by Ian Grant
Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Kevin Fogarty can safely say he gained some valuable sea time racing the Kim Swarbrick designed Space Sailor Idle Time.
Sandpiper (Colin Pruden) holds a handy windward cover on Idle Time (Kevin Fogarty)
The sloop originally bought by his partner Heather Sievers has become known as one of the top performers in Performance Handicap racing in the Whitsundays having proudly raced under the WSC burgee in numerous regattas and races including the Dent to Dunk, the interclub Whitsunday Ocean Racing Championship and the Airlie Beach Race Week.
However not unlike all other past generation ocean racing yachts Idle Time has over extended her use-by date and will gracefully enjoy a rest at her mooring while her skipper and crew dry out their deck shoes and wait for the arrival of the new and faster Beneteau First 40.7 class sloop.
This high performance class yacht with the applied crew experience promises to become involved in racing at the head of the fleet which will be a welcome change for the happy team who have proudly worn the Idle Time crew colours. 'There have been many great memories with racing on Idle Time and they will never change, she has a sea kind nature and still remains as a good boat to sail.' Kevin Fogarty said.
Hopefully Idle Time will have the opportunity to spend the rest of her sailing days casually cruising around the Whitsunday Islands while her past crew step aboard to prepare for a new challenge of learning the ‘ropes’ and racing the Beneteau to her handicap rating.
Meanwhile the present club pacesetters Sandpiper (Colin Pruden), Queensland Marine Services (John Galloway), Wobbly Boot (Craig Piccinelli) and Another Fiasco (Damien Suckling) remain to form a spirited welcome when Kevin Fogarty sets his personal challenge in place to become a front line contender on Pioneer Bay.
As expected the experienced Kevin Fogarty who has struggled to remain competitive with the race weary Idle Time has invested his cash and experience into a very competitive racing yacht which indicates he has the ambition to become a serious challenger for a major title when the Whitsunday Sailing Club hosts the 2012 Airlie Beach Race Week regatta next August.
Naturally the new sloop has the potential to provide the former Idle Time crew with the expectation to compete at the top level but it will become a demanding new learning curve to make sure the human element related skills can be successfully transformed from the deck of the old and slow Idle Time to the faster Beneteau First 40.7.