Whales on course for Challenger’s Cup
TWO whales created an unusual obstruction during round four of the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s NQ Telecom Challenger’s Cup on Sunday.
The mother and calf were in the middle of the windward/leeward course in Pioneer Bay, with all boats having to keep clear during the race.
In Division 1, Mal Richardson, from Port Douglas, took advantage of a final opportunity to tune his Nacra 36 Malice for the upcoming Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week. Malice fought a battle around the course against Spirit, skippered by Jason Guard.
Tulip, skippered by Bernie van’t Hof, revelled in the light conditions and led the Division 2 fleet around the course, taking wins on line honours and corrected time.
Wobbly Boot (Craig Piccinelli), also sailed well to pick up second place ahead of Reignition (Charles Wallis) who came in third.
Treasure VIII (Clay Bauman), though short-handed, enjoyed the training on the day.
Breakaway (Rob Davis), had the best start in Division 3 and fought a good battle with Lorna Rose Too (Pete Mitchelson) and Riff Raff (Dan White).
Lorna Rose Too crossed the finish line first but Breakaway was the eventual winner on corrected time, followed by Riff Raff in second and Lorna Rose Too in third.
In the offbeach division, Ben Urch fought single-handed against Dan Scott and Steve Gibson, eventually winning the race.
Overall, WSC Race Officer Tim Parker said this Challenger’s Cup round gave competitors plenty of opportunities to prac- tice their crew work ahead of race week, with some very clean gybes and spinnaker drops practised at the bottom mark.
WHALE ASTERN: Whitsunday Sailing Club competitor Quickskips, pictured here with a humback whale that ventured onto the Challenger's Cup race course on Sunday afternoon.
CHALLENGERS: Challenger's Cup divisional winners Bernie van't Hof and Rob Davis (left) and Jason Gard (right) with race sponsor Leo Rodriguez (NQ Telcom) and his daughter Teagan (centre) after Sunday's Challenger's Cup race.