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11 August 2005, 12:59 pm
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Hog's Breath Race Week 2005
Airlie Beach, Australia

Stephen AINSWORTH's impressive new ocean racing sloop Loki featured in a minor drama at the Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach, Australia earlier today when a shaft failure sheared a skin fitting flooding a small section of the hull.
Fortunately Tony KIRBY the sole crew person on board at the time stemmed the flow of water before the hole in the carbon fibre hull was temporarily repaired allowing Loki to take her place on the start line for the 23nm Double Cone-Armit Island race tomorrow.

Loki is one of three high performance 18.2 m sloops who are expected to stage an America's Cup style match race to win the prestigious IRC class line honours trophy in the 2005 International Hog's Breath Race Week hosted by the Airlie Beach based Whitsunday Sailing Club.

The sloop launched in late June from Azzura Custom Yachts on Queensland's Gold Coast has produced excellent all wind speed during her sail evaluation trials.

Skipper AINSWORTH is impressed with her speed leading into her maiden regatta however the Loki crew will be facing up against two well proven rivals in the 2003 Admirals Cup champion Wild Oats now racing as Wild Joe with 2003 Hog's Breath Race Week champion Steven DAVID as skipper and the Dick CAWSE helmed Vanguard.

All three crews are capable of winning the first to finish award however they will need to produce a special tactical race to beat the lower handicapped yachts for the fastest corrected course time.

The promised match race between almost identical Mumm 30 class yachts Immigrant skippered by Jeffrey PAUL of Gladstone, Bruce EDDINGTON's Kato from Melbourne, London Calling of Stuart BANCROFT from Sydney and Brisbane's Alex DOUGLAS in Synergy have the individual crew skills and the all wind speed to claim an outright win.

Ian Grant
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