SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011 day 3 - Windy and windier

Groove in Sunday’s racing, PHS Racing Class. 2011 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week.
SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011 day 3 dawned fine and windy.

With a similar forecast to that of yesterday, Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson set the IRC and Performance Racing Divisions the White Rock course; 15.1 scenic nautical miles from Nelly Bay to Orchard Rocks, past Horseshoe Bay to White Rock and return.

It was a Lay Day for the Cruising fleets and Multihulls with afternoon festivities scheduled to kick off in Nelly Bay once the two divisions finished racing.

As the competitors cleared the Nelly Bay breakwater and headed for the start in Cleveland Bay, the wind was blowing consistently from the east at 20-22 knots. At the start the breeze was not gusting as much as yesterday so the two divisions faced the starter’s gun in a shorter and slightly less difficult seaway.

Graham Donnell's Quattro was over early, was a little slow to return and lost valuable ground. Colin Wilson's Never a Dull Moment went left at the start, then found a nice shift to the clearing mark.

Leon Thomas' Guilty Pleasures III, positioned down towards the Committee Boat end had the best start while Belinda Cooper's Groove also started well, down on the pin end.

As the fleet beat into the incoming tide, Never a Dull Moment led Iota (John McNamara) by ten lengths. Just two lengths further back was Guilty Pleasures III, her crew yelling in exhilaration as they enjoyed the ride towards Florence Bay.

About eight lengths behind them Brilliant Pearl (Gary McCarthy) was ahead of Groove with Quattro trailing her, obviously hampered by her individual recall at the start. Five lengths further back came Akarana (Ian Hamilton) with the parrot looking distinctly seasick, (the boat's mascot is a stuffed parrot) then Fuzzy Logic (Mick Unwin) with Iseulta (Tristram Denyer) outside of her and overtaking.

It was not such a good day for Fuzzy Logic, who was shortly afterwards forced to retire from the race with suspected rudder damage.

Fuzzy Logic in PHS Racing Class on Sunday, with Skipper Mick Unwin. 2011 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week.

Townsville sailor Leon Thomas and his Guilty Pleasures III crew led the fleet as the Farr 30 blasted downwind to White Rock.

Colin Wilson's Never A Dull Moment was first boat to finish, crossing the line at 12.57.19 just ahead of Iota.

As the first boats approached the finish line the swell was one and a half metres, with the breeze blowing 20 knots from the east north east.

In the Performance Racing division, Colin Wilson's Never A Dull Moment crossed the finish line at 12.57.19 just a fraction ahead of Iota (John McNamara). Third was Groove (Belinda Cooper). The handicap win in Race 3 of the Series went to Iota from Iseulta (Tristram Denyer) and Never a Dull Moment. The Overall Series leader is Iota three points clear of Iseulta and Groove, both on ten points.

Guilty Pleasures III took IRC line honours. Quattro was second with Brilliant Pearl third. The handicap win also went to Guilty Pleasures from Quattro and Brilliant Pearl. The Overall Series leader is Leon Thomas' Guilty Pleasures III, one point clear of Quattro. Brilliant Pearl is third.

Thomas said ‘Conditions suited our Farr 30 today. At one stage though we broached. Seemed like we were down for a long time but it always does when you broach.’

Brilliant Pearl’s skipper Gary McCarthy was on deck at the conclusion of racing and commented ‘It’s been three hard days at the office. Our Beneteau 34.7 doesn’t like the weather. She’s been bouncing and see-sawing and she lay down today, her spreaders were in the water. But she popped up and we changed spinnakers and kept going.'

Performance Racing line honours winner Colin Wilson was happy. 'Its seems there is Never A Dull Moment. Another good day and a good course. Of course it’s the Tropics so it’s windy one day and windier the next.

'We had a good battle with Iota. John McNamara and his Lake Macquarie crew sailed well and they deserved to win today.

'We are looking forward to easier conditions.’

The forecast for tomorrow, day 4 of racing at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011, is for lighter 10-15 knot winds.

Full results are available on the SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011 website

Iota crew with Skipper, John McNamara in PHS Racing Class Sunday. 2011 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week.

Akarana in PHS Racing Class, Sunday. 2011 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week.