Queensland Crew DESPERADO Triumph At Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011
29 August 2011
Noel Leigh-Smith Desperado AUS 582 triumphs in the Melges 32’s at the 2011 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week by a single point over Stephen Girdis Funnelweb AUS 323 second and Angus Reid Maxstar AUS 158 in third place.
Saturday, day seven the final day of racing was a complete glass out, all racing cancelled by 11.30 am providing an early pack up for the Melges 32 fleet ready for the barge back to Airlie Beach.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 provided a range of conditions from 30 knot South Easterly winds to very light. The second half of the week consisted of four Windward / Leeward races in Dent Passage on day five out the front of a large crowd of spectators at Hamilton Island Yacht Club.
Racing finished on day six with the Long Island Passage Race. Minutes separated the Melges 32 fleet after a four hour race through the spectacular tropical Whitsunday Islands. First place boat Maxstar overlapped Anthony Passmore PlanitAUS 183 on the finish line and six boat lengths behind was Stephen O’Rourke Panther (Red) AUS 700.
Consistency paid in the end with an awesome effort by the Desperado crew including; Noels son Ben Leigh-Smith, Phil Kellond-Knight as Tactician, Jabin Crisp, Wayne Horne, Josh Torpy, Ben Downey. As well winning the eventDesperado won the award for the most pimped up M32 trailer, raising the bar.
Included in the Audi Hamilton Island Race week was the first event in the inaugural Australasian Cup Series 2011 – 2012. Stephen Girdis Funnelweb secured first place in the Series with seven of the ten races at Hamilton Island counted. The next event, The East Coast Championships in November at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club is sure to be a showcase of more thrilling Melges 32 OD racing.