Seas play havoc with yachts
ELEVEN boatloads of intrepid sailors set off on Saturday to compete in the 65 nautical mile Round the Whitsundays yacht race.
This iconic race is the longest in the sailing club’s calendar and has been the longest running race in the club’s history at 30-plus years.
With winds exceeding 20 knots and a big tide range, it wasn’t long until the carnage began.
Aeolus, one of the competing multihulls, lost its rig due to mast compression near South Molle Island after going through Unsafe Passage.
The crew managed to retrieve all the rigging and motored home safely.
Conditions were okay during the beat to the south end of Dent Island due to the tide running with the wind, but slowly worsened as the remaining multi and the division two fleet sailed to Workington Island, with 2–3m confused seas building by the time they turned north up the outside of Whitsunday Island.
The fleets were around before the change of tide started to build the seas up to short, sharp swells more than 3m high, which is what the slower division three fleet had to contend with.
Riff Raff retired next with water ingress and floating floorboards. The bilge pumps coped, allowing the crew to motor safely home. Next to retire was Fuzzy
Logic, which broke its tiller while doing 14.5 knots during a jibe near Deloraine Island.
The disappointed skipper later said very nasty waves had caused them to put the top of the mast in the water at one stage, but it was great fun and he couldn’t wait to do it again.
The other small division three boat, Masquerade, although undamaged, had also had enough of the conditions and headed home early through Hook Passage. This left only Anthea and La
Quilta to battle on to the finish around Hayman Island.
By the time they were nearing the finish, the wind was dying out, with Anthea taking almost two hours to sail from Pioneer Rocks to finish at 11.30pm. La Quilta finally pulled the pin a short distance from the finish line, with no wind two hours later, which was very disappointing for the crew after a mammoth 17-hour battle.
A big thank you to Stu Harris and his helpers, who manned finish boat Munn until the early hours. Results: Div 1: 1st Overdrive, DNF Aeolus Div 2: 1st Treasure VIII, 2nd Reignition, 3rd Twister, 4th Wobbly Boot Div 3: 1st Anthea, DNF Riff Raff, Fuzzy Logic, Masquerade and La Quilta
IN ACTION: Overdrive, pictured here at a previous Airlie Beach Race Week, was the winner of division one.