Airlie Beach Race Week: Back in Black and Team Hollywood in control

Back in Black has exerted her authority on the rest of the Multihull Racing fleet today, the Extreme 40 won both races on windward/leeward courses at the 2020 Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, while Ray Roberts’ Team Hollywood has made it four from four in the IRC Rating Passage Division.

Michel Van Der Zwaard’s Back in Black, here for a second year running, has taken a slim four-point lead over newcomer to the Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) hosted event, ORMA 60 (Dale Mitchell), who represents the host club.

In the first race of the day, Back in Black, named for the AC/DC song, scored a win over the omnipresent  G’Nome (Terry Archer) by little more than two minutes, with George Owen doing the ‘Charleston’ with his F28 to finish third.

In Race 5, Van Der Zwaard again made the top of the heap, this time by three minutes to Charleston, with ORMA 60 third.

Overall, Back in Black tops the scoreboard by four points to ORMA 60 in this sea-sawing series. The much smaller G’Nome is defiantly holding on to her podium third place, a further three points behind. It’s back to a long course tomorrow, where the bigger boats can stretch their hulls.

G’ Nome’s Terry Archer commented this afternoon: “We’re obviously the smallest and lowest rated boat in our division, so we’re happy with how we’ve gone so far.”

“It’s pretty daunting when you’ve got a 60 foot square coming over the top of you on the start line – and we’re 26 feet long – and the Extreme 40 – both doing twice your speed!

“But I’ve got a couple of great crew who do an awesome job to keep us where we are. We nailed two starts out of two today. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We just have to keep it going to finish on the podium on Thursday,” Archer said.

“The guys in the Hully Trinity only sail every four or five months and are doing really well too,” said Archer whose boat is the same design (a Grainger 075).

Asked what he needs to do to get one over the ORMA 60 and the Extreme 40, Archer, quipped: “Get them drunk tonight.”

Competitors made the best of a beautiful sunny day on the water. “Not a cloud in the sky – and we had probably 7-10 knots all day,” Archer said.

Out on the long course in IRC Rating, Ray Roberts pulled out all stops again to made it four from four wins. This time she got the better of the newly purchased RP42, Black Diamond (Glenn Burrell). Hollywood looks to be unstoppable.

Leon Weaver and Jakal reversed their fortune in the Trailable Yachts after yesterday’s disaster. Having won the race to take the division lead, Weaver was forced to retire having sailed the incorrect course. He dropped down the board, only to be replaced by Ian Vonk’s Revival for the top spot.  

Jakal won Race 5 today from Revival, and has moved up to second place overall, only four points behind Revival. Revenge is sweet. 

The Ross Downes owned Another Four cleaned up Cruising Division 2, beating nearest rival, Star Ferry (John Brand) by close to 20 minutes. John and Kim Clinton’s much-travelled Holy Cow! took third place.

But it’s David Lewis’ consistently well-sailed Curlew that remains at the top of that leaderboard. Lewis has scored a trio of fourth places and a win to consolidate his position by seven points from Craig Piccinelli’s Wobbly Boot going into the penultimate day.

Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing continues tomorrow morning from 10.30am. It is the region’s premier sporting and community event.

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By Di Pearson/ABRW media

JPK August 2023
Cyclops Marine
M.O.S.S Australia
Cyclops Marine