by Ian Grant
The Queensland Multihull championship, hosted by Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, was held 9 -10 April 2011 on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay.
Ensign Racing Moving Finger - Queensland Multihull championship 2011
When designer Tony Grainger accepted the assignment to draw the lines of a power sailing 8 metre trimaran 23 years ago he instinctively knew she would be a star performer.
Now after 23 years of bumping and bashing over and surfing down the waves the little tri of many names including Riverside Oaks, ATL Composites Duck Nuts and more recently Ensign Racing Moving Finger, successfully defended her Queensland Multihull championship last weekend.
Her present owner Robert Dean was not onboard when skipper Brett Whitbread, Joel McDonald, Andrew Barney and Ensign Ship Brokers Lee Randall overcame a shaky start to win the championship by one point clear of the George Owen helmed Mad Max, while Keith Glover steered Trilogy into third another point off the pace.
Crew spokesperson Lee Randall who races regularly with Brett Whitbread said 'We were a little rusty with wine-glassing the spinnaker in race 1 but thankfully the crew got the act together to lead the series after three races'.
The little tri is fairly forgiving however Brett Whitbread soon found the speed sailing edge to become involved in a match race against arch rival and multiple Australian trailable Multihull champion Keith Glover’s Trilogy while Mad Max clearly dominated the first to finish prize.
Ensign Racing Moving Finger produced two near faultless tactical performances when they needed it most.
While the Mad Max crew left their rivals to track their speed sailing wake both crews on Ensign Racing Moving Finger and Trilogy became engaged in their own tactical ‘dogfight’ before the evergreen Ensign Racing Moving Finger firmed a tighter grip on the championship trophy with overall wins in races 2 and 3.
As expected the final raced contested in a lazy wind velocity never allowed either Mad Max, Ensign Racing Moving Finger or Trilogy to sail even close to their handicap ratings but their previous three race results in the stronger breeze paved the way for Robert Dean and the Ensign Racing crew of Brett Whitbread, Joel McDonald, Andrew Barney and Lee Randall to temporarily stow the For Sale Sign while they accepted the 2011 4KQ Queensland Multihull championship trophy.