Nov 6, 2011
The Big Red Boat
In the days leading up to the start of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week I spent some time at the Bommie Bar drinking coffee and watching the marina empty out the usual inhabitants, and fill up with the racing and cruising yachts.
On one such morning I saw a large sail at one end of Dent Passage and stood at the railing to watch. The sail belonged to the New Zealand multihull Team Vodafone, a trimaran, with red hull and sails. It seemed to be testing it’s ability to retain speed through turns in the light winds, or perhaps just testing out Dent Passage.
As it passed the Hamilton Island Yacht Club I overheard several conversations about the boat and much speculation about its performance. It was certainly a boat to watch and distinctive enough to stand out in the crowd – size not withstanding.
Throughout Race Week I enjoyed watching Team Vodafone haring around the rest of the fleet. During the race pre-starts off Catseye Beach she would often take off on long runs towards Whitsunday Island with phenomenal acceleration.
As the only yacht in its class (literally, the only entrant in the Super Multi division), Team Vodafone must have raced with another division. I can’t help but think that the sight of those red hulls speeding away would have been an impressive, if daunting sight to those boats sailing around her.