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16 August 2003, 10:16 am
Broomstick Sweeps To Yacht Race Win
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Hamilton Island Race Week

Radical Sydney pocket-maxi Broomstick skippered by Mike CRANITCH scored a come from behind line honours win in the 2003 Hahn Premium Race Week 23n/ml Lindeman Island race sailed in the warm Whitsunday Islands today.
Broomstick valued the advantage of her 20m waterline length and cleverly selected tacking angles on the spinnaker run from Lindeman Island to the finish off Hamilton Island to score a close win from Admirals Cup winning skipper Bob Oatley (Another Duchess) and the Volvo 60 Andrew Short Marine (Andrew Short).

All thee yachts staged an exciting line honours duel over the course with the crews sustaining a heavy workload to maintain a competitive speed in a wind which failed to gust anywhere near the forecast 16-20 knots.

However while the wind was light and relatively unstable with a number of unpredictable direction changes the race attracting a number of the Worlds leading sailors including Americas Cup champions Russell Coutts, Brad Butterworth, and John Bertrand proved to be exciting from start to finish.

The Sydney sloop Another Duchess owned by 2003 Admirals Cup winning skipper Bob OATLEY and steered by Mark RICHARDS with John BERTRAND calling the race strategy showed the benefit of her new keel to be the star performer leading New Zealand's Georgia (Russell Coutts) out of the start.

Another Duchess was the first to set a spinnaker when she cleared Brush Rock but she was under some real pressure when the bigger sloops Andrew Short Marine and Broomstick bridged the gap.

All three yachts selected totally different courses in a bid to build a speed sailing edge but it was the crew on Broomstick who carried the correct speed sailing angles to claim an important 2 minute 34 second win over Another Duchess with Andrew Short Marine another 29 seconds astern third.

America Cup skipper Russell COUTTS and his talented tactician Brad BUTTERWORTH displayed their exceptional talent to adjust to the tricky sailing conditions in the New Zealand sloop Georgia to easily win their match race over the Sydney sloop Ichi Ban (Matt Allen).

This expected class match race fell apart when the experienced Australian crew committed a tactical error on the windward beat and never recovered to give the New Zealand crew a comfortable 11-37 second win.

Roger Hickman the tactician on Ichi Ban accepted the blame for the error but he is positive about staging a fight back when the grand prix fleet contests the 85 n/ml Coral Sea race tomorrow.

"It was one of those errors that make you think about 'jumping ship' but hopefully it will be a better day for Ichi Ban tomorrow". He said.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Ian Grant
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