News from the Hog's Breath

More Whitsunday Islands action down in the Australia

Tuesday August 12th 2003, Author: Ian Grant, Location: Australasia
Dual Australian Sydney 38 class sailing champion Lou Abrahams and his Another Challenge crew expressed their tactical racing skill in tricky winds to firm their grip on the Hog’s Breath Pan Pacific trophy today.

Abrahams and his talented young helmsman Carl Schmidt were perfectly supported with excellent crew work to master the warm 12-15 knot variable breeze to claim two very important race wins over the Whitsunday Sailing Club courses on Pioneer Bay.

The master skipper winner of two Sydney Hobart races and the defending Australian champion sailed onto the course earlier today trailing on the point score behind the Hamilton Island Yacht Club sloop Asylum (Wayne Kirkpatrick).

Asylum held a slight boat speed advantage in the earlier races but that changed on the race course today when Another Challenge crew produced a near faultless race strategy sailing the advantage line out of every variable wind direction change that blew over the deck to become the new series leader.

As expected the class racing in this clone designed grand prix racer was close with each crew having similar boat speed while the Another Challenge crew proved the difference with their collective years of experience.

In fact the racing in both heats was soclose with just 14 seconds separating Another Challenge, the Mooloolaba sloop Playpen and the Sandringham yacht Livewire at the finish of race 4 while a 29 second margin split Another Challenge, Asylum and Livewire after 1hour and 20 minutes of racing in race 5.

After five races Another Challenge now holds control of the championship points and is poised to enter into a state against state mate against mate match race with the improving Queensland crew in Asylum in the remaining three races to decide which crew wins the inaugural Hog’s Breath Pan Pacific championship trophy in the final on Thursday.

Hog’s Breath Race Week Pan Pacific Sydney 38 class C’ship progressive Pts after 5 races:
1. Another Challenge (Lou Abrahams, Vic) 9pts
2. Asylum (Wayne Kirkpatrick, Qld) 12 pts
3. The Bigger Picture (Douglas/Hooper, NSW) 18pts

John David’s Swan 45 one design ocean racer Joe brilliantly sailed by a crew of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club sailors has joined into a boat on boat match race for the International Hog’s Breath Race Week ‘Boss Hog’ trophy currently being contested on the warm waters of the Whitsunday Passage.

Joe built in Finland and officially launched in Australia on 16 July has proved to be a new generation cruiser racer despite her skipper Steven David, sailing master Chris Links and tactician Darren Jones still coming to grips with which ‘sail-fast string’ to pull.

However while the race tuning process has been a steep learning curve for the Joe crew they have continued to improve as the series of tactical racing continues against the Australian IRC champion Ticket of Leave skippered by Kevin Wood of Melbourne.

Joe’s ‘think tank team’ gave the sloop every chance in what proved to be a supreme tactical test of racing in a changing current with a variable 8-15 knot breeze spiced with 15-30 degree direction changes.

In some cases the wind proved to be a headache for most tacticians but the crew on Joe snapped at every opportunity to sail the shortest windward leg at the shortest and fastest possible angle to build a race winning lead as they approached the Molle Island group.

A torn sail hampered the race winning chances of title leader Ticket Of Leave and when spinnakers were set Joe held and advantage over the match racing Beneteau ‘Beach Balls’ Ticket of Leave and Howard Piggot’s True North to eventually score a very important win.

As expected Chris Links was impressed with another strong performance from the Joe crew. “We have a great crew onboard and they all have contributed to getting Joe up to speed quickly,” Links said.

Joe, essentially a fast cruising yacht with all of the modern appointments including an air conditioned saloon and galley below deck, has entered into a championship match race with the high performance IRC class pace setter Ticket Of Leave for the Hog’s Breath Race Week title.

They won today’s race by the narrow margin of 1minute 7 seconds after 3 hours 20 minutes of intense racing.

The win has also allowed Joe with her consistent score of 1-2-2-1 to lead the series by 1 point over Ticket of Leave 3-1-1-2 with the Peter Hayes skippered High Anxiety 11 third with 5-4-4-4.

Results: Hog’s Breath Race Week IRC Class 21.7n/ml Island Passage race Line Honours:

1. Andrew Short Marine DJuice (Andrew Short, NSW) 2-57-06
2. Magnavox (Peter Sorensen, NSW) 3-04-23
3. Ichi Ban (Matt Allen, NSW) 4-08-25

Corrected time:

1. Joe (Steven David, NSW) 4-00-31
2. Ticket Of Leave (Kevin Wood, Vic) 4-01-38
3. True North (Howard Piggot, NSW) 4-02-44.

Progressive Pts:

1. Joe 1-2-2-1 6pts
2. Ticket of Leave 3-1-1-2 7pts
3. High Anxiety 11 (Peter Hayes, NSW) 5-4-4-4 17pts

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