Trans-Tasman speed challenge
The unofficial title of the fastest racing yacht in the South Pacific will be up for grabs when Team Vodafone Sailing meets rival Orma 60 Team Australia at this year's Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
Fresh from carving 20 hours off the multihull record in the Auckland-Noumea race earlier this week, Simon Hull's Vodafone will go head-to-head with its Australian cousin in the week-long regatta in August.
The two high-performance 18.2m multihulls, which can comfortably hit speeds over 30 knots, have been collecting speed prizes around the Pacific over the past two years.
Sean Langman's Team Australia, formerly known as Banque Populaire in France, set a new multihull record for the 308 nautical mile Brisbane to Gladstone race in April.
"It is going to be a very exciting contest with Team Vodafone, and we're doing everything we can to make sure we beat them," Langman says. "We've tweaked the boat quite a bit since the Gladstone race, and we are getting new foils made to help reduce drag."
Vodafone is no stranger to Hamilton Island Race week - last year fascinating crowds with its ability to clock 31 knots on one hull.
Around 200 entries are expected for Race Week, on August 17-25, with the regatta hosting myriad classes from sport boats to cruising yachts, cruiser-racers and Grand Prix level keelboats.