Racing and big breeze testing at Australian Yachting Champs Day 2

The Australian Sailing’s 2022 Australian Yachting Championships (AYC) continued at Hamilton Island Race Week today, the planned short race exchanged for the Nautilus Marine Insurance Classic extra-long race for Division Zero, a long race for Division 1 and Multihull Racing, medium for Division 2 and 3, while Division 4 was on an Island course.

South-easterly winds in the 15-20 knot range, with a few bullets thrown in for good measure, met competitors on the Dent Passage start line from 9.55am. It made for fast-paced racing. A spectacular sight, so many boats under spinnaker in the narrow passage.

The sun came and went, as did the whales, dolphins and turtles that add ambience to what the tropical Hamilton Island and its surrounds already offer. There was a distinct chill in the air until lunch time, though.

Division Zero

AYC Day2
Division Zero was a spectacle – Salty Digon, Hamilton Island Race Week

The two 100 footers, Hamilton Island Wild Oats (Oatley family, Qld) and Andoo Comanche (John Winning Jr, NSW) were at it again, going gybe for gybe under spinnaker up the Dent Passage, a true test of crew work for both super maxis.

All eyes were on David Gotze’s No Limit (Vic) though, her slick kite work and start close to Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC) leaving even the super maxis in her wake momentarily. At one point, yesterday’s winner, Whisper (NSW) was pacing alongside Wild Oats XI (Mark ‘Ricko’ Richards at the helm), the latter suffering an issue with her spinnaker before breaking free to chase Andoo Comanche.

This division undertook a race of approximately 62 nautical miles from Dent Island, taking in Pentecost, Workington, Hook, Hayman and Henning Islands and back to the finish in Dent Passage. Andoo Comanche was home first, crossing the finish line Andoo Comanche flew around the course, passing the halfway mark by midday and finished just after 2.13pm, Hamilton Island Wild Oats XI trailed her by just under eight minutes.

John ‘Herman’ Winning Jr is sharing helm duties with his dad, John ‘Woody’ Winning. “Yeah, they’re giving me a go on the helm,” Woody said. “I’m doing more than my share of it.

“I haven’t done a lot of sailing with Herman, but it’s great. It’s a well-oiled machine and the people are great. They’re all very good sailors, a mix of experienced big boat sailors and some skiff sailors. Seve (Jarvin) is on tactics with input from GT (Graeme Taylor) and the Big Fella (Iain Murray).

“I never saw myself sailing on something like this. I came up here thinking I might get a steer, but…. It’s Herman’s debacle, not mine. I just do what I’m told. They’ve all done a lot more recent miles than me.”

Woody is predominantly known as an 18 foot skiff sailor, but he has done the Hobart on big boats of the past, such as Jack Rooklyn’s Ballyhoo. He says of Andoo Comanche, “It just feels like a boat, It’s responsive – it doesn’t quite go straight into the wind – it’s 20 degrees either way.”

Division 1 – TP52’s

Division 1 and the Multihull Racing division did a 48nm course, taking in Dent, Pine, South Molle, Double Cone, North Molle and Henning Islands and finish.

Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban (NSW) hit the start line right on the button, from per position at the HIYC end of the line, then boldly gybed across the rest of the TP52’s in the division.

Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Men’s business (SA) looked to be off the pace at the other end of the line and behind the pack, but then Boettcher’s ‘secret plan’ became obvious. In clear air along the shoreline end of the line, the glossy orange hull flew past the startled TP52 cohort, only Ichi Ban marginally in front of them.

When they finished, Caro (Max Klink, SUI) the newest boat in the fleet was the clear winner again. She beat Ichi Ban by nearly four minutes. Michael Doherty’s Matador (NSW) was third. Nearly the same result as yesterday, only second and third were switched.

Division 2

AYC Day2
Division 2 goes to windward – Salty Dingo,Hamilton Island Race Week

Divisions 2 and 3 were on a medium distance course of around 36nm. In the box seat, Maritimo (Bill Barry-Cotter) had the same idea as Ichi Ban, stealing a march on the rest from the HIYC end of the line. On board is diminutive 14-year-old Addison Newlan, a champion O’pen skiff sailor. ‘Addy’ has plenty wins to her name and recently returned from the Worlds where she placed 22nd from 152 entries in the Under 15 Open competition.

Ikon (Bruce McCraken, Vic), Crankster (Andrew Wiklund, Qld) and S1 (Simon McAssey, NSW) were flying under kite mid line, the latter boat suffering a bout of the rock ‘n rolls before gathering herself and romping away again.

Ikon made it two from two, beating Maritimo again, this time by just over a minute. S1 filled out the top three.

“The boat’s going well,” McCraken said. “It was good conditions for us again. Everything is working out well. It’s a good boat, Ikon, I’ve had it 10 years now. It’s a family boat; My wife (Maggie), son (Kirwan), daughter Breeahn and her husband Rodney Muller are aboard, as is usual and others that we call family. Everyone has known each other for 30 or 40 years. It’s good having the family sail together. It’s our summer sport.

“This is our third time at Hamilton Island Race Week and we’re absolutely enjoying ourselves. There are 31 of us up here staying in eight units,” McCraken ended.

Division 3

AYC Day2
Division 3 on the course – Salty Dingo, Hamilton Island Race Week

With the breeze piping in, the Division 3 boats spread evenly across the start line. That was before Peter Chappell’s Barrett 9.5 The Cadillac (WA) came flying down the shore, Ray Roberts’ Team Hollywood (NSW) in hot pursuit, further up the line. The rest were gathering pace behind them.

AYC Day2
Ray Roberts scored a second win – Salty Dingo,Hamilton Island Race Week

Today’s results mirrored yesterday’s: Team Hollywood, The Cadillac and PP1 (Jeremy O’Connell), in that order.

Division 4

An Island course of nearly 14nm for Division 4 and once again, yesterday’s winner Garry Holt had his Adams 10, Get It On (Qld), was smoking. Holt, who is a dab racing car driver and fisherman, has just returned to serious racing after a 20 year absence and is enjoying himself immensely.

Boomtown, the Farr 30 owned by Michael Small (Qld) was flying too, Mark Hellyer’s Italia 11.98, Cicero (NSW) with her. The other Adams 10, Flyaway The Red Boat (Jared Macquart, NSW), gave chase.

When the handicaps were applied, the top two from yesterday finished in the same order today. Get It On won from Ari Abrahams’ Xpresso (Vic). Third was Mark Hellyer’s Cicero from NSW.

Multihull Racing

The Multihull Racing group were second off the start line at 10am. Angus, Michel Van Der Zwaard’s Extreme 40 (Qld),was quick off the line again, with her club mate Rex, the ORMA 60 steered by Dale Mitchell, giving chase again, followed by Bob Engwirda’s Coconuts (Qld).

The wind had abated before it piped in again and once it did, the enormous Rex overhauled the Extreme 40 and came home a solid first on the water. However, Angus won the race once the handicap was applied.

“Was a big surprise to us to win. We had a good downwind start. We overtook Wild Oats just before Pentecost – Andoo was just in front us. The sea state was rough at Pentecost. We should have brought the snorkel and mask with us. The boat was going too fast, we tried to go slow, but couldn’t. It was an awesome day but we’re all exhausted,” Van Der Zwaard said.

The Australian Yachting Championships are being held in conjunction with Hamilton Island Race Week and continues tomorrow.

For full results and news, please visit:

For all the news on all divisions at Hamilton Island Race Week, please visit:

By Di Pearson/Australian Sailing media

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