Mooloolaba’s annual celebration of sailing, Sail Mooloolaba, will get underway Saturday with a thrilling sports boat fleet heading the start of the week-long series of events. The fourth Queensland Sports Boat Championship has attracted a fleet of seventeen boats representing NSW, Victoria and WA. The fleet will contest six races over two days.
The winner of the last two Queensland titles, Andrew Trigell’s Peow Peow is the hot favourite after winning last year’s Sail Mooloolaba Sports Boat division.
With only one common crew member on board the 2012 ASBA National Champion boat, Kaito, Rob Lyon’s team will find it a challenge to live up to the winning standard set by the previous team members at the recent national championship.
Winner of the 2011 national championship and never out of the top three in recent years, Brett Whitbread’s Blokes World will also be hard to beat after leading the 2012 Nationals right up until the last day.
Added to this group is a healthy number of new boats with experienced crew ensuring this year’s Queensland championship will be wide open.
The new boats include Mark Buchbach’s Stealth 8.5m Raptor which was launched four weeks ago and is on the limits of what is accepted Sports Boat design. The original Raptor was the winner of the first Queensland title in 2009. The new boat is yet to be tested.
Another new boat is Graham Sherring’s Leech 650 design, Stayed Tuned, which he built at home over four months and then took it out to win the Sports Boat division of the 2012 Bay to Bay Race. Its sister ship, Slingshot skippered by Bob McCamley, will also be competing in its Sports Boat event.
The north Queensland contingent of Mackay’s John Rae with Guided Missile and Gladstone’s David Mann, with his Shaw 650 Situation Normal, will be keeping the fleet honest and having their own battle for north Queensland supremacy.
Another that is always a consistent performer is Gold Coast’s Ben Leigh-Smith’s Vivace, who had trouble deciding on which boat to race, that is, either the Vivace or his smaller Shaw 650. Vivace is expected to be in both line honours and handicap contention.
Out to prove that the family that sails together, wins together, is Nick Moriarty’s Business Time which finished third and fifth at the last two Queensland championships. He is racing with his daughter and two sons.
Sail Mooloolaba website
by Darren Spence
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10:50 PM Mon 18 Jun 2012GMT
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