Sandy OATLEY became a very proud yacht owner at Hamilton Island when he steered his sloop Another Duchess to a comfortable win in the International Hahn Premium Race Week this afternoon.
Sandy the son of Admirals Cup winning skipper Bob OATLEY has taken a back seat absorbing the heat of the action as his yacht edged towards winning Australia's premier offshore regatta.
He had been part of the crew as agreed in the friendly charter agreement while his dad and Admirals Cup winning helmsman Mark RICHARDS and crew claimed most of the glory when Another Duchess spread eagled the fleet with an unmatched exhibition of power sailing.
The sloop recently modified with a revolutionary Reichel-Pugh keel with adjustable trim tab and high performance steering foil was the star performer of Race Week 2003 winning the 8 race IRC championship with a convincing 9-1-1-1-3-1-5-2 score.
Sandy OATLEY proudly stepped behind the helming wheel of Another Duchess for the first time in the series today and reveled in the challenge matching his steering talent against some high profile sailors including triple Americas Cup winner Russell COUTTS helming the champion New Zealand sloop Georgia.
Another Duchess lacked pace out of the start of the 23 n/ml South Molle-Daydream Island race but when she finally sailed into clear wind provided by the ideal 12-15 knot breeze it soon became evident that she would join in a line honours drag race with the Sydney sloop Broomstick (Mike CRANITCH) and After Shock (Colin ONEIL).
Skipper Sandy OATLEY proved his class sailing Another Duchess into a narrow lead over Broomstick, After Shock and the Russell Coutts skippered Georgia when spinnakers were set for the final run to the finish.
Broomstick had forged ahead but Another Duchess approached the finish on a faster sailing angle to snatch her seventh line honours win by the narrow margin of 4 seconds sealing a memorable regatta as the second yacht in history to win both line and corrected handicap honours in the Grand Prix class.