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12 August 2005, 12:17 pm
Loki Wins Maiden Race
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Hog's Breath Race Week 2005
Airlie Beach, Whitsundays

Drama turned to glory on the wind swept and rain drenched Whitsunday Passage today when the popular Sydney yachtsman Stephen AINSWORTH steered his Reichel Pugh 60 Loki to an impressive IRC class win in the opening race of the 2005 Hogs Breath Race Week series.
Less than 24 hours before the new carbon-fibre Loki built at Iain MURRAY'S Azzura Custom Yachts on Queensland's Gold Coast shattered a skin fitting causing some drama for crew member Tony KIRBY when a section of the hull was flooded.

Fortunately Loki was effectively repaired to take part in the 23 n/ml Double Cone-Armit Island race today and showed with her outstanding performance that she was race prepared for her maiden race against the 2003 Admirals Cup champion Wild Oats now racing as Wild Joe skippered by 2003 Hog's Breath IRC class champion Stephen DAVID.

Loki rating 1.398 always maintained the required boat speed in a mix of soft to fresh and frightening 25-35 knot rainsqualls that dominated the weather pattern for the coldest August day in the Whitsundays since 1926.

But no one told the Loki crew they were hot to trot tracking every tactical maneuver set in place by the Wild Joe crew who gained the first to finish honour by 1 minute 41 seconds from Loki with another 3 minutes 59 seconds to Vanguard.

As expected the popular Stephen AINSWORTH and the entire Loki crew had good reason to be pleased when Loki 'blew' her rivals away when she set the fastest corrected time winning the 2 hour 26 minute 24 second race by a runaway 5 minutes 34 seconds from Vanguard and the Victorian Cookson 50 LIVING DOLL Michael HIATT.

In other classes the former World 18 ft skiff champion Stephen KULMAR steered the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Sydney 38 OD sloop Shining Sea to a comfortable 1 minute 22 second win over club mate Gavin WARD in Eye Candy while Wayne KIRKPATRICK steered the Hamilton Island Yacht Club sloop Asylum into third place.

Ian Grant, Image: Shining Sea © Simon Reffold
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