Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club skipper Dr Ian NICHOLSON has finally been rewarded for his persistent three year campaign to win a 'Boss Hog' class championship in the Hog's Breath Race Week at Airlie Beach.
The series known throughout the Pacific region as the Tropical Shirt regatta for the fun style of sailing in the warm winter waters of the Whitsunday Islands has become an annual must do regatta for the proud owner of the stylish Warwick 60 Intrigue of Stornoway.
Finally the value and experience gained from racing in the previous two Hog's Breath Race Week regattas played a major role when skipper Nicholson and his crew of fun loving sailors claimed a popular win in the Performance Handicap Division 1 class.
Their unofficial match race with the impressive Warwick 66 Storm 2 steered by the equally proud Don Algie the founder of Hog's Breath Race Week was one of the features of the regatta.
Both crews held special pride in winning the Warwick 'Battleflag' for the first yacht to finish and this boat on boat battle certainly offered a pacemaker benchmark for the lower handicapped Intrigue of Stornoway to win the 5 race title series on corrected time with a 2-2-1-3-(8) score card.
Intrigue of Stornoway also claimed the big boat battle flag 3-2 over Storm 2 finishing with a successful series to claim a special overall class win ahead of the Anderson 9.2m sloop Star Fire co helmed by husband and wife Don and Helen CAMERON from the Sandringham Yacht Club and the consistent Lidgard 35 Kerinda skippered by Len Payne from Port Hacking NSW.
Bill WEBB has raced and cruised a lot of miles in his mile weary 15m Vanderstadt Sundowner but none have been more important than the racing miles he completed over the past week to steer his faithful yacht to win the Hog's Breath Race Week Performance Handicap Division 2 title.
Sundowner overcame her .835 handicap rating to win the closely contested series of five races where the top seven yachts were split by just 6 points to decide the title.
Webb and his Sundowner crew trailed the 1953 Sydney Hobart race winner Struen Maree (Ken PRYOR) after two races but a win in race four allowed them to take a grip on the class trophy while the Whitsunday Sailing Club yachts Deception (Murray SANDERS), Wobbly Boot (Craig PICCINELLI) and Fallen Angels (Damian SUCKLING) continued a tight duel for the minor places.
Sundowner sealed the class win by 2 points while regatta officials applied the count back rule to resolve the triple 14 point tie for second finally favouring Deception 3-(8)-1-6-4 to claim second overall from Wobbly Boot 1-4-6-3-(12) and Fallen Angels 5-3-5-(7)-1.
RESULTS: Hog's Breath Race Week Performance Handicap Div 1: Intrigue of Stornoway (Dr Ian Nicholson, Hong Kong) 2-2-1-3-(8) 8pts 1, Star Fire (Don and Helen Cameron, Vic) 5-4-3-(8)-1 13pts 2, Kerinda (Len Payne, NSW) 4-(6)-2-5-220.127.116.11pts 3.
Division 2: Sundowner (Bill Webb, Qld) 4-1-(12)-1-6 12pts 1, Deception (Murray Sanders, Qld) 3-(8)-1-6-4 14pts 2, Wobbly Boot (Craig Piccinelli, Qld) 1-4-6-3-(12) 14pts 3.