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17 August 2005, 03:02 pm
Wild Joe Too Fast In Fresh Winds
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Hog's Breath Race Week 2005
Airlie Beach, Australia

Steven DAVID's Wild Joe produced an unmatched display of power sailing in the windy Whitsunday Islands, Australia today to seal a runaway win in the 33 nm Hog's Breath Race Week Island passage race.

Wild Joe expertly steered by principal helmsman Chris LINKS expressed her exciting speed to complete the race in a little over three hours to record an excellent race average speed of 10.67 knots.

The course which covered a beat south to the Molle Island group then a spinnaker run north to round Double Cone and Armit Islands followed by an upwind slog to the finish off Airlie Beach clearly showed why Wild Joe is ranked among the fastest 18m yachts racing on the international circuit.

Wild Joe was just to fast over all angles of sailing leaving a white water wake on the spinnaker run when she recorded wave surfing speeds in the high teens.

This allowed her tactician the World Champion Etchells skipper Cameron MILES the luxury to enjoy the ride free of pressure while her mainsail trimmer Darren JONES had a busy day maintaining the required safe balance in the variable strength breeze that blew over the deck.

When Wild Joe cleared the Molle Island group it was not a matter off would she win but by how far.

At this stage she had sailed well clear of the persistent challenge from her 'stable mate' the new conventional ballasted Reichel Pugh 60 Loki of Stephen AINSWORTH and Dick CAWSE's Lyons/Cawse 60 Vanguard.

Her crew who were forced to make a headsail change when they cleared Armit Island and packed the human ballast on the weather rail to consolidate the lead and retain their undefeated seven race line honours record finishing 13 minutes and 21 seconds ahead of Loki with Vanguard another 1 minute and 58 seconds away in third.

Wild Joe also out sailed her 1.467 IRC class rating to provisionally win on corrected time over Loki and Vanguard to allow her proud Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club owner DAVID to firm his grip on the prestigious Boss Hog boat of the regatta trophy with her consistent score of 4,1,4,1,2,10,1.

World Formula 18 catamaran sailing champion Glenn ASHBY 25 from Bendigo Victoria steered Paxus to an unassailable lead in the 2005 Hog's Breath Australian Championship contested on a windy Pioneer Bay off Airlie Beach.

ASHBY, who won the World Championship as crew with Olympic Tornado medallist Darren BUNDOCK the Netherlands less than a month ago, handed his 26 rivals a fresh wind sailing lesson on Pioneer Bay winning both heats by comfortable margins to hold a 22 point lead over Queensland skipper Brad COLLETT on Powder Monkey while Mal GRAY in Sunstate Hobie from Queensland is another six points away in third place

The Paxus combination of skipper ASHBY and his powerful crew mate Andrew WILLIAMS used the power laden 18-24 knot breeze to scud away from the fleet to register their seventh win from ten races and only need to sail around the course in the final tomorrow to claim the deserved Green and Gold ribbons.

Ian Grant. Image:© Andrea Francolini
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