Australia's Admirals Cup winning helmsman Mark RICHARDS expressed brilliant light wind sailing skills at the tiller of Another Duchess to score another impressive line and corrected handicap win in the 2003 Hamilton Island Race Week yesterday.
Richards, supported by an equally talented crew produced a near faultless display of light wind sailing to out sail and outpace the high standard fleet including the champion New Zealand sloop Georgia steered by triple Americas Cup winning skipper Russell COUTTS (NZL).
Another Duchess, recently modified with a revolutionary new keel fitted with adjustable foils was simply unmatched in the light winds sailing both higher and faster into the breeze and holding similar dominating speed sailing downwind under spinnaker.
They developed an early lead on the first slog into the light sea breeze in spite of the Georgia crew's equally faultless race in the smaller sloop.
Russell COUTTS and his Americas Cup winning tactician Brad BUTTERWORTH were equally aggressive with the smaller Georgia sailing on the edge of the breeze to keep Another Duchess honest.
However, Richards and the Another Duchess crew showed why they won the Admirals Cup in Great Britain by answering every challenge offered by the Georgia crew to eventually score a 3 minute 26 second line honours win.
The impressive all angle sailing performance also allowed Another Duchess to outpace her high handicap penalty to record the fastest corrected course time winning the honour by 47 seconds over Georgia with another 4 minutes 22 seconds to Aftershock (Colin O'Neil).
Another Duchess with her 2-1-1 line honours and 9-1-1 corrected time performance is in a strong position to become the first yacht to win both trophies in the 20 year history of Hamilton Island Race Week.
Mooloolaba Yacht Club sloop Playpen, skippered by Michael GRIEVE scored a major upset win in the third heat of the Australian Sydney 38 championship sailed on the same course.
Playpen, racing in her first Australian championship held on to score a narrow 3 second win over the defending champion Another Challenge, skippered by 76 year old Lou ABRAHAMS of Melbourne with another 25 seconds to Blue Sky skippered by Michael HILL of Sydney.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.