SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2013 Day One - Sunshine, 28 degrees for the second last day of winter with a 15-20 knot breeze across Cleveland Bay.
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson gunned all divisions away on the 19 nautical mile Strand race, with wind from the south east.
With the predicted left shifting breeze, the fleet would punch upwind for 7.5 nautical miles to a mark off Launs Beach, then have a shy spinnaker run to two marks off the Strand, then upwind to the middle reef east beacon thence to Hawkings Point and to the Nelly Bay finishing line.
The first division to start was the IRC Racing.
Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest, the 2008 Rolex Sydney to Hobart winner started at speed, one up from the pin, and was fast away. Townsville local Leon Thomas´s Sydney 38 Guilty Pleasures IV was second from the pin, with David Redfern´s Beneteau First 40 Not a Diamond.
Howard Piggott’s Flying Cloud was above those boats, soon headed right followed by Guilty Pleasures IV and Mike West´s X Yacht´s 38 Xpress. Doug Ryan´s Beneteau 44.7 Shazam started on the pin but was a length back.
Peter Hawker´s Farrier 32 racing trimaran Carbon Credits led the multihull fleet away from Andrew Stransky´s big 50 foot catamaran Fantasia. They were followed by Peter Berry´s Prescott Whitehaven 11.7 J’ouvert and behind them there was close race between two Schionning´s Mal Tynan´s Barbarella and Alasdair Noble´s Mr. McMoggy.
As Quest approached the Launs Beach mark, the New Zealand built Carbon Credits tri swept through her and rounded three lengths ahead and sailed away to take the overall fleet line honours win.
The wind was a little north of east as the fleet streamed towards the Strand on an eight mile leg, with the wind building for the back of the fleet.
Pete Hawke and his Carbon Credit´s team were pumped up when they came ashore.
‘That was a hard beat to start, we were the first boat round, a few boat lengths in front of Quest, surprisingly. I thought they would keep up with us downhill with the spinnaker but we actually pulled away from them a little bit going downhill.
‘Nice little course. Great ride with spinnaker down to Townsville, we hit 20´s. A few gybes included and then a bit of a hard bash back against a little more sea and breeze. Not too bad coming up to the finish line. ‘Just at the end we probably slightly over canvassed just at the very end but apparent from that it was perfect for us.’
Dual Hobart winner Bob Steel and all his crew were smiling too as they came ashore soon after.
Bob said ‘It was the perfect day wasn’t it. The breeze was probably 12 to 14 knots at the start and then it increased slightly during the course of the day to about 19 knots.
‘Our only complaint was we would have liked about 30 knots on the downwind run though. Not upwind, just downwind.
‘A few of our crew haven’t had a sail for a while, so the rust was coming off a little.
‘We took out a couple of youngsters from the local club which was great.
‘We all had a good look around. Great weather, great scenery and we all enjoyed the sail.
‘Now we are about to start exploring the Island and we will be back later for the Toad racing.’
In IRC Racing, Leon Thomas Sydney 38 Guilty Pleasures IV, was second across the line and won on handicap from David Redfern´s Beneteau First 40 Not A Diamond by just a single second.
Not a Diamond and Howard Piggott´s Beneteau First 40 Flying Cloud, finished just two lengths apart on the water. Flying Cloud was third and Quest was fourth on handicap.
Leon Thomas commented dockside
‘We had a good windward work and picked up a few favourable shifts up the second leg.
‘The run was good. The breeze did come from behind as it often does and the guys behind actually came back at us and two first 40s came back at us on the run really well. Quest was of course sailed very well and was soon well ahead but the breeze just kept building and we definitely had more pressure and that hurt them today.
‘Overall we thought we’d have had enough money in the bank to hold on from the Beneteau 40´s. but about 100 metres from the finish line we actually split our number 1 Medium headsail in two in a solid gust.
‘We ended up finishing just on the mainsail. So we over the moon to see we had won by a single second.’
In the Multihull Racing division, Fantasia, a Seven Seas 50 was second across the line and she won on handicap from Carbon Credits with Mike Willcock´s Corsair 750 Hot Option third.
In the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1 line honours was taken by Robert Green’s Pacific 50 Dream, ahead of Doug Shield´s Jeanneau 54DS Vanilla, those two boats filled the first and second places on handicap with John Raff`s Kate Jeanneau 53 third.
In the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2, David Marshall´s Beneteau 47.7 Femme Fatale took line honours, Mike Steel´s Dufour 34 Boudicea, with a badly torn mainsail top ahead of Paul Jackson´s Duncanson GBM 28 Run Run Run
On handicap Colin Clark´s Beale … Unbealeiveable won from Barry Smith´s Noelex Tide Up with Jack Maguire´s Cav 35 Zen.
In the Cruising Non Spinnaker division Nick Small´s Hanse 340 Huahine, was the line honours winner.
Russell Kingston´s Beneteau 423 Falcon won on handicap, ahead of Nick Small´s Huahine, with Peter Cox´s Dufour 385 GL Valhalla
And the wrap from PRO Denis Thompson
‘Wonderful wind and sunshine and an interesting course which we had not used before today which sent the fleet on to a beat across the Bay and a long spinnaker run down to Townsville so the office workers can look out the window and see what they are missing, Shows them what sailing is all about.
‘Looking ahead, we seem to have some great weather more of the same
‘As a few people have realised, from time to time we have been known to make sacrifices to the weather gods. I am not a rum drinker, I am a rum pourer. But it seems I won’t be needing to be doing much of that during the regatta.
‘The plan tomorrow to do Round the Island Race to starboard, so we get the deep draughted boats around the southern side where it’s shallower at the highest tide.’
More news, images, results at www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au
by Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week Media
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9:25 AM Fri 30 Aug 2013GMT
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