Georgia Racing


Fair result at Bay Week

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thanks to Bay of Islands Sailing Week for the pictureThree days of excellent racing in varied conditions saw consistent performance by GEORGIA ONE in the annual Bay of Islands Race Week.

Sailing in Division A against much larger boats (notably Wired, Sea Harmony and Sababa – all 52 feet – and Carrera, 49 feet, GEORGIA ONE at 43 feet was the baby of the fleet but was only beaten on the water once by Sababa, twice by Carrera and not at all by Sea Harmony in 7 races.  On rating, GEORGIA ONE was first in the fleet in both IRC and General Handicap.

The 2011 National IRC Championship was decided in this regatta by racing Divisions A and B off the same start line and over the same courses and then aggregating the IRC entries in both divisions for the purpose of determining the 2011 Champion.  First and second were two 34 footers – the MRX North Sails, skippered by Simon Minoprio and aided by well known sailors Rodney Keenan and Martin Hannon, came out on top 2 points ahead of previous winner Hard Labour (a Farr 10-20, complete with revolutionary new 3Di sails (the next step from 3DL).  GEORGIA ONE was 5 points further back in 3rd place, the only boat from Division A to feature in the top 6 places.   Our congratulations go to Simon and his crew who sailed well in conditions that on the third day did not favour small boats.

Many at the regatta commented on the consistency of GEORGIA ONE's performance in all races.  Starts were excellent and her upwind speed against the larger 52s was impressive (generally in the range of 7.8-8.4 knots at 19-21 apparent), more often than not being second boat around the top mark in the windward-leewards, behind Wired.  She sailed particularly well on the final day when conditions were trying, gusts at over 30 knots and the wind throughout in the 20-28 knot range.  Contrary to most of the fleet (which included one dismasting), GEORGIA ONE suffered only minimal damage – a tear to the foot of the runner, which did not however prevent its continued use.  The new rudder, designed by Nick Holroyd from Team New Zealand, proved to be a huge improvement on the original rudder and held the boat steady in the gusty conditions.  One of the tricky features of this boat had always been the ability of the rudder to break away with virtually no notice – happily now something of the past.  Thanks to Nick who, it will be recalled, also designed the new rig and keel when GEORGIA ONE returned from the US in 2005 and was transformed from IMS to IRC.  It will be remembered also that in 2006 GEORGIA ONE was the winner of the National IRC championships and in 2008 she missed from winning again on a count back.   That defeat was avenged last year in Wellington when the new 52, GEORGIA, won the title.

Next regatta for GEORGIA RACING is the Middle Harbour YC Audi Regatta in Sydney on 5 and 6 March in the 52.