The sixty boat fleet in the Nelly Bay Marina was ready for action on day 1 of SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012.
The Race Committee set the IRC Racing, Performance Racing, Multihulls and Cruising Spinnaker Division 1 a long Cleveland Bay triangular two lap course, 14.6 nautical miles in length while the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2 and Cruising Non-Spinnakers were set a shorter single lap 9.8 nautical mile course.
Regatta Director Denis Thompson signalled a Postponement Ashore at 09:30 and the morning glass-out soon followed.
The AP was lowered at 11:15 and excitement mounted as the divisions prepared for their starts. The breeze was blowing from six to ten knots and continuing to build, the sky was blue and the waters of Cleveland Bay flat.
IRC Racing was first away at 12:10 with Townsville skipper Wayne Millar’s Zoe starting on the pin, crossing ahead of Black Label, skippered by Tony Ross. Black Label had to duck behind Bob Robertson’s Lunchtime Legend, but by the top mark had climbed back into second place.
Zoe rounded in the lead after a fast hoist, her red and white spinnaker filled and she was away. Black Label had problems through their hoist and Lunchtime Legend caught her again.
Leon Thomas’ Guilty Pleasures V was well back but did a fast gybe set on the top mark and headed back in towards Magnetic Island, making a gain of almost three minutes even before she had cleared away from the shore. It was a great comeback for the local Townsville crew after their bad start.
Geoff Lavis’ impressive 50 footer UBS Wild Thing sailed away from her Performance Racing division rivals, with local skipper Mike Steel's Boadicea and Kevin Fogarty's Twister, from the Whitsunday Sailing Club, following her to the top mark.
At the Middle Reef east beacon Zoe sacrificed some of her lead while changing to an A sail, behind her was Guilty Pleasures V, Lunchtime Legend then a gap back to Black Label. Things did not go so well for Zoe on the second triangle, a crewman was poleaxed in the gybe, then a bad A sail set saw her drop down losing speed and time.
On handicap at this point, Lunchtime Legend, Black Label and Guilty Pleasures V were best placed.
As the breeze continued to build UBS Wild Thing stretched away to score the Performance Racing line honours win.
Zoe was first of the IRC fleet overall across the line. After suffering badly from a poor sail hoist on the second lap she had to short tack to the finish but still managed the IRC Racing line honours win.
The Lunchtime Legend crew sailed well using their ocean main and crossed the line second (behind Zoe) to take IRC Racing handicap honours from Black Label and Jason Close’s White Noise from the Sandringham Yacht Club in Victoria.
Bob ‘Robbo' Robertson was smiling dockside.'A good day for us. We have Adam Brown calling tactics this week and he got us off to a great start. We were third boat at the windward mark and second at the bottom. We only headed to the beach on the first run when we realised the gain that Guilty Pleasures had made on the beach.'
Leon Thomas and crew were subdued dockside, facing a possible Jury appointment from a start line incident. Thomas commented 'Pre-race we discovered the outgoing tide was between 0.5 and 0.75 knots in the shipping channel so we hit the beach and made good gains.' Guilty Pleasures was later DSQ'd.
Performance Racing handicap honours went to Denis Coleman's Boatspeed 23 Diva. The little Diva was powered up in the light stuff and the crew obviously enjoyed the day. Bodicea was second, while Peter Boxall’s Amaya II completed the podium.
The Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1 line honours winner was David Redfern’s Mista Gybe, a Jeanneau 49 Ds. Paul Lindemann’s Biddy Hu 11, a Beneteau 50 from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, took the handicap honours from David Redfern’s Mista Gybe 2, with David Perkins Vanilla third.
Le Rossignol, Peter McKenzie’s Ross 7.8 modified with a cruising rig, sailed well taking the gun in the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2 as well as the handicap win. Knight Rider (Matthew Stirling) and Librian (Stanley Barnes) took the minor placings.
Russel McLaughlin’s Freya, a Catalina 400, took the gun in Cruising Non Spinnaker but on handicap it was Murray Mackay’s Tradition (Hans Christian 41t) from Freya and Colin White’s Last Tango.
Peter Hackett’s Intriigue, a Corsair 27, took race 1 Multihull line honours. On handicap Alasdair Noble’s Mc Moggy, a Schionning Waterline 135 originally built in New Zealand for the Coastal Classic then sailed to New Caledonia, took the handicap win from Intriigue. South Australian entrant Ross McOmish’s Gneisenau was third.
At the conclusion of racing SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson commented 'Postcard conditions today, with lots of smiling faces on the marina. What a great way to kick off the regatta.'
*Results are provisional.
For results, images and information regarding SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2012 please visit the event website - www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au
by SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week media
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6:03 AM Fri 31 Aug 2012GMT
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2012 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week
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