Fleet flies on full moon

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

TWI­LIGHT RAC­ING: Af­ter a few weeks of con­stant northerly breeze, it was nice to get back to a 10 knot south east­erly for last week’s Wed­nes­day twi­light race con­ducted by Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club.

With a fleet of 18 boats com­pet­ing in the event, there were smiles all around as the fleet gath­ered in prepa­ra­tion for the 4.30pm start.

As a full moon was ex­pected to rise be­fore the fleet fin­ished, there was added in­ter­est, par­tic­u­larly from the visi­tors who were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a yacht race for the first time.

First away, as usual, were the mul­ti­hull yachts (cata­ma­rans and tri­marans), with G’nome (Terry Archer) lead­ing the way. King Canute (Luke Mairs), while in­el­i­gi­ble to com­pete, used the op­por­tu­nity to prac­tice in prepa­ra­tion for the A Class cata­ma­ran world cham­pi­onship next month, speed­ing around the course.

Even though start­ing late,

Shad­ow­fax (Miles Wood) also made up time, push­ing the G’nome all the way.

Too lit­tle, too late, as they say, with G’nome tak­ing a well de­served win, win­ning by a two minute mar­gin on cor­rected time.

The start of Di­vi­sion 2 was close, and while Twis­ter (Kevin Fog­a­rty) looked to be in the best po­si­tion, it was

Del­her Magic (Kather­ine Bow­ers) who aced the start, tak­ing the Doyle Sails spon­sored best start award.

It didn’t take long, how­ever, for Trea­sure VIII (Rob Davis) to take con­trol of the race on the wa­ter, lead­ing the fleet around the six nau­ti­cal mile course. Syzygy (Er­rol Good­win), with spin­naker fly­ing when con­di­tions suited, made fast in­roads, com­ing from the back of the fleet to fin­ish only 90 sec­onds shy of the line hon­ours win.

A close bat­tle be­tween

Twis­ter, QMS (John Gal­loway) and Del­her Magic saw the three boats fin­ish­ing within 30 sec­onds af­ter 65 min­utes of rac­ing.

Af­ter hand­i­caps were ap­plied, Syzygy ended up on the top step, with Del­her Magic sec­ond and both

Trea­sure VIII and Twis­ter tied for third place.

If the start of Di­vi­sion 2 was ex­cit­ing, Di­vi­sion 3 was on an­other level, with the en­tire fleet jump­ing the starter’s or­ders, caus­ing a gen­eral re­call. Even on the restart, two boats were recorded as early starters; with Lama (Lew Tuck) and

Kameruka (Bob Beale) hav­ing to re­turn to restart af­ter the rest had passed.

Out on the race track, it was a big boat race, with

Aquatar­ius (Tom Parker) lead­ing the way from Anthea

(Dewi Hughes) by more than a minute, while High Tide

(Shan­nan Hart) was the best of the trail­able yachts a fur­ther two min­utes be­hind.

Even af­ter hand­i­caps were ap­plied, Aquatar­ius, the largest and heav­i­est boat in the fleet, fin­ished in front by two and a half min­utes from Pa­cific Phoenix (Alan Sned­don), with Lama tak­ing the mi­nor plac­ing.

Rac­ing con­tin­ues each Wed­nes­day from 4.30pm.

Lim­ited crew­ing po­si­tions are avail­able for those wish­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence yacht rac­ing.

To regis­ter and be a part of the ac­tion, ar­rive at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club by 3pm.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GREAT SAIL­ING: In­far­rc­tion, Lorna Rose Too and High Tide on the wa­ter.

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