Townsville Bulletin

Wild wind puts halt to racing


CHOPPY waves and heavy winds forced sailors off the water during the annual SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week yesterday.

Officials held off as long as possible before making the decision to abandon racing as the conditions continued to deteriorat­e through the day.

Racing was due to start at 11am, before the AP flag went up as officials kept competitor­s appraised of the situation every hour.

Race officer Jenny Birdsall said she spoke with principal race officer Denis Thompson, who is in lockdown in Sydney, before a decision was made.

“We have a big, choppy sea, big waves. It’s back-breaking conditions, so too dangerous to race,” Birdsall said. “We’ll try again tomorrow.”

In the meantime, crews stayed ashore and waited.

There was little panic for the crews. Some played chess on board their boats, others caught up with friends on other boats, while the remainder sat on the deck at Peppers enjoying a morning coffee.

Event manager Jodie Kennedy said: “The Deck Party started early. Now they know they’re not racing everyone is back at a fully prepared Peppers having a good time.”

While crews relaxed, Mike Steel handed $1500 raised at the mud crab races on Sunday to Dr Ali Bee at the Magnetic Island Koala Hospital/wildlife Rescue at Horseshoe Bay.

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