Georgia Racing


Georgia finishes fifth overall in IRC Grand Prix, Hamilton Island

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crossing tacks with CALM - (c) Andrea Francolini, Hamilton Island Race WeekAfter a fourth place in race nine – another Island race – GEORGIA's overall fifth place at that point of the regatta proved to be her final place when race 10 failed to get under away with a complete absence of wind.

This was a major contrast with the racing through most of the regatta with winds typically above 20 knots and sometimes 30 knots.  The regatta was won by HOOLIGAN, with LOKI second, SHOGUN third and LIVING DOLL fourth.  Sixth place went to CALM with TERRA FIRMA (a Cookson 50) and the three hundred footers – WILD OATS, LOYAL (the former Maximus) and LAHANA (the former Zana/Konica Minolta) – further back.

Race 9 was a long beat up to a small island, followed by a long run down to another small island and then a beat up to the finish by the Hamilton Island Yacht Club.  With a more moderate breeze (around 18 knots) and flatter water, GEORGIA was able to hold on to LIVING DOLL, HOOLIGAN, SHOGUN and CALM far better and on the run passed CALM and closed on the other three boats. HOOLIGAN, LIVING DOLL and SHOGUN pulled away on the beat home with GEORGIA taking more time out of CALM.

On corrected time, HOOLIGAN was the winner ahead of SHOGUN, LIVING DOLL, GEORGIA, LOKI and CALM in that order.  Times between these six boats were close.

Impressions, high points and low points of the Regatta?

High point for GEORGIA was undoubtedly her downwind speed.  With the breeze up, she surfed spectacularly and regularly over 20 knots and on occasion over 22 knots.  Tactician Chris Dickson pushed the helmsmen, Chris Meads and Jim Farmer, to hold the boat on the edge at all times and the reward was superior downwind speed against her immediate competitors.

Low point was the disappointing upwind performance in the chop in heavy winds, with GEORGIA's immediate competitors regularly putting time on her.  Much of this was due to our inappropriate number 4 (more like a number 5) against the far better designed and cut 3 Plus sails of the other boats, which forced us to use our number 3 over the top of its range.

Much was learned from the regatta and we will now undertake an examination of a number of options to improve upwind performance.

Crew work was very good with few mistakes throughout the regatta.  For future heavy weather regattas, we would undoubtedly benefit from one or two more heavyweights on the rail!

The social side, as always at Hamilton Island, was enjoyable with the Prize-giving dinner (always a highlight) to come.  Romance struck with our young bowman smitten by the young round the world Australian yachtswoman.  Whether that romance was all one way is presently the subject of much speculation.  Time will tell.

Tomorrow George Hendy, accompanied by wife Jackie and daughter Emma as well as the aforesaid bowman leave early to take the boat 65 miles down the coast to Mackay where she will stay for a month or two before a further delivery to Sydney.  Future regattas are yet to be determined.