Magic sets fast pace in Two Is­lands race

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE 2012 Two Is­land Sail and Run roped in 11 en­tries on Satur­day. With one late with­drawal 10 yachts came to the start in gusty con­di­tions and a strong swell.

Start­ing in two di­vi­sions split by their hand­i­caps, the five yachts in Division 2 set sail first at 11am and were ea­ger to make up as much ground as pos­si­ble be­fore the 11.15am start for Division 1.

Indigo and Tau Ceti were both suited to the rough con­di­tions of the stage 1 reach out to Low Isles and set the pace fol­lowed by Miriama, Port FM Mais Oui and T-Break.

The Division 1 boats had their work cut out to run down the early starters but by the time the fleet con­verged on Low Isles the two di­vi­sions had be­gun to mix.

Stage 2 was up to the ath­letes to make a dif­fer­ence with the swim to Low Isle, a lap sprint around the sandy cay and the swim back to their boat an op­por­tu­nity to split the fleet and trade some po­si­tions with their ri­vals.

From Division 2, Indigo, Tau Ceti and Miriama were first to em­bark on Stage 3, the star­board round­ing of Low Wooded Is­land and a reach back to Four Mile Beach, hotly pur­sued by Magic, Jim­mie Black­smith and Ice from Division 1.

As the gust­ing south-easter hit 23 to 28 knots, the fleet rounded the is­land and be­gan the fast sail back to a gate po­si­tioned off Four Mile Beach through which the ath­letes would swim to start Stage 4 and the sprint back to the yacht club via the look­out on Flagstaff Hill.

Clos­ing in on Four Mile Beach, Magic was first to drop its ath­lete hav­ing run down both Indigo and Tau Ceti com­ing in sec­ond and third fol­lowed by Ann Sea, Jim­mie Black­smith and Ice with Miriama, Port FM Mais Oui and T-Break not far be­hind.

The fleet was cut to nine as Sin­abada had re­tired to limit fur­ther dam­age sus­tained to her head­sail.

The fi­nal po­si­tions now rested in the hands of the ath­letes as they made their way back to the club.

Cross­ing the fin­ish line first at the en­trance to the club was Alis­tair Spence who claimed the line hon­ours vic­tory for Magic fol­lowed by Peter Mont­gomery for Indigo and AJ for Ann Sea.

The race was not with­out con­tro­versy as the protest com­mit­tee de­liv­ered five-minute penal­ties to Ice whose ath­lete failed to swim the proper course and Jim­mie Black­smith for cross­ing a re­stricted line at the gate. Adding to that, Port FM Mais Oui failed to pro­vide suf­fi­cient times and was dis­qual­i­fied.

The third an­nual stag­ing of the event set a new course record for Magic with an elapsed time of 2hr59min25sec and shav­ing 7.35 off their pre­vi­ous record set in 2010.

Alis­tair Spence was de­clared the fastest ath­lete, Magic (37 points) was de­clared the over­all win­ner ahead of Tau Ceti (36) and Indigo (32).

For the full re­sults visit www.port­dou­glasy­acht­club.com.au.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

In tran­si­tion: Steve Man­ners jumps from the wa­ter to the sand

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