz, sailing for Victoria’s Mornington Yacht Club while Peter Skillington’s Victorian Jeanneau design Karma collected third.
In the Non Spinnaker Division John Brand’s Marchi 39 Star Ferry was the star performer, edging out Mike Walter’s Catalina 350 Mim on a countback. Third was Peter McAdam’s Bavaria Manly Too.
No final Molle Islands race means yesterday’s Melges 32 results stand, Noel Leigh-Smith’s Desperado from Southport Yacht Club snatching victory from Stephen Girdis’ Funnel Web and Angus Reid’s Maxstar.
Principal race office Denis Thompson says it’s been another successful regatta without the usual drama of yachts running aground. “Due to a combination of good courses and given we had wind, people weren’t trying to cut corners, which I’m pleased about,” he says.
“From light winds yesterday to Tuesday’s long race day with gusts over 30 knots, there was good variety and there’s a lot of happy yachties out there.”
Final results www.topyacht.net.au/results/2011/ahirw/series/index.htm