Ichi Ban Airlie-bound
YACHTING Australia president Matt Allen is bringing the newest member of his Ichi Ban family to Airlie Beach Race Week, making it the second time the TP52 will race under her new name.
The former Shogun V produced fabulous results for Rob Hanna, including beating Allen's Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, in the 2013 SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.
Allen, whose Carkeek 60 finished second to an impregnable Patrice at the Whitsunday Sailing Club-hosted event last year, said he was "really looking forward to (the 2015) Airlie Beach Race Week".
"It's one of the best regattas and a lot of fun," he said.
Allen sailed his TP52 for the first time on Sydney Harbour in early July and will only have a short time on the boat before he heads off to the Transpac Race this month, sailing aboard Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin.
"In a sense it's quite different to my Carkeek. We're still very much on the learning curve (and) I'm bringing in some people who are familiar with the boat to bring us up to speed - Wade Morgan and Nitro (Noel Drennan)," he said.
Will Oxley, the eminent navigator, will also join the Ichi Ban crew, having satisfied his Volvo Ocean Race obligations. The full crew will be throwing down the gauntlet to others racing in the IRC Racing class.
The 26th edition of Airlie Beach Race Week will be held from August 7-14. For more information visit the website http://www.abrw.com.au.