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21 August 2003, 10:41 am
Another Duchess Firms Grip on Hahn Premium Race Week Title
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Hamilton Island Race Week
Airlie Beach, Queensland

Bob Oatley's Admiral's Cup winning crew produced another impressive light wind sailing performance when Another Duchess scored her fifth race win in the 2003 Hahn Premium Race Week off Hamilton Island yesterday.
Oatley skippering Another Duchess chartered from his son Sandy is in line to win his second major yachting trophy after his revolutionary canting keel sloop Wild Oats paved the way for Australian to win the prestigious Admirals Cup in July.

The speed sailing performance generated from a new 'wing' foil keel was unmatched on the course today with Another Duchess building her lead over the first windward leeward leg.

She built up a big advantage sailing clear of the fleet in the variable 6-9 knot breeze to leave the remained of the fleet to battle out the minor places.

Principal helmsman Mark Richards seemed content to sail each available wind change on merit while Another Duchess gradually drew away form her sister design Aftershock helmed by their Admirals Cup winning team skipper Colin Oneil.

Another Duchess never faltered even when the breeze became soft and fluky on the final run to the finish.

She finished in clear uncontested space winning the line honours over Aftershock by 2 minutes 17 seconds in the 1 hour 25 minute race.

Crew interest then centered on her course time, the big question was had they sailed well enough to win the race on corrected time.

That was answered when the sloop again tactically well sailed in a wind that was spiced with 20 degree shifts completed another line and handicap double when she recorded a 1 minute 28 second win over Matt Allen's Ichi Ban with another 1 minute 15 seconds to After Shock

Another Duchess only needs to finish one of the final two races in the top five to become the 2003 Hahn Premium Race Week IRC class champion which is a fitting reward for her champion crew who have easily answered the challenge for the champion New Zealand sloop Georgia skippered by triple Americas Cup winning skipper Russell Coutts.

Progressive pts after six races: Another Duchess (Bob Oatley, NSW) 497 pts 1, Joe (Steven David, NSW) 483pts 2, Georgia (James Farmer/Russell Coutts, NZL) 479pts 3.


Ian Grant
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