LOCAL yacht Ice overcame calm seas and a record number of entries from as far away as Townsville to claim the 2013 Clipper Cup.
The Clipper Cup is in its 19th year and is the most prestigious event on on the Port Douglas Yacht Club calendar with the history of the trophy going back to the 1970s when it was contested as an international event hosted by the Waikiki Yacht Club in Hawaii.
Ice skipper Mick Gwilliams said he and wife Helen are thrilled to have their name engraved alongside Australia’s sailing royalty.
‘‘It is indeed an honour to have our name on the trophy pedestal along with such Aussie sailing immortals as Syd Fischer and Ragamuffin,’’ he said.
‘‘At the end of the day the crew can prepare the boat as best they can and sail to the best of their ability but in a performance-based handicap system there can still be many variables that determine the outcome.
‘‘As each race passes and the handicaps adjust based on the most recent performance it becomes harder to maintain any advantage, however I believe the weather played a major role in determining the outcome of this year’s event.
‘‘With light to very light winds on three of the four race days there was a definite advantage for the lighter boats such as Ice and we managed to achieve a win in three of the four races held on these days.
‘‘On the other day we had 20 knots and heavier seas which is a big disadvantage to us but this favoured the heavier yachts which the results on the day proved.
‘‘But fortunately the regatta allows for one result to be dropped after four races.
Ice only just scraped in one point ahead of Townsville entrant Dusty Muzzle on its third attempt to claim to prized cup.
‘‘There was very strong competition in our division with Doug Ryan and the crew of Shazam in preparation for this year’s Sydney to Hobart, Belinda Cooper from Cairns sailing Groove and local sailing fanatic Tim Preuss on Ann Sea who is a regular winner in the club races.
‘‘We now have a regatta that the region can be proud of and have built a great foundation to build upon and with continued support from our major sponsors Exemplar Coaches & Limousines and Posiedon and Sailaway, the PDYC and the Clipper Cup has a bright future.’’
Division winners and the Clipper Cup.