Day 4 of SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week was another glorious day in paradise.
Diva and Zoe - SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012
The Race Committee set the iconic and very scenic 23 nautical mile Round the Island Race for all divisions.
With the day being 27C, a little cool for Far North Queensland, the 60 boat fleet started in front of the Magnetic Island Marina off Bright Point in sunshine and 10-12 knots of breeze.
First division away was Grand Prix IRC Racing. Leon Thomas’ Guilty Pleasures IV won the start from Tony Ross’ Black Label who was on the pin. Behind her series leader Bob Robertson’s Lunchtime Legend was boxed in.
Wayne Millar’s Zoe led at the top mark but only just, from Guilty Pleasures IV. Zoe made strong gains up the eastern shore but as they eased sheets and then hoisted kites, Guilty Pleasures went wider across Horseshoe Bay. Zoe stayed wide at the bottom mark.
The breeze continued to build as UBS Wild Thing won the Performance Racing start after being on the pin. Tristram Denyer’s Iseulta was just above her followed by Akarana (Peter Robbins) and Twister (Kevin Fogarty), while Diva came through with great speed.
Down the run it was Diva’s day. The current series leader, Dennis Coleman’s Boatspeed 23, from Orchard Rocks to spinnaker drop sailed exceptionally well and in fact right through the entire IRC fleet surfing down the run until the only boat in front of her was Geoff Lavis’ 50 foot UBS Wild Thing.
Handicapper Michael Spies was seen shaking his head as the little sportsboat tore through the fleet. She was only 42 seconds behind Zoe (from the division above her) at the bottom mark.
Paul Lindemann’s Biddy Hu II won the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1 start from Delphian (John Sloan). The then Series leader Redline 1 (Mark Burton and Geoff Adams) and local boat Warrigal (James Finch) were still sipping coffees a minute after the gun.
Barry Smith’s Tide Up won the Cruising with Spinnaker start easily and she carried an A sail up towards Orchid Rock, battling Le Rossignol (Peter McKenzie) for the lead.
Robert Kimlin's Vantage bravely did a port hand start, weaving through the Non Spinnaker fleet. Valhalla (Peter Cox) was on the pin with Freya (Russel McLaughlin) above her.
Graeme Etherton’s The Boat won the Multihull start and tacked to port immediately after the gun. Akimbo (Robert Sherwood) started on the pin, with Townsville local Barbarella (Mal Tynan) one above. MC Moggy (Alisdair Noble), the joint series leader with Intriigue, was picking up speed.
First multihull around the west mark was Gneisenau (Ross McOmish) followed by Intriigue (Peter Hackett).
Regatta Director Denis Thompson commented ‘A perfect day, a great day for a sail with a brisk breeze, 18 knots at the top of the Island.
‘As expected the wind went left all day. The breeze freed so it was a lay through from the bottom of Magnetic Island, particularly from the east mark to the finish line.
‘As at 2pm the last boat was at West Point, so we are expecting everyone to finish by 4pm.'
Robbo Robertson’s Lunchtime Legend continued her picket fence run today taking out first place on handicap in the IRC Racing division for the fifth time. The Beneteau First 40 was followed by Leon Thomas’s Sydney 38 Guilty Pleasures IV and Tony Ross’s Beneteau First 40 Black Label. Line honours went to Wayne Millar’s Murray 41 Zoe in a time of 02:48:00.
After five races have been completed IRC Racing Overall Series leader Lunchtime Legend is now seven points clear of second placed Black Label, who in turn is five clear of Guilty Pleasures IV.
‘It was an excellent race in really good moderate to fresh conditions' said Guilty Pleasures skipper Leon Thomas. We probably got a few bullets down the back of the Island, up around the 18 to 20 knot mark and had a beautiful surf and nice beat home.
‘We got a fabulous start, we came off the start line really, really well. We went around the top mark with Robbo (Lunchtime Legend) and with Zoe just behind and all three of us basically drag raced all the way to Orchid Rock where we got our kite up first. It was a really good day at the office.
‘We are happy. Anytime you can beat Robbo across the line is good going and we have a little bit more tuning and a practice to do yet so next time we meet hopefully we are going just that little bit faster. The Lunchtime boys are really polished and it’s a well sailed outfit. I am not upset to be getting beaten by them, let’s put it that way.
It was a change of pace on the fourth day for the Performance Racing fleet, with Tristam Denyer’s Bavaria 37 Iseulta taking out first place on handicap, followed by Geoff Lavis’s Inglis/Murray 50 UBS Wild Thing and Mick Gillum’s Jeanneau Sunfast 36 Panacia third. UBS Wild Thing took line honours in an elapsed time of 02:59:48.
Post race Tristam Denyer comment ' We are very pleased with the way Iseulta is going. Ideal conditions for us today, reaching and running. '
Dockside Geoff Lavis commented ‘We had some reaching so it was a terrific day for us. Down the run was pretty comfortable. We stretched out at the end. At the top (of the Island) there was a lot of confused air and we got a break on the rest of the fleet. Diva fell into a bit of a hole and then we went onto a reach and thank goodness for reaching.
'It’s a great track; I did it a couple of years ago with Colin Wilson on Never a Dull Moment.‘
Diva skipper Dennis Coleman was smiling. ‘We had a glamour run, second boat around at the bottom of Maggie. Wild Thing was ahead of us and we were chasing her but we just ran out of track.
‘The kite ride down was just fantastic. For the boat it was just what we wanted … the reach across, the kite ride down … big smiles. It was hard work back up, that 10 mile work up is hard on these boats. It is a dinghy and you have to work hard and hike hard.’
Referring to Diva’s finding the hole Coleman remarked ‘We were feeling like a lamb to the slaughter watching the wolves coming in behind us, with all the monos coming back up and getting to us.'
The Overall Series Performance Racing leader is Ron Knott's Dusty Muzzle, three points clear of Boudicea (Mike Steel) with the little flyer Diva (Dennis Coleman) just half a point in arrears.
The Corsair Sprint 750 MKII Gneisenau, skippered by Ross McOmish, took the Multihull handicap win in today’s race. Alasdair Noble’s Schionning Waterline 135 MC Moggy and Mal Tynan’s Schionning Signature 14 Barbarella filled the minor placings. The line honours win went to Gneisenau.
Overall, MC Moggy holds the top spot with Genisenau second and Intriigue third. Just three points separate first and third, tight racing indeed.
Intriigue skipper Peter Hackett said ‘A fantastic day for multihulls today to be able to circumnavigate the Island completely. For the Intriigue team the highlight was being able to start last and pass nearly every monohull, sitting on 15 to 18 knots.‘
In Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1 Doug Shield’s Jeanneau 54 DS Vanilla took the handicap win, followed by Brennan O’Dempsey’s Farr 11.6 Amadeus and Tony Muller’s Jeanneau SO 409 Brava. Line honours went to David Redfern’s Jeanneau 49 DS Mista Gybe.
After three races Brennan O'Dempsey's Amadeus leads the Series Overall by just one point from Mista Gybe (David Redfern) with Vanilla (Doug Shields) third.
Jack McGuire’s Cavalier 35 Zen was in first on handicap in Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2. Barry Smith’s Noelex Trailer Sailor Tide Up was second with Nick Doran’s Adams Sloop Buccaneer Too completing the podium. Line honours went to Peter McKenzie’s Ross 7.8 Mod Le Rossignol.
Overall, Tide Up (Barry Smith) is one point clear of Le Rossignol with Librian (Stanley Barnes) third.
The Cruising Non Spinnaker win went to Russell Kingston’s Benteau 423 Falcon, followed by Alan Stark’s Catalina 350 Starkers and Russel McLaughlin’s Catalina Freya. Freya was first to the finish taking divisional line honours.
The Overall Series leader is Murray MacKay's Tradition, leading on countback from Freya, with Tucana a further three points back.
Racing at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012 concludes tomorrow, Tuesday September 4, with the first warning signal scheduled for 11.00am.
The Prize Giving presentation will be tomorrow evening on the deck of Peppers Blue on Blue Resort bringing to a close the festivities and celebrations of yet another highly successful event.
For further information, news and images please visit the 2012 Sealink Magnetic island Race Week website – www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au
*All results provisional.