It’s the Queensland Season of Sailing and the North Queensland regatta scene is in full swing.
UBS Wild Thing (Geoff Lavis). Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 2012
In just two weeks it will be the sixth annual SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, which runs from August 30th to September 5th 2012.
In 2012 over half the Magnetic Island fleet will come from the Southern states and the competition just keeps getting better and better.
No more so than in the Grand Prix IRC division. Two Townsville locals Wayne Millar and Leon Thomas will be battling for the honours, not only against each other but also against some other well known and highly competitive boats.
Millar, who has campaigned offshore racing boats around Australia for two decades, will face the starter with his highly competitive Bashford 41 Zoe while Thomas, a multiple Magnetic Island Race Week winner, will sail his newly acquired Guilty Pleasures IV, a Sydney 38.
Two well campaigned Beneteau First 40’s, Bob Robertson’s Lunchtime Legend preparing for another Sydney to Hobart tilt and Tony Ross’ Ensign Racing Black Label will prove a handicap handful. Phil Bedlington’s Borrensen 40 Under Capricorn and Jason Close’s new Beneteau First 35 White Noise, from the Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne, will also provide stiff competition.
A ‘thoroughbred’ is heading up this year’s Performance Racing fleet. Former CYCA Commodore Geoff Lavis has brought his Sydney based beautiful, black Inglis/Murray 50 UBS Wild Thing to the Queensland Season of Sailing.
UBS Wild Thing has competed in two Sydney Hobart races, twelve Sydney Gold Coast races, three Sydney Mooloolaba races, a Brisbane to Gladstone, a Brisbane to Osaka and a Melbourne to Osaka double handed race.
Pushing her on handicap will be two Beneteau 40.7s; Morgan Rogers’ Whale Watching Sydney (the former Le Billet) and Twister, Kevin Fogarty’s Whitsunday Sailing Club entry from Airlie Beach.
The Performance Racing fleet has enjoyed strong local support since the regatta’s inception in 2007. This year the Townsville flag will be carried by Peter Robbin’s Akarana, Peter Boxall’s Amaya II, Paul Stuart’s Apollo VI, Mike Steel’s Boadicea, Adrian Castles’ Broadsword, Denis Coleman’s Diva, Ron Knott’s Dusty Muzzle, Tristan Denyer’s Iseulta and Mick Gillum’s Panacea.
In recent years numbers have increased in the cruising fleets, with many southern boats taking up to six months to cruise slowly north in company. These boats and their crews spend time in the Islands enjoying the fantastic scenery and great social life and when the trade winds turn for the southern summer return back to their home ports.
In the 2012 Cruising fleet the two largest boats are Paul Lindemann’s 50 footer Biddy HU 11 from Melbourne and Doug Shield’s Jeanneau 54 Vanilla. In this division, competitors from the Townsville region are significant in number, while others come from Airlie Beach, Bowen, one from NSW and from three from Victoria.
In the Cruising Non Spinnaker division, the interstate visitors include Colin Boyle’s Caloola, Jason Anthill’s Dufour One and Peter Cox’s Valhalla, all from NSW and Murray Mackay’s Tradition from Victoria.
This year there will be bigger numbers of the multihulls on the azure blue waters of Cleveland Bay. Alasdair Noble’s MC Moggy, the Airlie Beach multihull Cruising division winner, Michael Hodges Renaissance from Brisbane and Ross McOmish Gneisenau from South Australia will be checking out the Magnetic Island scene.
Entries for SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012 close on August 24th.
Online Entry, NOR and more information about this great event in tropical Far North Queensland is available at the 2012 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week website - www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au