Ensign Yachts Challenge- Bataille de la Beneteaus et Jeanneaus

Ensign Yachts Queensland Beneteau Cup and French Yacht Challenge
Jane Virtue
French yacht owners pride will be on the line on Saturday 30 October as they tussle for the title of grand champion in the Queensland French Yacht Challenge.

Hosted by Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, the fleet of 30 Beneteaus and Jenneaus will contest the title in a 19 mile passage race on the waters of Moreton Bay. Spinnaker and non-spinnaker division yachts will have an equal chance of winning the title.

Also up for grabs on day one of the Ensign Yachts Beneteau Cup and French Yacht Challenge is the inaugural Jeanneau Yachting Queensland Trophy which will be awarded to the skipper and crew who obviously have the most fun on the day. There is also a rumor that one event sponsor will be offering an additional award for each Jeanneau yacht that finishes in front of a Beneteau. So, the challenge is on !

Leading the Jeanneau fleet will be Wynnum Manly Yacht Club’s Ian Heathwood with his 52 footer, Sun Odyssey, and Bruce Moore’s 45 footer representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

While the seven Jeanneaus will be battling themselves and their Beneteau foes, the Beneteau fleet will also have their eyes on the weekend prize of the Ensign Yachts Queensland Beneteau Cup. Saturday’s passage race will give this fleet the chance to stretch out and prepare for the shorter races the next day.

Sunday will see the 20 or more Beneteaus contest two windward/leewards races on the bay.

Leading the Beneteaus will be the new 50 footer The Matrix, owned by event organisers, Jane Virtue and David Waller. Finally hitting the water last Friday, the Matrix team has been flat out getting the boat ready. Giving this team an added advantage over the other Beneteaus will be Ullman sailmakers Yancey Smith and brother Bucky, the 2009 Etchells class world champion tactician. Also joining them will be 2010 Solo Trans Tasman competitor and monohull division winner, Trevor Hill.

On board the First 34.7 Brilliant Pearl from Mooloolaba will be another 2010 Solo Trans Tasman sailor, Jenny Fitzgibbon. Fitzgibbon, who did a superb job to win the IRC division in the Tasman race, will be adding her local knowledge to this team’s challenge on the Ensign Yachts Queensland Beneteau Cup.

Delighted by the number and quality of entries in this year’s event, Virtue said she was looking forward to a weekend of great racing, good French camaraderie and fun. 'Pour le vainqueur va le butin,' declared Virtue.

The Sailing Instructions are now available for download from the RQYS website. For more late entries, contact event organiser, Jane Virtue on jane.virtue@bigpond.com