Monday, February 17, 2014

MC38 One-Design Fleet Building For Hammo

Four of the best-known offshore yachtsmen in Australia and New Zealand are expected to compete at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August following confirmation that each has ordered a high-performance MC38 One-Design.
Photo: Andrea Francolini/ AHIRW
Marcus Blackmore, Lang Walker, Neville Crichton and Robin Crawford placed their orders with McConaghy Boats in Sydney last week.
Photo: Andrea Francolini/ AHIRW
Neville Crichton is best recognised as the owner of the supermaxi Alfa Romeo; Lang Walker is prominent in the world of superyachts as well as keelboat racing; Robin Crawford, a long-time offshore racing sailor, won the IMS division of the 1992 Sydney Hobart race with his Farr designed sloop Assassin, and Marcus Blackmore has been a successful ocean racing sailor for 30 years.

It has also been confirmed that a Puerto Rican owner, who has also ordered an MC38, is planning to compete at Race Week.

McConaghy Boats’ joint managing director, Jono Morris, confirmed the order, saying all indications were that the new MC38s, along with six others, were expected to be at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which is scheduled from August 16 to 23. One of the six existing boats will be coming from New Zealand.

Marcus Blackmore – who last year became the first sailor in Race Week’s 30 year history to win the prestigious Grand Prix division for three consecutive years – said his plans for being at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2014 were well advanced.

“We watched the MC38s enjoying some excellent close racing last year, so it didn’t take a lot for us to decide that would be the class for us in the future,” Blackmore said. “Now, with four new owners entering the fray, things can only become more exciting and satisfying.”

With Hamilton Island Yacht Club being recognised as Challenger of Record for the next America’s Cup match there’s no doubt that campaign will have some influence on this year’s Race Week, but organisers are not saying what that might be … just yet.

Six months out from the regatta the entry list is already looking impressive. The 30th registration is expected in a matter of days, a fact that strengthens the belief that this year’s fleet should number around 200. Nicholas Bartels’ Cookson 50, Terra Firma, out of Melbourne, is the first IRC division yacht to enter for this year.

Rob Mundle

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