Two of South Australia’s most in-form yachting teams will go head-to-head for ultimate bragging rights on Friday 16 February when the state’s premier yachting event kicks off.
This year’s Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race will revisit the rivalry of Geoff Boettcher’s 52-foot Secret Men’s Business and Jason Ward’s 45-foot Concubine.
After missing last year’s race due to the boat awaiting the arrival of a new mast, Ward and crew bounced back in a big way this season and they are primed for a successful race to Port Lincoln.
The team also had a successful Rolex Sydney Hobart race last December, breaking the record for a boat of less than 50 foot long in what was a glamour downwind race.
Boettcher and his crew have also had a big summer, recently finishing second in the Australian Yachting Championships, which were hosted by the Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne last month.
While Boettcher is far more likely to take out line honours in the race, the overall handicap honours for the race will be far more competitive.
There are a number of teams in the mix including Andrew Corletto’s GP42 Shining Sea, which will compete in its first Port Lincoln race after Corletto upgraded from his former boat, a Beneteau 45 of the same name, to the new state-of-the-art racing yacht.
Kym Clarke’s Fresh will once again be flying the flag for the Port Lincoln Yacht Club as the top local favourite in the race, while event sponsor Peter Teakle’s mentor yachts will also look to continue their great form from last year.
There are a number of interstate entries among the fleet from either New South Wales or Victoria, including Mark and Mike Welsh’s Wicked, which has become a regular in the Lincoln Week festivities.
The week-long regatta to follow the race will again be hotly contested this year as Boettcher heads in as favourite in the short-course element of the event.
The week will also bring together a strong fleet of Melges 24s, an exciting and dynamic sports boat, which are hosting their national championship as part of the regatta week.
Robin Deussen and his crew on Red Mist are one of the top South Australian contenders for the national regatta, while interstate entry Penultimate Challenge, skippered by Jon Newman, will also be in the top bunch of the fleet.
A total of 12 entries have been received for the Melges 24s alone, which is one of the strongest national Melges 24 fleets seen in some time.