Cupid scattered his love dust over 44 sailors in the annual Romantic Racing regatta hosted by Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) in absolutely perfect conditions on Waterloo Bay on Brisbane's east side.
Raced in the Squadron owned Pacers, the event was open to members of the Married, Defacto and Dating varieties with a set of Rules that only Cupid himself would write. 'If there is a conflict between languages, then men will be ignored' - just a sample of how the Rules were modified for the day.
Although designed to be a novelty event, the competition was fierce with Mat and Rike Belcher making a celebrity appearance. 2012 Olympic hopeful Mat, together with his 470 Gold medallist crew Malcolm Page, were recently placed as number one in the official ISAF World Rankings. Rike, a world class sailor in her own right is also campaigning for the London 2012 Games, however for her mother country Germany.
Needless to say they were pretty tough to compete against and were forced to complete several penalty turns to ensure they stayed with the fleet.
Coming in second on the official Romantic Racing results was RQYS Marine Sports Manager Suellen Hurling sailing with her partner Darren 'Hutch' Hutchison, who will next week be competing in the Farr 40 World Championship in Sydney on board the Damian King skippered Southern Star. However because Suellen is a staff member of the Squadron, she and Hutch had to forfeit their prize.
Third was awarded to newly dating couple Rob Andrews and his girlfriend Kate. Rob is a competitive Hobie 16 sailor and insisted on taking out his new flame to introduce her to the competitive world of one-design Pacer racing.
RQYS hosts three novelty events a year. Mothers Day Racing, Fathers Day Racing and of course Romantic Racing. The fun component is the focus of these events, however with pride and reputations on the line, they become extremely intense events for the competitors.
Mat and Rike rarely have the chance to sail together due to their respective training schedules and enjoyed finally getting to spend on time together on the water. At the presentation Mat said, 'it's great to actually have some quality time with my wife, I just can't believe we chose to spend that time sailing!'
'Our programs are pretty serious so it was great to actually be at my own club taking part in such an entertaining event. If our schedules allow us, we will definitely be back next year to defend our Romantic Racing title,' said Mat. http://www.rqys.com.au/index.php/romantic-racing/
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Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron
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