New Zealanders had a very successful week at Hamilton Island and while all the focus seemed to be on Stewart THWAITES' Konica Minolta, the only yacht ever to take a line honours victory from Skandia, another Kiwi gave it a nudge in the PHS class.
Alan PEPPER was one of two New Zealanders in the PHS class to cross the paddock for the increasingly popular series. He brought his Senior 12m from Auckland in New Zealand to have a go against the rest of the fleet in the nine-race event and won the first two races to cement a good lead.
Pepper won the 23 nautical mile South Molle/Daydream Island Race, following that up with a win in the 85 mile Coral Sea Race the next day. He sailed consistent places, backing up his earlier wins with a bullet in Race 7, the 15 mile Whitehaven race, placing better in the distance races than in the short windward/leewards.
Mal RICHARDSON's Sayer 34, Ice, from Port Douglas in Queensland took second place overall with a win in Race 6 and only one placing outside of sixth - a solid performance for the Far Northern Queensland entry whose crew included talented Sydney sailor, Erin CAMERON - a former Port Douglas resident.
Peter HEWSON's Wallop, a BH41 representing Lake Macquarie in NSW came home third in the series. Hewson and crew started their regatta well, but faded towards the end of the series, having enough in the bag to take third from some of the more inconsistent boats in their class.
Sailed in predominantly light airs, the Hahn Premium Series did have shades of decent breeze, yesterday's final, the Lindeman Island race was sailed in ideal 10.14 knot winds.
With Hamilton Island now being owned by sailing wine man, Bob OATLEY, competitors seemed to enjoy themselves more, knowing a fellow sailor was looking after their interests.
Already Bob and his son Sandy have provided new services. Rubbish was collected from the boats at the marina each day, a beverage service provided to make base to boat deliveries, and wonders of all wonders, just when the legs were getting tired, a valet driving service from marina to resort for those who did not have their own buggy. The valets were very attractive young smiling girls - every sailor's dream.
Both OATLEY's have made it quite clear they want to make this regatta bigger and better, their main theme being to 'make people happy here at Hamilton Island.'
Final Results are available on the event website via the link below.