Registration for Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week to be held Friday 3 to Tuesday 7 September 2010 has opened online this morning and the Melbourne based crew of Delphian were first to register at www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au
After travelling north for the first time in 2009, Skipper John Sloan and his partner and boat owner, Cecilie Murray, are returning in an attempt to go two better after finishing third in their division last year and have made a start by being the first boat to register online to compete.
'We had a fantastic time competing last year and knew from day one of last year’s regatta that we would be back to do it again' said Sloan.
'The racing is very competitive at Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week and the enjoyment factor is first class. We are looking forward to catching up again with the friends that we made last year.'
Four years ago Townsville Cruising Yacht Club (TCYC) sailors coming back from the two largest sailing events in Queensland, the twin pillars of Airlie Beach Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week decided that sheltered waters around Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island would be the perfect setting for another Australian winter season regatta.
But those two events had between them more than forty years of winter sailing tradition and it was a bold step to try and start yet another North Queensland sailing event at the same time of year.
With strong support from naming rights sponsor Sunferries, Townsville City Council, Queensland Events and other local sponsors, the dream has become a reality with the event now based out of Peppers Blue on Blue in Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island.
TCYC sailor and Regatta Committee member Mark Vickers has been one of the major forces behind the establishment and growth of the 2010 regatta. He is the tactician aboard Zoe, one of the best known racing boats ever to come out of Townsville.
‘This will be just our fourth Magnetic Island regatta and we have become part of the Winter Regatta circuit.
We are expecting boats from all around Australia and probably New Zealand this year.
‘As more and more good reports have gone back south, the numbers of sailors planning to add Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week to their winter schedule is growing rapidly and right now we are the fastest growing sailing event in the Asia Pacific.
‘We are planning for a big fleet in 2010, with more of Australia’s top racing boats committing already to be on the start line in Nelly Bay next year. We are lucky that we have good water depth in the Island Marina.'
‘When you consider there were 100 boats at the 20th annual Airlie Beach Race Week last yearr, Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week has a very bright future.’
'Sailing conditions at that time of year are ideal to allow competitors to cruise a little further north up the coast to compete in this great event and take in what Townsville and Magnetic Island have to offer' said Event Coordinator Stephanie Cairns from Sunferries.
'We are expecting the biggest year yet for the event with an anticipated fleet of around 75 boats across six divisions and much more happening off the water at the shoreside program as well'.
Registered entrants will compete in six divisions including IRC Racing, Performance Handicap Racing, Cruising with Spinnaker, Cruising non Spinnaker, Sports Boats and Multi-hulls with other divisions being developed as required.
Locals can take part in the regatta by jumping onboard the Sunferries Spectator Boat over the weekend or take in the shoreside program at Peppers Blue on Blue where there will be live entertainment and much more.
You can view the Notice of Race and registering to compete, in a simple online process through the event website www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au www.sunferries.com.au