, 2022-08-27 03:49:57,
There was plenty resting on the final race of the 2022 Australian Yachting Championships (AYC) at Hamilton Island Race Week today, apart from deciding the winners of each division, Sandy Oatley took the helm of Hamilton Island Wild Oats, while John Winning Sr was at the helm of Andoo Comanche for a race like no other.
Oatley, Chairman of the family company that owns Hamilton Island, does not normally race aboard the super maxi, let alone helm it. That duty usually lies with Mark Richards. And for the first time this week, ‘The Oats’ took line honours from her rival, perhaps Oatley was the lucky charm.
“It was good fun,” Oatley said with a wide smile. “It was also very tense, swapping the lead a couple of times. It was a great competition; great sportsmanship and some luck fell our way at the end.”
On taking charge of the 100 footer, Oatley said, “It was fantastic helming. I got advice from everywhere – and sometimes the advice was different. They all know what they’re doing and they were enthusiastic,” he said with a laugh.
When Division Zero lined up to start the islands race, the hooter sounding at 10.45am, Andoo Comanche had not put a daggerboard wrong all week.
John ‘Herman’ Winning Jr’s 100 footer started closest to the Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC) where a large crowd had gathered to watch, among them Herman’s sister Jamie.
Andoo broke the downwind start, forced to return and re-start. No easy feat, given their division mates around…
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