Racing for all classes contesting Audi Hamilton Island Race Week was cancelled yesterday owing to lack of wind. This has caused the race committee to change the program for today, where SE/NE winds 10 to 15 knots are forecast to bring relief to the almost 2,000 sailors champing at the bit following three days of light air sailing and effectively two lay days.
A dozen buggy trips to the top of One Tree hill and half a tank of fuel later, regatta director Denis Thompson made the call mid-afternoon to keep the cruising and non-spinnaker divisions ashore, then the IRC and performance racing divisions.
“Everyone understood the decision, no-one wants to race in such light and shifty conditions,” said Thompson. “I'm confident we will get everyone out tomorrow,” he added.
After considering their options, the race committee has published a revised racing schedule. Instead of an island course, Performance Racing 1 and 2 will race two windward/leewards starting from the eastern start area at 0900hrs, the second race to start as soon as practical after the first.
All other classes will be sent on a pursuit race with a ‘Mark Foy' start, named in deference to Hamilton Island Yacht Club Commodore Iain Murray's 18 foot skiff days. Each boat will receive a start time and will have to try and catch the front runners after setting off from the Dent Passage start line this morning. These races will be timed so all participants and their guests can head to the party on Dent Island immediately after finishing.
Dent Island Day will be a day of laid-back activities for competing sailors and their families. Most of the fun will be based around the magnificent new Hamilton Island Golf Club, which stands at the summit of Dent Island.
On Friday 28 August, the series' penultimate day of competition, IRC grand prix divisions 1 and 2 will aim for three rather than two windward/leewards in the Eastern course area starting at 1100hrs.
The remaining classes will as per the original schedule complete a short around the islands course starting from Dent Passage at 1040hrs.
The regatta will conclude Saturday afternoon prior to an evening trophy presentation.