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September 7th 2009
Beautiful shapes on the Bay

Day 1 from Geoffrey bay With two days of racing in light winds but perfect weather for spectators and crews alike and with the race around Magnetic set for today in similar conditions, the Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week is making beautiful shapes on Cleveland Bay. Following is a detailed account from Day 1 and 2 by yachting writers, Al Constable and Rob Kothe from

Perfect sailing conditions for the first race of the 2009 Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week. Brilliant sunshine greeted the 49 boat fleet as they headed to the start line in 10-15 knots of building sea breeze.

Regatta Director Denis Thompson held the fleet ashore in the Nelly Bay marina until the sea breeze came in; the first fleet started at 12.05pm.

Zoe, the local Townsville Murray 41 skippered by Wayne Millar, led the IRC fleet around the 17.5 nautical mile course.

Zoe was fast away midline, behind her Graham Donnell’s Elliott 11 Quattro was just ahead of Belinda Cooper's Sydney 32 Groove and Mike Steel’s Dufour 34 Boudicea.

The PHS fleet started at the same time as the IRC fleet. The skipper of Never A Dull Moment, Colin Wilson was resting ashore with a chest infection, but with the two ‘highly seasoned old salts’ Geoff Lavis, former CYCA Commodore, and sail maker Ian Broad leading the team they started well, and so began their race long battle with Zoe.

Charlie Wallis’ Murray 42 Reignition, the Whitsunday Sailing Club racer sailing in the PHS Division, was well placed as she hoisted her spinnaker for the run towards Townsville.

As the fleet rounded the Townsville mark, the wind lifted towards 15-16 knots with whitecaps all over Cleveland Bay.

Zoe gybed at the mark and held her shy kite as she powered towards the Kissing Point Mark, followed by Never a Dull Moment, Reignition (Charles Wallis) and Quattro (Graham Donnell). They all stayed high as they two-sail reached off the Townsville waterfront.

The wind continued to build as the smaller boats streamed down the course.

In the IRC fleet Zoe took the gun from Quattro and Groove. On corrected time Zoe won the division, Quattro was second and Groove finished third.

Dockside Wayne Millar, the Zoe skipper commented ' We were sailing in a different division to Never A Dull Moment and she is a bigger boat, but she was an excellent bench mark. Pacing ourselves against them kept us sharp and kept the boys hiking.'

Graham Donnell Elliott 11 Quattro, previously Veloce sailed from Melbourne, for this regatta.

'Donnell said ‘the light wind down-wind killed us, we did have a good start upwind but we need 15-20 knots to show our best.'

In PHS the line honours winner was Never A Dull Moment, from Charles Wallis' Reignition, with Amaya 11, the Farr 11.6 of David Boxall, third. On handicap Apollo VI, Paul Stuart’s Lexcen One-Tonner from the Townsville Cruising Yacht Club took the win, from Reignition and Kachina, Phil McGuire’s McGuire 11.3.

Dockside Geoff Lavis smiled. ‘Colin is on antibiotics, he’s not exactly on his death bed as he was well enough to call us from his hotel room over-looking the course, to tell us what we did wrong. Today, it was very much a makeshift crew. Ian (Broad) was on the main and calling the shots.

‘We missed having local knowledge and we went the wrong way a few times.’

Ian Broad concluded ‘we had everything today, we started in eight knots and finished in 12 but we had 15-16 in the middle. None of us have sailed here before, so we are pleased.’

Today provided perfect conditions for the Sports Boat fleet. Leon Thomas’ Thompson 7 Guilty Pleasures, which performed exceptionally well at Magnetic Island last year, certainly enjoyed the run out on Cleveland Bay, taking both the line honours and handicap wins.

Stoked, skippered by Patrick Stokes was second on line honours and Michael Unwin’s Fuzzy Logic finished third. Stoked and Fuzzy Logic also completed the minor placings on handicap. Unfortunately Dennis Cleman’s Diva was forced to retire from the race (and the series) with structural damage.

This year the Race Committee introduced a Multihull division and today Barbarella, the Schonning Signature Cat of Mal Tynan took line honours, from The Boat (G Etherton) and Slinky Cat (Shaun Watson). On handicap it was a win to The Boat, who finished ahead of Barbarella and Slinky Cat.

Storm 2, Don Algie’s imposing Warwick 66 took line honours in Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1. Zora 1, Kevin Horne’s Salona 45 J&J Design/AD Boats Ltd was second, with Seaduction, Brian Pattinson’s Beneteau 44.7 from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, third. On handicap Zora was first, from Instant Karma, Paul Wise’s Bavaria 38, with On Location, Bob Robertson’s Bavaria Cruiser, third.

In the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2 Seduction, Richard Nicols Lidgard fresh from racing at Airlie Beach took line honours, from Doug Ryan’s Farr 1104 Magic, with local Ian Hamilton and his Barbie Girl crew onboard Akarana (Farr 1104) third. On handicap Magic won day one, from Akarana and Seduction.

Local sailor and Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week supporter Richard Cerny on Aussie Rules (Beneteau Oceanis 500) took line honours in the Cruising Non Spinnaker Division, from Planet Peugeot, Alison Smith’s Bavaria 50 from the UK. Third was Volare, the Farr 40 Phase 4 of Grant Thompson.

Bruce Shank's Spindrift, a Camper & Nickelson Sloop 1934, took the 27 minute handicap win from Volare and Aussie Rules. Spindrift is plainly a wolf in sheep's clothing. On the way back to the dock she blew up her gear box, so will not be on the startline today, but should be back for the Round Island race on Monday.

Story: Al Constable

Day 2 report by Rob Kothe

Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week day two was a glorious spring sunshine day with 8-18 knots of breeze. Just the sixth day of spring, the forecast maximum temperature was 30 degrees centigrade.

Yesterday Regatta Director Denis Thompson held the fleet ashore until the first signs of the sea breeze developed and today he did the same thing, with the first race starting at 11:40am.

The Cruising Divisions, 1, 2 and Non-Spinnaker, sailed the 15.1 nautical mile White Rock Race.

The Cruising fleets headed along the Magnetic Island shoreline towards Orchard Rocks, then on to White Rock. Don Algie’s magnificent blue-hulled Warwick 66 Storm 2 fronted the fleet.

The Grand Prix IRC, Performance Racing and Sports Boat fleets raced windward leewards on Cleveland Bay.

The first windward leeward was started in 8-10 knots, east of the channel, the wind coming from 020 and with a 1.2 mile leg length.

In IRC Division 1 Race 1 Graham Donnell’s Elliott 11 Quattro had an excellent start and she led at the top mark, but Wayne Millar’s Murray 41 Zoe sailed through her down the run and was unchallenged for the balance of the race. Quattro was second and Belinda Cooper’s Sydney 32 Groove finished third.

Groove was rewarded with an 11 second win on corrected time ahead of Quattro, with Zoe third.

Women out number men on the little 32. Cairns skipper Belinda Cooper commented dockside, ‘Definitely the first race today was our best start so far, the boat was quiet, a very good result as this is our first regatta and our first regatta win.’

The seabreeze was building and the second race started in 12-14 knots the wind went left; the course was 010 with a 1.3 nautical mile leg length.

In Race 2, Zoe started badly as tactician Mark Vickers explained. ‘We were all a little early on the line and we had no room to run down the line, so we were over early. But we only had to do a quick dip and we were back in the race.’

Zoe took line honours with Quattro and Groove filling the minor placings. But the handicap win went to Quattro, from Zoe and Boudicea, Mike Steel’s Townsville based Dufour 34.

Overall Quattro leads the series from Zoe by a point, with Groove third.

Quattro owner Graham Donnell was smiling dockside. His boat, which in a previous life had performed well in Victoria, as Phil Sempfendorfer’s Veloce, is on song. ‘We are doing OK, but Wayne and his Zoe team are really good sailors. Tomorrow will be a big day.’

In the Performance Handicap Division Race 1, Colin Wilson was well enough today to steer his Lyons 49 Never A Dull Moment to a line honours win, from Charles Wallis’ Reignition, a Murray Burns Dovell 42 formerly owned by founder Graeme Woods. Graham Van Brederode’s Fortified was third.

On handicap Never A Dull Moment took the win from Reignition and Paul Stuart’s Apollo V1.

In Race 2 Never A Dull Moment was again the line honours victor, with Reignition following her some three minutes later. Amaya 11 was approximately seven and a half minutes further back.

On handicap Kachina skippered by Phil McGuire’s claimed the top prize, with Never A Dull Moment and Amaya 11 finishing second and third.

Overall Never a Dull Moment leads the regatta, just a point ahead of Reignition with Kachina third, with Paul Stuart’s Apollo VI in fourth place.

Colin Wilson, full of paracetamol and antibiotics is still battling his chest infection.
Dockside he rasped ‘We were slow yesterday, but today we adjusted the forestay length and we had much more speed.

‘On the second start, just before the start, our starboard wheel steering cable snapped, we lost all steering, and I just managed to get down to the port wheel in time to stop us going over early. So we did the whole race from the port wheel.’

Dockside Townsville sailor Phil Maguire, who won the second race aboard Kachina laughed. ‘We had less problems in the first race, but the crew is coming together well. We were second overall on Performance Racing last year, but there is some way to go yet.’

In the Sports Boat Division Race 1 Leon Thomas’ T7 Guilty Pleasures finished one minute and thirty eight seconds ahead of Townsville rival Patrick Stokes. The T7 Stoked finished second with Michael Unwin’s Colson 8 Fuzzy Logic finishing third.

On handicap it was Stoked who took the win, from Fuzzy Logic and Guilty Pleasures.

Race 2 it was again Guilty Pleasures that was the fastest Sport Boat over the course, with Stoked and Fuzzy Logic following. And on handicap the race belonged to Guilty Pleasures, from Fuzzy Logic and Stoked.

The Overall Sports Boat series leader after three races is Guilty Pleasures one point ahead of Stoked. Fuzzy Logic is a further point back making it a very tight fight for divisional honours.

On the dock Leon Thomas commented ‘We went out aiming to take line honours in both races and we did that. We were pretty hard hit by the handicappers so the bar has been raised.

‘Today there was more pressure on the left; in the first race we made a few bad decisions, and we got a good start in the second race and were rewarded as we played the shifts better in that race.’

The Cruising fleets sailed the 15.1 nm race to White Rock and return.

In the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1, Don Algie’s Warwick 66 Storm 2 was quickest around the course, followed by Kevin Horne’s Salona 45 J&J Design/AD Boats Ltd Zora 1, with Bob Robertson’s Bavaria Cruiser On Location, third.

While the breeze was blowing at six-eight knots at the start of the race, at White Rock it dropped away before Storm 2 ghosted around, it was almost glass, just three-five knots, and the fleet compressed with the back markers bringing in pressure.

On the way home it was soft until the new breeze arrived at Orchard Rocks.

Overall in the division the honours currently lie with Paul Wise’s Instant Karma, with Zora 1 second and On Location third, by virtue of a count back.

Bob Robertson was his usual sunny self, as he enjoyed a quiet ale on the back of On Location. ‘A tough day at the office - as we closed on White Rock we sailed into a soft patch, but the smaller boats brought pressure down to us.

‘But we are having a great time, last night’s presentation party reminded me of the early Hamilton Island regatta, 20 years ago, smaller and very friendly.’

In the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2, the passage race line honours came down to the wire, with Seduction, Richard Nicol’s Lidgard just grabbing the win by twenty three seconds from Farrago, Phil McCutcheon’s Farr 1104. Magic, Doug Ryan’s Farr 1104 was a further three minutes and forty seconds further back.

On handicap Farrago was the winner, from Zen, Jack Maguire’s Cavalier 35, with Magic third. Magic leads the division Overall, from Farrago and Seduction.

In the Cruising Non Spinnaker Division Aussie Rules, the Beneteau Oceanis 500 skippered by Dick Cerny, led the fleet over the finishing line. Planet Peugeot, Alison Smith’s Bavaria 50 was second, with Andrew Burford’s Tucana (Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2) third.

On handicap the win went to Bob Kimlin’s Adams Mottle, Vantage from Providence V, an elegant Gloustershire Topsail Schooner, skippered by Grant Lewis.

Overall, this division sees Vantage at the top of the leader board, with Aussie Rules and Starkers, Alan Stark’s Catalina 350, tied on seven points.

The Multihull Division also sailed the White Rock Race with The Boat, Graeme Etherton’s Crowther Catamaran finishing ahead of Mal Tynan’s Schionning Signature Catamaran, Barbarella. Shaun Watson’s Fusion 40 Catamaran Slinky Cat was third. However, today Barbarella took the handicap win from The Boat and Slinky Cat. Overall, Barbarella leads from The Boat and Slinky Cat.

For more information contact: or

Photos: George Hirst

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Beautiful shapes on the Bay
Sylvia Hayes
September 6th 2009
Fantastic photos George! I'm sending this to Yachtie friends down south who'll appreciate all the nautical terms!
chris copping
September 7th 2009
Good stuff George
mhaye bryant
November 10th 2009
ived read your article and im 1 of the friends of paul stuart...goodluck to you guys keep it up

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