Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia: It takes a lot to get Riviera owner and philanthropist Peter Teakle weak at the knees, but the exhilaration of sailing at 23 knots in the high tech America’s Cup class AC 45 catamaran, Wild Oats, was certainly an experience he will not forget.
With a 30 year background in sailing including 20 years in yacht racing, Mr Teakle is no stranger to seafaring but admits that the 1400kg, 45-foot carbon fibre AC 45 was the fastest sailing boat he has ever come across.
“I own a couple of Ferraris and the acceleration on that yacht would be very close to the acceleration of my Ferraris – you certainly had to hang on,” he exclaimed.
“It was such a thrilling experience – not many people get the chance to go onboard such a high calibre racing boat so I thank the Oatley family (owners of the AC 45 Wild Oats) for that experience.
“My Riviera 70 Enclosed Flybridge, Born to Battle, followed closely behind us but even with 4000 horse power she couldn’t push her 70 tonnes fast enough to keep up. It was such a unique experience – here we had two high performing boats at opposite ends of the boating spectrum cruising almost side-by-side around Hamilton Island.
“The AC 45 is all carbon fibre and the mainsail is now a solid wing like an aircraft and this enables the vessel to sail much faster than the wind. On the day that I went out the wind was only 8 knots yet we were travelling at about 23 knots so this boat creates its own wind – it truly is a whole new level of sailing.”
AC 45 owner Bob Oatley (who also owns the 100-foot supermaxi Wild Oats XI and Hamilton Island) offered VIPs, including Mr Teakle, the opportunity to sail on board AC 45, Wild Oats, after official races during the 2014 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week held from August 15 to 21.
For the past three years, Mr Teakle’s Riviera 70 Enclosed Flybridge has been the official start boat for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and the two years prior to that it was the official press boat for the event.
Mr Teakle said they had an extremely successful regatta at this year’s Race Week with 170 boats competing in the annual event.
In its 31st year, the Hamilton Island Race Week is Australia’s largest offshore keelboat regatta and attracts yachties and spectators from around the globe to Hamilton Island, located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays, North Queensland, Australia.
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