The secret to success at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week differs from yacht to yacht. For the crew of South Australian yacht Secret Mens Business, the combination of mateship and a strong drive to win is key.
Led by owner/skipper Geoff Boettcher, the Farr 400 he bought from America this year was trucked from Adelaide to Hamilton Island, covering 6,000km in the trek. “This boat is ideal for the conditions at Hamilton Island,” Boettcher said.
Secret Men’s Business 4.5 has four and a half dots, displayed like a hotel star rating, on the boat’s transom.
Secret Mens Business won this year’s Adelaide to Port Lincoln race and scored victories straight up on day one and two of Race Week. With two days remaining it’s sitting third on the IRC division 2 ladder tied with Ross Wilson’s Eagle Rock, both a fair distance from the leading point scorer, Stephen Barlow’s Farr 40 called Forty.
Boettcher is an offshore veteran having competed in 12 Audi Hamilton Island Race Weeks and 23 Sydney Hobart races. He’s had previous boats by the same name including the larger Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner Secret Mens Business 3.5 in 2010. “We won the 2010 Sydney Hobart and took that boat to the UK and did the Fastnet Race,” he said.
Off the water the crew of nine have been spotted about Hamilton Island enjoying the equally busy off-water program “We are all good mates from Adelaide on this boat, we party together but we also take our sailing seriously. We aren’t here for the cricket,” Boettcher laughed.
Every state plus the ACT is represented at Race Week among the starting list of 182 yachts of all sizes and shapes. There are three other South Australian boats in the fleet this year; Carbon Credit (Peter Hawker) which retired today with a cracked main beam, and Wilparina II (Robert Remilton), both in the multihull division. Antipodes Australis (John Culshaw) is the fourth SA boat, in cruising division 1.
Day four of racing, Thursday August 21, 2014, offered the best conditions yet, cool 13-16 knot average S-SE breeze up to 20kts creating a colourful spinnaker start in Dent Passage and a lovely kite run down to South Molle island.
By Laura McKee/AHIRW media