Sunday, 21 August 2011
Georgia in Sydney, December 2010. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.
by Zoe Hawkins
Georgia was in Mackay, on the northern Queensland Coast, to gear up for one of the team's favourite regattas: Hamilton Island Race Week.
Last year the boat finished second in the Grand Prix IRC division, behind Australian IRC Champion Loki, and ahead of previous winners Wild Oats, and Living Doll. For this year the Grand Prix fleet will be no less impressive, and will be joined by Emirates Team New Zealand's former TP52, rechristened 'Hooligan', which won the Audi MedCup in both 2009 and 2010.
Hooligan and Georgia are built from the same mould, but the boats are different in many respects.
"Hooligan is a lighter and higher tech boat but Georgia has a better IRC rating. In the previous two regattas in Sydney Hooligan and Loki both beat Georgia. However, there have since been rating adjustments which favour Georgia and the racing should be close," says Georgia's owner and skipper, Jim Farmer.
Race Week begins on Saturday 20 August, running through to Saturday 27 August.
With Jim Farmer and Chris Meads (of Full Metal Jacket fame) helming, the crew will be joined by Chris Dickson, who will call tactics, and Harry Dodson as main trimmer. Harry, who owned Formula One until recently, was one of the original Georgia Racing crew, back in the days of the Mumm 36s, and he was onboard when the original Georgia 43 won the Kenwood Cup in 1996, and the two Air New Zealand International Regattas in Auckland.
"I am hopeful that we will once again do well, though we do not underestimate the strength of the opposition, which consists of very fine boats and in many cases largely professional crews," says Jim Farmer.
Georgia was delivered to Mackay by George Hendy, Shaun Mason (Geeza) and Bill Miller. George and Shaun will be joined by Jackie and Emma Hendy, for the final leg to Hamilton Island during this week.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week