The show is over and the divisional winners at the windiest Hamilton Island Race Week in years are gearing up for a big evening of celebration marking the end of another fantastic series in the sailing wonderland of Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands.
A final run northwards to the Molle Islands group and back to the Dent Passage finish in 20 knot ESE winds capped off six days of sailing by day and partying by night for the near 2,000 sailors making up the 234 crews – the event’s second-largest entry list.
IRC final results
Top placings in all three IRC divisions were settled on the penultimate day. CYCA Member Marcus Blackmore’s outstanding set of scores with this TP52 Hooligan earned the Division 1 top spot and six-point advantage over the Oatley family’s Wild Oats X. Division 2 went to fellow Member Ray Roberts’ Botin 40 Team Hollywood who won their fourth title on the trot, and Bruce McCraken’s well-campaigned Beneteau First 45 Ikon out of Hobsons Bay Yacht Club in Victoria beat up on the rest of IRC Division 3.
“That’s four-in-a-row wins and I think seven or eight overall at Race Week,” Roberts said. “The highlights were the really good breeze, and excellent courses set by Regatta Director Denis Thompson and his team. The sailing was not only boat-on-boat challenging but geographically challenging…..thoroughly enjoyable.”
Final thoughts from regatta director Denis Thompson
“It’s been a good week. We eased into it with two days of light winds, but still from the right direction, then the tradewinds pulsed on Tuesday. We didn’t have too many incidents, which is good given we have a big fleet sailing in tight spaces. The trailables surprised me in the fresher conditions, they were able to get around the track with no problems, and within the two Hamilton Island Multihull divisions, each had their own performance window and enjoyed close competition.
“The race team worked very hard to make sure the competitors had a good week. There are some great skills among the team, who are also able to pitch in and do anything asked of them.”