It has been a long wait for the fleet at the Hog's Breath Race Week regatta on Pioneer Bay today - the breeze predicted by on-site weather man, Ken BATT, just did not arrive when it he had foretold.
'I'm getting out of here,'
Batt said around 12.00am, 'maybe if I go, the wind might turn up, it should be here by now,'
an embarrassed Batt said.
Funnily, not so long after he disappeared, a nice little 5-8 knot nor-easterly breeze arrived for those classes that had windward/leeward courses on the Bay today and the sun was out on yet another beautiful day in the Far Northern Queensland town of Airlie Beach.
As was expected, Colin O'NEIL'S Davidson 59, After Shock (NSW), got away quickly at the pin end of the line with Matt Allen's Far 52 Ichi Ban just inside her. Going further up the line, Russell MCCART'S Rum Jungle (QLD) got the jump on John WOODRUFF'S Volvo 60, Seriously Ten (NSW), whilst mid-line, John ROUSE'S well sailed Rouseabout 3 (VIC) and the luckless Zoe, skippered by Wayne MILLAR (QLD) also got away well on the two-lap course.
As they rounded the windward mark for the first time, After Shock went left, while Ichi Ban took an early dive to the right of the course, with Zoe, Game Set, the Match 38 skippered by Tony KIRBY (NSW) and Rouseabout 3 following.
By the leeward mark, After Shock had streaked away from the rest, Ichi Ban her nearest competitor, with Seriously Ten struggling to catch her up. Then in a close group came Zoe, Rouseabout 3 and Game Set - the group from which the race handicap winner will probably come.
After Shock came home quickly and in the final stages of the race Seriously Ten finally overtook Ichi Ban to cross the line. Zoe should have been next, but instead the quick Mumm 30 Enigma, skippered by Stewart LEWIS (QLD) came flying home under spinnaker to finish in front of Zoe, Rouseabout 3 and Game Set.
Handicap wise, Enigma's quick run to the finish gave her first place today by nearly two minutes to After Shock with Game Set third overall, close to three minutes behind her. It is not the first time the perfectly named Enigma has outpaced her opposition at various regattas, both on water and on time.
The IRC fleet has one further windward/leeward race to sail today and an update will be available as it comes to hand.