The 2012 Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week will be the fifth for Charles Wallis and his Murray 42 Reignition.
He and his crew are keen to repeat their 2008 success when they were top of the podium in Performance Racing.Originally named Flame, the Murray 42 was campaigned in the 1996 Sydney to Hobart race, but was forced to retire after breaking her boom.
She was later bought by the co-founder of the Wotif.com internet accommodation giant, Graeme Wood, who campaigned her successfully out of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for three seasons and competed in many Brisbane to Gladstone races.
In 2008, Charles and his partner Sneddon Cripps bought the boat with the aim to compete in the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s extensive racing calendar, Airlie Beach Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week. With the original boat name in mind, the partners re-named their new acquisition Reignition and set about making her race ready, adding the China Cup to their program in 2009.
Last year the pair decided to test the boat in the IRC Cruising division, getting the boat weighed and rated and were keen to see how she performed against boats such as Ensign Racing and Cracklin’ Rosie.
Unfortunately for the boat and crew, a slight misjudged approach into the bay saw the yacht hit the infamous Pioneer Rocks and sustain keel damage.
Charles and his crew pulled her out of the water several months ago and have been working tirelessly to fix and improve their loved boat, spending hours removing and working on the keel, fairing the hull and giving her a brand new paint job and antifoul.
She was finally lifted back into the water two weeks ago and has already proved she is ready to race again, taking line honours in the Wednesday Twilight’s and keen to stretch her legs in the XXXX Round the Whitsundays Race.
With Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week just 50 days away, the crew will be working hard to settle back into sail trim, boat speed and crew work in order to be a strong contender on the line.
Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week website www.airliebeachraceweek.com.au
by Corrie Gardner
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1:37 AM Thu 21 Jun 2012GMT
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