Long Race and lasagne

For the 16 fortunate crew on the Phillip Neil skippered Drumfire, a 78-foot vision of splendour and timber luxury among the hundreds of newer builds, Hamilton Island Race Week is all about the food, not the sailing, argues boat chef Polly Bapteist.

Photography by Salty Dingo

23 August 2022


During Hamilton Island Race Week, the veteran vegan chef starts the race team’s day off with a wholesome breakfast then sends out a packed lunch and loads of fruit and snacks. Polly either races or stays ashore and cooks – tonight they’ll be enjoying a vegan Mexican fiesta.

But before that, there’s the private after-racing barbecue on the dock, much to the annoyance of the other crews who are forced to smell the waft of cooking sausages.

“Today we had pies, hot lasagne and a fresh salad for lunch,” said Drumfire’s navigator Mark Edmonds.

“The chocolate program was a bit lacking. We do eat well – the mid-race coffees are a nice touch and the sparking water, not still, obviously. There was a bit of breeze for the big girl, and we didn’t run into anything, so I did my job.”


Drumfire finished the long race seventh on corrected time in Hamilton Island blue division.

Day two at Hamilton Island Race Week featured the Nautilus Marine Insurance Classic long and medium island races and variants for the many Hamilton Island cruiser-racer classes. The trade winds persisted, up to 23 knots out of the sou’east at times.

The Australian Yachting Championship fleet, including the TP52s, super and mini maxis and other planing boats, lined up for their downwind sprint start in Dent Passage while the Hamilton Island divisions began their day from a bumpy Eastern start line.

Danielle Hutcheson is skippering her parent’s Beneteau First 40 Blunderbuss in Hamilton Island pink division and campaigning for Southport Yacht Club.

“We’ve got Artic Blond and B52 here from SYC and we are having a good tussle with Mako and our sistership, Fruit Salad.”

The team has a toy llama strapped to the pushpit and there’s a great story why, as Hutcheson explains, “when we first came here, we had a battle with the boat Llama and it became ‘a thing’. llama comes to all our birthday parties.

“Back in January we lost him during the Surf to City Race and a week later a perfect stranger picked him up on Bribie Island, after we put the call out on social media. Now he has a tether and a collar with a phone number. He’s a valued member of our team.”

On Monday’s race Hutcheson added, “Islands are perfect; we had good beat down then a beautiful reach across the Whitsunday Passage and kite run, then a lot of tricky short tacks coming into Dent Passage. And a huge whale breached behind us – it makes your day. There’s nowhere like Hamilton Island for sailing.”

Chris Tulloch’s Gbe28 Island Girl made it two from two passage race handicap wins in Multihull black division while Gerald Valk’s Crosshair has moved to the top of the leaderboard in Multihull white division.

Organisers would like to remind all competitors of Thursday morning’s Prix d’Elegance and terrific prizes for the Best Presented Yacht and the Best Themed Yacht. For those spectating, the harbour entrance or Bommie Deck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club are prime positions.

Tuesday’s forecast is for moderating SE-NE winds 8 to 14knots, the reason Race Week’s race management team opted to run the 62 nautical mile course for the fastest in the 200-plus fleet today.

Check out the full results for all divisions racing at Hamilton Island Race Week and day one highlights video.



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