Fun in the sun in Queensland is what the ‘travel brochure’ promises for competitors in the Ensign Yachts Beneteau Cup and French Yacht Challenge to be held on first and October 2nd 2011.
Even though entry is now officially closed, the event organisers are still welcoming late comers. When the objective of the event is fun with some competition thrown in, all French yacht owners should consider joining in, racing with or without spinnakers.
Saturday’s passage race, which constitutes the French Yacht Challenge, will pit 30 plus Francophile boat owners, racing cruisers, racers and cruiser/racer Dufours, Jeanneaus and Beneteaus, on the start line and then back at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for some post-race fun.
Looking for a podium finish is one of the fleet’s newest boats and the first one in Queensland, the Jeanneau 409 cruiser/racer Axiom, owned by Glenda Davis. 'We have teenage children and they really appreciate the racing rather than the cruising. They don’t like anything worse than third so we will have to be out to win,' skipper Mark Davis joked.
Glenda and Mark put the new boat in the water last week and had their first sail on Friday. They still have some work to do in getting the boat ready for the French Challenge including taking receipt of some more sails. 'We don’t have spinnaker as yet, but if all goes to plan, it should arrive on the 28th. Hopefully we will have to time to put it up once before the start.'
Competing in the French Yacht Challenge for the Axiom team will also be about having fun. 'Ours is a family boat with everyone getting involved.'
In the Beneteau fleet, Tony Kinsman has replaced his old First 40.7 with a brand new First 40, Blunderbuss, straight out of the box and busily being commissioned this week by the team from Ensign Yachts at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.
'The boat hasn’t got a mast in it yet. It has been antifouled and faired underneath. We are now waiting on a fitting for the mast which is due this week. The sails are ready so we just need to get it rigged and we can go sailing,' Kinsman said.
The Blunderbuss team will be up against another new First 40, Rob Robertson’s Lunchtime Legend, launched in July. Kinsman is hesitant about his team’s ability to match it with Robertson’s boat since Blunderbuss it is new in the water and yet to receive the full complement of sails while Lunchtime Legend has had the advantage of two months of tuning and racing.
'It will be interesting to see how we go against Robbo as he has had a full series up at Hamilton to shake things down a bit so I wouldn’t say we are going to be super competitive at this stage. The crew are itching to go though as we have been waiting for this boat for a long time.'
The Queensland Beneteau Cup and French Yacht Challenge is sponsored by Ensign Yachts, Doyle Fraser Sails, Ullman Sails, Muir Marine, The Hatchman, JSA Marine, North Sails, Manly Marina Cove Motel, Nautilus Marine Insurance, Bias Marine, Bottoms Up Marine, Sailtech Sailmakers, Dulon, Boaststyle, NU Bolt and Hose Supplies.
The full entry list, Notice of Race and online entry is available from the event website, www.sailing.rqys.com.au
For more information, please contact event organiser, Jane Virtue on jane.virtue(at)bigpond.com