Today, Tuesday September 4, was the final day of the sixth annual SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012. The 60 boat fleet headed out into Cleveland Bay, assured of a great sail.
Lunchtime Legend spinnaker drop. SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012
With another perfect day for racing forecast the Race Committee set the Grand Prix IRC Racing, the Performance Racing and Multihull divisions course 9, the 18 nautical mile Cape Cleveland triangle. The Cruising and Cruising Non Spinnaker divisions were given a 14 nautical mile course to Cape Cleveland and return.
Under blue sky, bright sunshine and in 16-18 knots of breeze, the IRC Racing fleet lined up to face the starters gun. By the end of the day Sunshine Coast sailor Bob ‘Robbo’ Robertson and his Beneteau First 40 Lunchtime Legend crew had capped off a great week by scoring the double, taking both line honours and the handicap win in perfect conditions on Cleveland Bay. With six handicap wins from six races, this year's regatta belonged to the Legends.
At the IRC start the entire fleet was up to the line early. Under Capricorn (Phil Bedlington), who had started well all week, was caught forward and recalled.
Robbo started very well three up from the pin, then went left and stayed on starboard tack for almost an hour making giant gains on a progressive shift. Lunchtime Legend reached the top mark 500 metres ahead of local skipper Wayne Millar on Zoe (Murray 41). Fellow Townsville skipper Leon Thomas on his Sydney 38 Guilty Pleasures IV was another 100 metres back. Down the two running legs the Beneteau First 40 stayed ahead of her rivals to record an impressive line honours and handicap win.
Zoe gave the rest of the division a run for their money for line honours all week but could not secure a place on handicap, coming in only 12 seconds behind Lunchtime Legend today. Second on handicap in race 6 was Guilty Pleasures IV, with Black Label third.
Overall, Lunchtime Legend was the very convincing Series winner with Black Label second and Guilty Pleasures IV third.
Dockside Bob Robertson’s smile was broad. ‘Today was an excellent day for sailing. It was a nice solid 20 knots of breeze, pretty bumpy water - it was great. It was a very upwind course to set for the final day with two nice runs.
‘Brownie (tactician Adam Brown) sent us left and that proved to be the winning factor today and it was surprising that the two locals went right.
‘We had a good series. We’ve had a really good crew and everybody has worked well and we’ve been living with each other for about four weeks (with the Brisbane to Keppel, Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island and now Magnetic Island Race Week) - it’s a wonder we can go out there and have such an enjoyable time.
‘I’ve always said you should come here to Magnetic Island and wait for the northerlies before heading south. I am looking forward to getting home it’s been a long campaign. We have all fitted in well and we’ve used around 23 people for the races in the three series.
‘The quality of our crew work has been good and the forward deck, ‘the Ferals’ as we call them, well the three young crew have been excellent and have not torn a thing. You know you’ve had a good regatta when that happens.’
IRC Racing winners, the Lunchtime Legend crew - SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012
At the Performance Racing start Geoff Lavis’ Murray/Inglis 50 footer UBS Wild Thing started with good speed midline as did Dennis Coleman’s much smaller Boatspeed 23 Diva, who headed right.
The breeze continued to build as the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1 got underway.
Brennan O’Dempsey’s Amadeus was on the pin for the start of race 4. Tony Muller’s Brava was next with Alan Seddon’s Pacific Phoenix above her, then Paul Lindemann’s Melbourne based Biddy Hu II one up.
Mista Gybe (David Refern) was OCS, Pacific Phoenix held her out and as the fleet rolled around them Mista Gybe sat in irons, unnecessarily going around the Committee boat to restart.
In the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2 start Jack Maguires’s Cavalier 35 Zen started on port at the pin and crossed the entire fleet, heading right. Behind her Barry Smith’s Tide Up led the fleet from Le Rossignol (Peter McKenzie),
Librian (Stanley Barnes) and Knight Rider (Matthew Stirling). Nick Doran’s Bucaneer Too broke a stay and retired.
Jason Antill’s Dufour One from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney led the Cruising Non Spinnaker Division off the line, followed by Colin Boyle’s Coolala from the Cairns Yacht Club. Robert Kimlin’s little Vantage tried to thread the needle on port and failed miserably and she was forced back onto starboard and fell away.
In the Multihull Division Ross McOmish's Gneisenau won the start from Peter Hackett’s Intriigue. Alasdair Noble’s MC Moggy and Mal Tynan’s Barbarella were late while Graeme Etherton’s The Boat started on port from the pin and sailed to stern of the fleet.
Geoff Lavis’ Inglis/Murray 50 UBS Wild Thing flew around the course today taking out both handicap and line honours in Performance Racing. Wild Thing crossed the line in an elapsed time of 02:04:55, a full 28 minutes ahead of her nearest rival. Tristam Denyer’s Bavaria 37 Iseulta was second on handicap, followed by Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Kevin Fogarty and his Beneteau First 40.7 Twister.
Ron Knott’s Farr 11.6 Modified Dusty Muzzle is the Overall Performance Racing champion for 2012 by three points over Mike Steel’s Dufour 34 Boudicea, with Gary Davidson’s Sunbeam Clipper of Capricon third.
Doug Shields’s Jeanneau 54 DS Vanilla took the line honours and handicap wins in Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1. Vanilla crossed the line with an elapsed time of 02:16:30.
Paul Lindemann’s Beneteau 50 Biddy Hu 11 was second over the line and on handicap, while Brennan O’Dempsey’s Bavaria 44 Amadeus completed the handicap podium.
It was tight racing throughout the series, with just three points separating first and third in the end. The Overall Series winner for 2012 is Brennan O’Dempsey’s Amadeus on top followed by Vanilla Doug Shield’s Vanilla with Paul Lindermann’s Biddy Hu II third.
In Race 4 for the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2, Jack McGuire’s Cavalier 35 Zen took the handicap win with Barry Smith’s Tide Up in second and Stanley Barnes’s Librian third. Line honours went to Peter McKenzie’s Ross 7.8 Mod Le Rossignol in a time of 02:50:39.
The Overall Series winner for 2012 is Barry Smith's Tide Up, three points clear of Le Rossignol with Librian completing the podium.
Cruising Non Spinnaker handicap honours today went to Phillip MacGuire’s Kachina, from Caloona (Colin Boyle) with Falcon (Russell Kingston) third. Line honours in race 4 went to Russel McLaughlin’s Freya.
The Overall Series winner is Russel McLaughlin’s Catalin 400 Freya from the Townsville Cruising Yacht Club. Murray Mackay’s Tradition and Colin White’s Last Tango were tied on points, Tradition taking second on count back.
Graeme Etherton’s Catalina 350 The Boat took the Multihull handicap win with Mal Tynan’s Schionning Signature 14 Barbarella second and Ross McOmish’s Corsair Sprint 750 MK II Gneisenau third. Gneisenau took line honours in a time of 02:01:33, with The Boat not too far behind her.
Gnisenau took the 2012 Overall Series honour by just one point over The Boat and Alasdair Noble’s Schionning Waterline 135 MC Moggy tied on 12 points.
Multihull winner Gneisenau - SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012
At just 7.5 metres Gneisenau was one of the smallest boats in this year's Multihull fleet.
Skipper Ross McOmish commented 'As the week’s gone, we’ve just gotten better. We were first over the line today and it feels good.
'This is a fantastic regatta, it is very well organised and it’s a beautiful part of the world to be in. How lucky are we?'
The final word on this year’s event came from winning IRC skipper, Mooloolaba's Bob Robertson.
'Magnetic Island is a superb regatta. It is ideal; the location of the marina, the presentations every afternoon and then having a beer on the deck. The accommodation is close and excellent. Walking down to the marina is s a five minute exercise from any of the reasonably priced accommodation, which is really good. This is a great event and we have enjoyed it.’
Tonight's prize presentation on the deck of Peppers Blue on Blue brings to a conclusion another highly successful SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week.
*Results are provisional.
For more news, information, full results and images please vistit the 2012 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week website - www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au