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SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Entries sold out in 12 minutes!

by Di Pearson/SMIRW media 3 Mar 17:33 PST 29 August - 4 September 2024
Akarana (yellow kite) in the Around the Island Race - - SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week © Andrea Francolini

Entries opened for Townsville Yacht Club's (TYC) SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week on Friday amid a flurry of activity, the much loved event was sold out in an unprecedented 12 minutes - minus a few seconds.

"It was incredible," a stunned Event Chairman, Mike Steel said of the 17th running of the regatta, to be held from 29 August to 4 September in 2024.

"Last year it took 15 minutes, the year before it was just under four hours.

"We feel so fortunate that competitors have taken our annual event to heart over the last few years. It's nice to see regulars mixed with those who return when they can, along with fresh faces every year. They make our event," Steel said.

You had to be quick off the mark and Tim Campbell from Victoria was fastest. His Corby 25, Private Equity, was the first entry received.

"I was sitting at my computer waiting to go into Top Yacht," Campbell said. You had wait for the link to come up. When it did, I clicked straight away. Hopefully that's an omen," he said, hopeful of repeating his winning experience of last year.

"We love it there," continued Campbell. "I'll drive up from Melbourne trailing the boat (a Corby 25) again. I'll have the same crew from last year."

Among the familiar faces will be locals Vicki Hamilton with her Farr 1104, Akarana and Leon Thomas with his Shaw 650 Guilty Pleasures X, along with James Permezel's Hanse 445, Charm Offensive. Permezel hails from Victoria but has a business and residence on Magnetic Island these days, so spends most his time there.

Returning after a seven-year break are Colin and Denise Wilson with Never a Dull Moment from Sydney. The pair was last here in 2017, but as Colin says, "It's the happiest regatta in Australia, with the friendliest people."

Malcolm Roe, on the other hand, is yet to experience the regatta. Roe, owner of the Swan 45, Amazingrace, said, "I was so happy to get in. I was sitting at my computer for the previous hour waiting... I'm delighted. This is my first time to the regatta. I've heard it's very good. I can't wait," he ended.

This year entries represent Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Major stakeholders of the event, SeaLink, Townsville City Council, Peppers Blue on Blue Resort, Tourism and Events Queensland and Magnetic Island Marina are overjoyed at the interest the event continues to attract.

Competitors are drawn to the distinctive regatta for so many reasons. Rolling off the SeaLink ferry at Maggie Island, it is a one-minute stroll to Peppers Blue on Blue where all the action emanates from.

For Race Week, Peppers becomes Peppers Race Headquarters. Most competitors and officials stay and have their meals there. The marina is part of the package and the racecourse is a five minute motor away where Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson and his volunteers, are ready to start races in this beautiful part of the world.

The daily post-race prize-giving is also held at Peppers Race Headquarters where the music flows after a video recap of the day's action. Hosted by Scotty Hillier, it is a lot of fun. TYC also organises lots of other fun activities, especially on lay day, which coincides with Father's Day.

As a bonus, IGA is a stone's throw from the resort, as is the local bottle shop, with many restaurants within walking distance. If you fancy a short bus ride, there are other great restaurants dotted around the pretty and unspoilt island.

Why wouldn't you want to be there?

For all information including list of entries please visit: www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au.

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