Clos­ing in on records

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

ABOUT 50 sailors hit the wa­ter on Satur­day for the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club’s pres­ti­gious XXXX Se­ries Round the Whit­sun­days race.

The boats set off in chal­leng­ing con­di­tions of 20-25 knot winds from the south-east, head­ing to­wards Dent Is­land on a hard up­wind leg.

The tide was push­ing to­wards the south which ini­tially as­sisted the com­peti­tors but cre­ated big­ger waves while the wind was against it.

Af­ter brav­ing a strong squall near Dent Is­land, all boats reached across past Hamil­ton Is­land and out to Work­ing­ton Is­land. They then hoisted their spin­nakers for a very fast down­wind run to Hay­man Is­land.

Af­ter round­ing Hay­man, com­peti­tors had to sail close-hauled back to fin­ish line off the sail­ing club.

Rum Raider, skip­pered by Scott Mil­lar, was the first boat to fin­ish shortly af­ter 3pm, just miss­ing out on the race record.

Tulip, skip­pered by Bernie van’t Hof, fol­lowed close be­hind, with a time of just un­der eight hours and one minute, which was also close to a record for a mono­hull.

On cor­rected time, Rum Raider beat Zippy, skip­pered by Bernie Mac­Er­lane, to win Di­vi­sion 1, while in Di­vi­sion 2, Reig­ni­tion (Charles Wal­lis), sailed an ex­cel­lent race, fin­ish­ing only 24 min­utes be­hind Tulip.

Sec­ond was Wob­bly Boot (Craig Pic­cinelli), with Twister (Kevin Fog­a­rty), in third.

All boats fin­ished the race be­fore 7pm, which club of­fi­cials said might have been a record in it­self.

Race two of the XXXX Se­ries is a short off­shore race this com­ing Satur­day fol­lowed by a bay race on Sun­day.

Pre­sen­ta­tions for the XXXX Se­ries will take place at the club­house on Sun­day from 5pm.

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