Americas Cup sailors Russell COUTTS and Brad BUTTERWORTH completed the 2003 Hahn Premium Race Week with a Bronze medal and a bronze sun tan bonus with Jim FRAMER'S high performance New Zealand sloop Georgia off Hamilton Island yesterday.
The highly talented skipper/ tactician combination sailing under the proud New Zealand Yacht Squadron burgee for the first time since winning the Americas Cup for the Swiss Alinghi syndicate were impressed with the hospitality, camaraderie, destination and the high standard fleet racing.
Both Coutts and Butterworth, regarded as the highest profile sailing duo to compete in the 20 year history of Race Week only managed to win one race in the IRC class championship but they left with a big impression and a bronzed complexion from a week of sailing in the sun drenched Whitsunday Islands.
The professional sailing team was also impressed with the management of the event and the high standard of competitive fleet racing.
Master one-design match racing tactician Butterworth had a pleasant week expressing his craft in the territory of fleet racing on the picturesque Whitsunday Island waters which were spiced with numerous tricks in prevailing wind and current.
Butterworth, skipper Coutts, owner Jim FARMER and the talented Kiwi crew, fought tenaciously to protect their proud reputations but even their combined skill could not match the brilliant regatta performance of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club sloop Another Duchess.
As expected Georgia was always in the front line out of the starts but the well sailed Farr 52 could not produce the consistent handicap rated speed to sail on equal terms with the modified Davidson 59 Another Duchess which won eight line honours 'battle flags' and completed four races with the fastest corrected handicap.
This performance allowed Another Duchess steered by Admirals Cup winning helmsman Mark RICHARDS for owner Sandy OATLEY to win the series by 16 points from the new Swan 45 Joe skippered by Steven DAVID of Sydney with Georgia another 1 point astern third.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.