Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hamilton Island Race Week - 20° 20' 46" S 148° 56' 58" E

Wild Oats X, with the Prince of Denmark aboard.
XI is 9 metres longer!

Racing IRC Passage Division 1 had us milling around the start with the big boys.  Wild Oats XI and Blackjack are the two maxi yachts competing here.  At 30 metres, they make Popeye seem like a dinghy.  Being able to wander down the wharf to have a casual look at the two boats was a treat.  The size of the lines and winch barrels, nevermind the amount of electronics and instruments, is impressive.  There are also some lovely double-ender yachts like Drumfire and Dorade, a 86-year-old american classic sailing yacht.

Dorade under sail

A upwind beat down Whitsunday Passage with a hundred other yachts tacking back and forward. Helicopters, Wild Oats X and XI, Black Jack and Fred (Crown Prince of Denmark). A loop around Lindeman Island, all fleets squeezing through the narrow passage and pop, out come the kites. Over two hundred yachts barrelling down to the finish under a glorious array of colourful spinnakers.

What a great week of racing! After a slow start, big mistakes and broken stuff, we got our act together. With two podium finishes and able to drop our ninth place, we came a very respectable fifth overall.

Second Place in Race Four - hooray!

Spinnakers behind us as we rounded Lindeman Island - beautiful!

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