Audi IRC Australian Championship on a hair trigger
• Rod Jones’ Alegria leads the Audi IRC Australian
Championship by a whisker
• Graeme Wood’s Wot Now in hot pursuit
• Audi’s A6 allroad quattro is the major prize
Following the announcement of final results in a protest-riddled Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Rod Jones’ Archambault 40 Alegria leads Graeme Wood’s Judel Vrojlik 52 Wot Now by a whisker heading into the final round of the national Audi IRC Australian Championship at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
Jones won the inaugural Audi IRC Australian Championship in 2007 when he took the title ahead of Ray Roberts’ Cookson 50 Quantum Racing by more than 11 points.
Following an exceptional performance at the 2009 Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta (MHYC), Alegria took the championship lead, proudly flying the Audi ‘Blue Leader Flag’ going into Round 3 - the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race.
Jones has managed to hold onto the lead by just 0.319 points ahead of Wot Now, after the veteran racer failed to radio into the race committee with his location for his mandatory ‘sked’.
Initially appearing to be well clear of all competition for the Championship title after finishing first in his division in the race to the Gold Coast, Jones was penalized following a protest, and now clings to the lead by less than 1 point.
After the penalty was taken into account, Jones’ final placing in the Gold Coast race was 6th position in his division (IRC division 3).
After calculations of this placing were taken into account by the Audi IRC Australian Championship Technical Committee, the overall leader board for the Audi IRC championship still has Alegria in first but only by a fraction of a point (0.319) in front of Wot Now.
Ruth and Peter Hill’s Beneteau 45 Ruth Magic is in third place.
This is the third running of the Audi IRC Australian Championship and the winner is decided from the best three of four regattas, as one ‘drop’ is allowed.
The four regattas are Geelong Week (RGYC) in January, the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta (with MHYC) in March, Audi Sydney Gold Coast Race (CYCA) in July and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (HIYC) in August.
Following these four events, the national champion will be determined by a pointscoring system, which is developed by Audi’s IRC Australian Championship Technical Committee and managed by Yachting Australia, which also endorses the championship.
The winner receives a brand new Audi vehicle, a Perpetual Trophy designed by John Woulfe and the title of Audi IRC Australian ‘Champion’.
The Championship has been hotly contested since its inception and has grown to massive proportions. Entries this year so far come from NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
To be eligible, yachts must hold a valid IRC Rating Certificate and enter at least three of the four events.
By Audi Sailing Sport in conjunction with Yachting Australia