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24 August 2005, 12:55 pm
Hamilton Island Race Week Hits Half Way Point
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Hamilton Island Hahn Premium Race Week 2005
Hamilton Island, Australia

The fresh sea breeze eased slightly and the chop settled down to allow more comfortable sailing for Race 2 of today's Hamilton Island Hahn Premium Race Week but the varying conditions had no effect whatsoever on the final outcome with Alfa Romeo again leading Wild Oats and Wild Joe to the finish line and recording her third IRC handicap win from six races.
While conditions eased slightly for Race 2, it wasn't all smooth sailing with Vanguard's race finishing earlier than planned when her main halyard broke, sending the big mainsail tumbling down onto the deck and forcing the 60-footer out of the race. At the time, Vanguard was fifth in the fleet and a boat length ahead of rival Loki.

'We don't know how it happened, we are sending someone up the mast to retrieve it,' said a disappointed owner Dick CAWSE back at the marina this afternoon. 'It's just one of those things,' he added.

For the final regatta placings, each yacht is allowed to discard their worst result over the week-long event, which means Vanguard must maintain a high standard from here on to hold onto or better her overall placing on IRC standings, which was 6th from a fleet of 29 heading into this afternoon's race.

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis made it two from two today in the Sydney 38 one design class with Transfusion, and is comfortably leading the pointscore.

PHS results delivered Ken HART's Night Owl yet another overall win in this morning's race and while he slipped back to 5th in Race 2, he is still comfortably leading the pointscore.

Commenting on his success so far, HART was facetious. 'We've stopped arguing and are pulling the kites up more slowly and taking them down quicker'.

Jeff MITCHELL's Cavalier Express was named Race 2 PHS winner over Tony FOWLER's Ocean Skins, a first time entrant in the top three, and UBS Wild Thing, skippered by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Geoff LAVIS.

In the Cruising fleet's 20 mile race Michael SPIES' Dimension Polyant continued his unbroken record of handicap wins in the IRC Cruising class. Warwick SHERMAN's Cookson 12 Occasional Coarse Language, placed second, her best result yet, while Stephen MACKAY's Cabernet Sauvignon, which has featured heavily in the top three since the regatta began last Saturday, finished third today.

John and Deb BALDERSTONE's Sydney 47 Jem today collected its third overall win in the Premier Cruising division from four races.

'When we came to this regatta we had an idea we would do OK, based on the performance of our sistership last year, but we didn't expect to do quite this well,' admitted a delighted John BALDERSTONE this afternoon.

BALDERSTONE believes their success is due to having 'a great crew, courses which have suited us and a couple of North Sails asymmetric spinnakers that have been very helpful on a couple of legs'.

'We just need to make sure we don't make any mistakes from here on,' he added.

Tomorrow's 15 mile Whitehaven Race will start at 10.00am for the IRC, Sydney 38 and PHS fleets while the Cruising fleets enjoy a lay day. Most of them are expected to join the racing fleet at Whitehaven for the XXXX Whitehaven Beach Fun Day.

Susan Boyd (As Amended By ISAF)
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