Crews back at it post-Debbie
IT WAS business as usual for the Whitsunday Sailing Club twilight race last Wednesday.
With a depleted fleet, due to damage caused by Cyclone Debbie, the club was determined to get back to normal and demonstrate that Airlie Beach is back in business.
While setting the triangular course on Pioneer Bay, the race officers noted a major change in the wind direction, causing a delay to the start while the course was reset.
A small but keen group of six boats appeared at the starting line, with three boats in each of Division 2 (racing keelboats) and Division 3 (trailable yachts and cruising yachts).
Most boats were still wearing some battle scars from the big storm, with severe scratches and buffing, damaged lifelines and stanchions as well as torn biminis.
For Division 2, the start of the race was tight, with Treasure VIII (Rob Davis) taking the honours, and with it the Doyle Sails best start award.
Treasure VIII continued to sail away from the fleet, with Dehler Magic (Charlie Preen) and Twister (Kevin Fogarty) close behind.
While there was little between the boats, it was a clear win on the water for Treasure VIII. On corrected time, however, the results were reversed, with Twister taking the title from Delher Magic and Treasure VIII.
In Division 3, the usual battle between High Tide (Shannan Hart) and Masquerade (Tom Vujanisovic) raged throughout the race.
High Tide won the start and the Doyle Sails best start award, however, was pushed all the way by Masquerade.
In the meantime, Suzanne Marie (David Wintour) cruised around the course, well behind the leaders, but sailing her own race.
By the time that the fleet got to the finish, High Tide built a lead from Masquerade and Suzanne Marie, but not by enough.
After the handicaps were applied, the win went to Suzanne Marie, with Masquerade second and High Tide third.
Racing continues each Wednesday at Whitsunday Sailing Club from 4.30pm.
Visitors are welcome and should be at the club by 3pm.
For more info call the club’s sailing officer, Ross Chisholm, on 0429 584 787.
BATTLE SCARS: Twister back on the water last Wednesday after Cyclone Debbie.