Race week, an international affair

AMONG the 201 strong field at this year's Race Week is the New Zealand yacht Georgia, skippered by owner Jim Farmer and Chris Meads.

The international Georgia vessel is the current New Zealand IRC Champion and is sailing in the IRC Grand Prix division in this year's regatta.

Built by Cookson Boats in Auckland, Georgia is the sixth in the family of Georgia Racing yachts owned by Auckland Barrister Jim Farmer.

Georgia was optimised for IRC racing and launched prior to last year's HSBC Premier Coastal Classic which marked the beginning of a challenging race calendar for the new boat.

After a 12 day voyage from New Zealand to Airlie Beach, then across to Hamilton Island, Farmer was pleased to be racing on board his beloved vessel.

“They had some pretty rough weather but luckily there were no major problems,” he said of Georgia's delivery to the Whitsundays.

As a 20 year sailing veteran, Farmer has returned to Hamilton Island for his sixth race week, following his first in 1999.

After finishing third in the regatta in 2003 on his previous Georgia racing yacht, the accomplished sailor is hoping for another successful regatta.

“We felt it was a good start to the regatta,” Farmer said following day one of racing.

“We just need to make up a bit of ground and we will hope to do better next race.

“It's going to be a good regatta. This is a great location and its run very well although it is really expensive to get here.”

Georgia is joined at the regatta by fellow New Zealand vessel Wired which is competing in the Performance Racing (division one) class.

Both crews are hoping to take out their respective divisions to continue the Trans Tasman rivalry between the Australian and New Zealand crews.

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