Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week at Townsville Yacht Club - Day 1

by Di Pearson, SMIRW Media 30 Aug 2019 01:57 PDT 29 August - 4 September 2019
Fleet under spinnaker on day 1 of SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2019 © Andrea Francolini

A number of newcomers joined the multitude of repeat offenders for the opening day of Townsville Yacht Club's (TYC) SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week (SMIRW), and although competitors waited for over an hour for the breeze to fill in, when it did, competitors agreed it was a superb afternoon of racing.

PRO Denis Thompson kept competitors updated and sure enough, shortly after midday, news came through that the breeze had filled in at 5 knots and racing was under way, the course shortened to reflect the late start.

New South Welshman Peter Lowndes is a regular here with his Wine Dark Sea. This year is different though. Lowndes' partner in life and in the boat, Sarah Goddard-Jones, tragically passed away in June this year following a diving accident on the northern NSW coast. She would normally be at Magnetic Island with him, enjoying he five minute wind he and a mostly regular crew notched up in Division 2 today.

"The crew entry for this regatta was a six pack of French champagne in Sarah's name," Lowndes said this afternoon, apologising for his emotions which are always close to the surface. It seems perfectly fitting, as Goddard- Jones had a bubbly personality and the two loved sailing and cruising together.

"We have a new sabre to open the Moet," he said, pointing to the shining silver sabre as a crew member demonstrated its use.

"We won the race by five minutes when the handicap was applied. It's all in tribute to Sarah - and I have donated a trophy in her name too - it will reflect sportsmanship and good seamanship," Lowndes ended after beating offshore racing veteran, 'Sir' Robbo Robertson to the punch for the win.

Robertson turns 80 in December, but as the old saying goes, you can't keep an old sea dog down and so the Queenslander is here to try and add a third Maggie Island title trophy to his cabinet. He was wearing an ear to ear grin this afternoon having sailed his 'It's Time' to second place.

Aboard Blue Water Tracks, their beautiful Moody 54DS, husband and wife team, Grant and Delma Dunoon from Victoria were pleased to get away from their cold local weather to take part in their first Magnetic Island Race Week.

"We first took the opportunity to be at the BBQ at Cape Upstart," Delma said. "We thought, 'oh well, another barby', but it was anything but. It was so special and they went to so much trouble - even down to the fairy lights on the tables.

"The food was fantastic - the Barra (Barramundi) on the beach was the highlight for me. It was an unforgettable experience."

Grant added: "We loved meeting people and introducing others, the quiet music and the bonfires."

The pair is racing in the Non-Spinnaker division; a white chesterfield couch taking pride of place at the back end of their boat. "It's our interview couch," explained Grant, who with experienced sailor, Sue Bumstead, took on the 5500 nautical mile Melbourne Osaka Yacht Race last year and will add another Sydney Hobart to his credit this year.

On being at Maggie Island and partaking of all it has to offer, Grant commented: "We arrived at the Island after Cape Upstart, spent the day at Horseshoe Bay. We had a short race today, but it was a good race. We didn't win, as it was too light for us, but we came here to relax, not so much to win." They finished sixth from eight in the division that was won by Lance Denby's Ostara.

The pair is staying on board Blue Water Tracks, calling it, "our five star accommodation." And it really is.

The last word goes to Mal Pirret, Event Chairman from TYC and owner/skipper of the well-named 'Champagne', which is racing in Division 3, won today by Ian White's Kite from Lake Macquarie in NSW.

Pirret, who finished sixth from 18 entries, said of the day: "We expected the breeze to come in and build. It got up to 13 knots going to the top mark after being a bit light on at the start.

"We got gassed at the start and then kept away from the rest of the fleet. We had a good run though. Merlion (Eddie Mackevicius, Vic) went around the mark in front of us, with Popeye (Craig Douglas, NSW) just behind. It was a close finish between the three of us and a beautiful day on the water," he said after the fleet set spinnakers for the run home.

Racing continues at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week tomorrow and is due to get under way from 11am. The event finishes on 4 September with boats racing across IRC Racing, Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, Multihull and Trailable Yacht classes.

For all information visit

Related Articles

11th Hour Racing named official partner of the TJV
Organizations work together to highlight ocean health in the Race Village Building on 10 years of sponsorships focused on the power of sport to create change, 11th Hour Racing announced today its support of the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre as an official partner of the race. Posted today at 9:06 am
World Sailing kick-starts reinstatement bid
For the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles 2028 World Sailing, the international federation for the sport of sailing recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today officially kick-started their campaign for sailing to be reinstated at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (USA) in 2028. Posted today at 9:00 am
Comanche sets "unbeatable" monohull record
Rolex Middle Sea Race first event of the IMA 2021-22 Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge In one of the most superb high speed offshore racing competitions, three of the world's largest and fastest racing maxis this morning arrived back in Valletta, first monohulls home in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Posted today at 7:04 am
Race Yachts Premium Brokerage - Latest yachts
Including Blink, a custom built Craig Partridge Yachts carbon flyer Blink is a custom built (Craig Partridge Yachts) carbon flyer with an excellent usable interior, you will be surprised. A proven performer, both in 2 handed racing and fully crewed. Posted today at 5:09 am
2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race still delivering
With seven yachts in harbour, the race is far from over With seven yachts in harbour, and no more expected until much later tonight (Monday) or the early hours of Tuesday, one might be excused for thinking the Rolex Middle Sea Race is over. Far from it. Posted on 25 Oct
Hands-on Safety at Sea seminar
Volunteers took part in pyrotechnics, firefighting, damage control and liferaft training After last year's pandemic cancellation, Storm Trysail Club recently held its first Hands-On Adult Safety At Sea in the New York area in over two years. Posted on 25 Oct
WASZP Americas Championships - Entry open
Set to take place at Richmond Yacht Club, USA ahead of the SailGP season 2 final Entry is open for the first-ever WASZP Americas Championship. The championship will take place at Richmond Yacht Club, USA where sailors are set to enjoy the famous waters of San Francisco Bay ahead of the SailGP season 2 final. Posted on 25 Oct
Gift Ideas from Rooster
Get ahead of the curve and have a stress-free season! Whether it's for Mum, Dad, Grandad, your best mate, Grandson, niece, neighbour or favourite sports companion, get them something they really want this year. Posted on 25 Oct
British Sailor Alex Thomson steps down from racing
Announcing he won't compete as a skipper in the 2024 Vendée Globe British sailor Alex Thomson has announced he won't compete as a skipper in the 2024 Vendée Globe, the solo, non-stop race around-the-world, but doesn't rule out returning to the race in 2028. Posted on 25 Oct
2021 iQFOIL European Championships day 2
68 women and 141 men finally hit the water, but only one race held Everyone believed it when at 2:44 pm the CP Terre removed the AP Flag, allowing the 68 women and 141 men to set off on the water to their respective racing areas. Posted on 25 Oct
J Composites 2020 - FOOTERVaikobi 2021 FlexForce - FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTER