RAYC Member Matt Kelway was a vital crew member on board Beau Geste when the boat won the 2015 Division A IRC Australian Championship during Hamilton Island Race Week.
Beau Geste, owned and skippered by Karl Kwok, had a very successful regatta in the new TP52 winning seven from eight races with their worst result a second. They finished a clear seven points ahead of Ichi Ban (Matt Allen) and 16 points ahead of third place which went to Secret Men’s Business (Geoff Boettcher).
Kelway, bowman for the 15 crewed Beau Geste team, said that he had an awesome week of racing.
“It was a great week in Hamo with the team, and we achieved what we set out to do.
“We had no idea how we were going to stack up against the competition until the very first race as we only two days sailing in Auckland before the boat had to be on the ship, then we had to fine tune all the systems and get the crew work up to speed in the week leading up to the event.
“We had seen that the Ichi Ban sailed extremely well in Airlie Beach Race Week so it was exciting going into that first race at Hamo – while they lead us to the bottom of the island we managed to claw them back upwind to take the first win.
“We were pretty comfy with the boat after this and knew if we sailed well and got through each race with no major incidents or breakages we could win the event.
“It is an awesome place to sail with a good balance of racing and all the events on shore,” said Kelway.
The IRC Australian Championship is a premier event on the Australian racing calendar and Beau Geste has now won two consecutive events after taking out the title for the first time at the Sail Port Stephen Regatta in 2014.
Karl Kwok and his crew on the 80 footer Beau Geste, took out line honours in the 2014 ANZ Sail Fiji and smashed the Brisbane to Noumea Race at the end of June, setting a new record of 2d, 0h, 43m, 6s.
After a few days break, Kelway will be back on the water as part of the TP52 Temptation crew, the Etchells Feng Shui and also the M-Class Marksman in the highly competitive fleet at RAYC.