The Official
Website of the
Sailing Federation
20 August 2005, 08:33 am
Alfa Romeo Maiden Race Record Breaker
No ALT tag specified

Hamilton Island Hahn Premium Race Week
Hamilton Island, Australia

Neville CRICHTON (AUS) steered his impressively fast 30m super maxi Alfa Romeo to a remarkable record breaking performance in the opening race of the Hamilton Island Hahn Premium Race Week in the Whitsunday Islands today.
Alfa Romeo generating enormous power over all angles of sailing completed the 23n/ml Lindeman Island race in 1 hour 58 minutes 45 seconds slashing over 8 minutes of the previous record set by the Stewart THWAITES skippered Konica Minolta last year.

Remarkably this was the first competition race for Alfa Romeo which still remains relatively untuned with the crew still learning the required speed sailing technique.

All the signs were evident that the new-generation canting keel twin rudder super-maxi had the potential to be a 'rocket ship when she powered clear of the fleet after a conservative start won by the 2003 Admirals Cup champion Bob OATLEY in his new maxi-chaser Wild Oats.

Skipper OATLEY and his principal helmsman Mark RICHARDS knew that it was only a matter of time when Alfa Romeo would power past and she was a clear leader after tacking under Indian Head on Pentecost Island.

At that time she was logging 11.6 knots sailing upwind into the 14 knots variable South East trade wind.

She left a white water wake for her rivals to follow holding a 9 minute 46 second lead over Wild Oats and the smaller Wild Joe (Steven DAVID) when spinnakers were set for the run to the finish off Hamilton Harbour.

Alfa Romeo drawn along by her enormous spinnaker continually surged to 15 knots to double her leading margin and eventually claim a deserved record breaking line honours win when she defeated the equally well sailed Wild Oats by 18 minutes 5 seconds with another 6 minutes 13 seconds to Wild Joe.

This was easily the most convincing maiden race performance every recorded in the 22 year history of Hamilton Island Race Week with Alfa Romeo also outperforming her 1.738 handicap rating to claim the overall corrected time trophy by 1 minute 45 seconds over Stephen Ainsworth's new Reichel Pugh 60 Loki while Wild Joe the canting keel Reichel Pugh 60 56 seconds away third.

Wild Oats was second to finish today, 30 minutes astern of Alfa Romeo and fourth on IRC handicap while Steven David's Wild Joe finished third over the line and third on handicap.

'Alfa Romeo is 32 feet longer,' stressed Wild Oats' helmsman Mark Richards. 'In the passage racing we are going to be flat out hanging on to her'.

While the south east breeze kept the temperature comfortable, there was plenty of heat on the water amongst the 60-footers, a number of sistership combinations and the Sydney 38 fleet.

Following on from the battle which began at the Hogs Breath Airlie Beach Regatta, Dick Cawse's 60 foot Vanguard and Stephen AINSWORTH's same sized Loki enjoyed more boat-for-boat racing until the spinnaker run when Loki broke away to finish fourth, just two seconds ahead of George SNOW's Brindabella, and second on corrected time under IRC handicap.

'We are a lot faster downwind than Vanguard,' said AINSWORTH this afternoon. 'We should extend even further in more pressure. There is nothing wrong with coming second,' he added.

Source: Lisa Ratcliffe/Ian Grant. Image: Racing Action ©Event Media
Share this page
World Sailing TV
Latest News
News Archive
© 2015 Copyright ISAF/ISAF UK Ltd. All Rights Reserved Privacy & Cookies delivered by Sotic powered by OpenText WSM