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Top Aussie yacht signs on for Adelaide-Lincoln race

Tourism

Reigning Sydney Hobart and Australian Yachting Championship winner Ichi Ban will contest the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race for the first time in February.

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Organisers are hoping Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, which became the 2019 race’s first entrant on the weekend, will help lure other high-profile boats to South Australia for the event.

Ichi Ban’s nomination threatens to end the run of Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Men’s Business, which has won five of the last six Adelaide-Lincoln races on overall IRC, overcoming formidable opponents such as Sam Haynes’ Celestial, Jason Ward’s Concubine and Rob Date’s Scarlet Runner.

Secret Men’s Business has also nominated for the 2019 race and will be looking for redemption after finishing second in the Australian Yachting Championship to Ichi Ban in January.

Both Ichi Ban and Secret Men’s Business are also nominated for the Teakle Classic Lincoln Week Regatta, four days of racing around the waters of Port Lincoln that provide several in-shore and passage races.

It will set up one of the most intriguing battles in South Australian sailing history, as the most decorated team of the Adelaide-Lincoln race goes head-to-head with the champion 52-footer.

“We’re thrilled to have Matt and his team nominate for the 2019 race,” Port Lincoln Yacht Club Rear Commodore Andy Dyer said.

“The pedigree of these guys is fairly well-known throughout the yachting community and it’s certainly a huge draw card for our event.

Ichi Ban by Beth Morley at Sport Sailing Photography.

“We’re hopeful it will see a number of other east coast boats get involved and help create one of the most memorable races in our history.”

South Australia’s premier ocean race will start from Adelaide’s Outer Harbor on February 15. The 156-nautical-mile course takes them southwest to Marion Reef at the foot of York Peninsula then along the foot to the spectacular Cape Spencer before heading northwest past Wedge and Thistle Islands and Dangerous Reef to the welcome of Port Lincoln nestled on Boston Bay.

The race and the regatta week are both becoming increasingly popular with smaller yachts as well with a strong focus on the 30 to 40-foot range, which is often the most competitive racing on offer.

Port Lincoln is known as Australia’s seafood capital and is famous for its Southern Bluefin tuna, oysters, prawns and Great White sharks.

Dyer said the Eyre Peninsula town was “the centre of the universe” on race week with crews treated to great racing, delicious food and unmatched hospitality.

“It’s always a great week that follows the race and we often see boats that come for the first time return for many years after,” he said.

The 2019 Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race will start in Adelaide at 3pm local time on Friday 15 February while the regatta week will begin the following Monday through to Thursday, 18-21 February.

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