by Ian Grant
Sail Iceberg Easter Regatta 2011.
Spring Regatta mixed classes at Whitsunday
After months of torrential rain and sail cloth busting breeze the weather god finally smiled on Pioneer Bay to allow the Whitsunday Sailing Club to host another successful Sail Iceberg Easter regatta.
Pioneer Bay well recognised among the best sailing destinations on the Australian coast thankfully switched to its internationally famed tourist brochure image type weather with perfect sailing breezes which strengthened to provide the fleet with excellent sailing conditions.
The 43 boat multi class regatta which has become another signature event for the Whitsunday Sailing Club attracted sailors from Sydney Harbour to Tinaroo Dam who from all reports have marked their diaries to come back in 2012.
Naturally winners deserve to be grinners however every sailor was happy to test their tactical strategy in the mixed range of light winds on day one to an energy absorbing 20-25 knot brute breeze on day three.
Every sailor had the opportunity to race in their preferred wind strength with Sydney’s Performance Sailcraft representative and Olympic Laser class helmsman Nathan Ellis who was at the regatta to demonstrate the RS 100 class proved to be the star performer winning comfortably from Tinaroo Sailing Club skippers Mike Tolley and Guy Chester.
Jack Chester from Tinaroo found a few ‘pot-holes’ on the open water of Pioneer Bay on the final day but never gave up hope to finish fourth overall.
Southport Yacht Club Laser sailor Chris Connell was compensated with his long drive along the bitumen rhumbline when he secured the Sail Iceberg Easter Regatta Laser championship ahead of Bowen’s Tony Buckingham and Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Steve Townsend.
Lightweight skipper Dan Townsend continued to express his talent claiming the 4.7 Laser championship over Whitsunday club mate Kevin Noonan with Mackay’s Ben Osborne third.
This was an impressive result for young Dan Townsend who is still in the process of ‘learning the ropes’ in the class nominated as the first step to eventually racing in the Olympic Laser when he becomes older stronger and heavier.
Meanwhile he will continue to impress as he further develops his skills with club racing off Airlie Beach.
Veteran Whitsunday Sailing Club Corsair class sailors Bruce Carter and Jim Hayes despite competing with new cremate Anne Clark were narrowly outpaced for the open mono-division class championship by Tasar class sailors Bill and Jenny Mairs while Daniel Scott and Steve Gibson piloted their Tasar into third overall.
Townsville’s Emma Barsi showed the form that could win her a place in the North Queensland team to contest the Sabot Nationals at Southport later this year when she won her class ahead of Jack Turnbull and Cain Williams.
Collectively the Sail Iceberg Easter regatta series proved to be another outstanding promotion for the Whitsunday Sailing Club with Principal Race Officer Tim Parker commended for his local knowledge in setting competitive courses while club President Ian Davey again supported with a loyal team of volunteers provided the usual hospitality on shore.