|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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