Chal­leng­ing weekend for an­nual race se­ries

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

A LACK of breeze and long dis­tances cre­ated a chal­lenge for par­tic­i­pants in the Ad­vanced Alarms Mackay, Whit­sun­day Off­shore Yacht Rac­ing Cir­cuit (WOYRC), held over the Labour Day long weekend.

Yachts from Mackay, Hamil­ton Is­land and Air­lie Beach con­tested the off­shore event, with races sched­uled for Mackay to Hamil­ton Is­land on Satur­day, Hamil­ton Is­land to Air­lie Beach on Sun­day and Air­lie Beach to Bowen on Mon­day.

The first leg on Satur­day was held in a fresh south-east­erly breeze, mak­ing it a 50-nau­ti­cal-mile reach to Hamil­ton Is­land. The first boat home was Cool Change (Bob Critch­ley) from Mackay, fin­ish­ing in just five hours and 18 min­utes. One hour and 20 min­utes later, Sorcer­ess (Eric Smith) was close to the fin­ish, but ran aground on reef near Dent Is­land and un­for­tu­nately re­tired from the race. On cor­rected time, Cool

Change was the run­away win­ner ahead of fel­low Mackay boats Shady Tradie (Tommy Jor­dan) and Matangi (Dave Turn­bull).

On Sun­day morn­ing, a light east­erly breeze was blow­ing for the race from Hamil­ton Is­land, around Pine Is­land and on to Air­lie Beach. Hamil­ton Is­land’s Spi

rit of the Maid (Bruce Ab­sa­lon), took the route be­tween Long Is­land and the main­land, hop­ing for the tide to push the boat through the Long Is­land Sound quickly.

“How­ever the wind died com­pletely in that area and they were forced to re­tire af­ter be­ing be­calmed for an hour,” race of­fi­cer Tim Parker said. Air­lie Beach boat Reig

ni­tion (Charles Wal­lis) went on to fin­ish the race first with Cross­bow (David Lund) sail­ing to a sec­ond place.

Race three of the se­ries from Air­lie Beach to Bowen was can­celled due to a lack of wind, so the over­all win­ners were Cross

bow in first place, Matangi in sec­ond and Cool

Change in third.

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