Magnetic Island North Queensland
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September 8th 2009
The race around The Rock

Spinnakers off Bremner Point Yesterday saw the big event for the Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week: the race around The Rock (Magnetic Island). Following is the report on the race by Rob Kothe and Al Constable from

Four days of sunshine and light breezes for the record 49 boat fleet sailing in the third annual Sunferries Magnetic Island Regatta.

Today's race was the feature event for Race Week 2009 and, Regatta Director Denis Thompson sent the full fleet on the Round Island 20.8 nautical mile course.

In the IRC Division Wayne Millar’s Zoe was fastest around the course in 3 hours, 37 minutes and 29 seconds. Townsville rival Graham Donnell’s Quattro was second and Belinda Cooper’s Groove was third.

On handicap Quattro won the day from Zoe and Mike Steel’s Boudicea.

Overall in the IRC Division, Quattro leads Zoe by two points, with Groove third.

Quattro skipper Graham Donnell commented ‘It seemed like a long way today; it was tough to keep the boat going in the sloppy seas. At least the wind held in well.

‘It was hard work; shifty upwind and hard work to hold the kites but it was good fun.’

Perhaps the defining moment of the regatta was when Zoe gambled, hoisting a kite off West Point. She quickly soaked down into Liver Point and took a long time to climb back up the rhumbline. Behind her the Quattro crew did not make the same mistake. Perhaps that was Game, Set and Regatta Match?

Line honours in Performance Racing went to Never A Dull Moment, Colin Wilson’s Lyons 49. Second was Charles Wallis Reignition from the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Fortified, Graham Van Brederode’s Bavaria Match 35 was second.

Colin Wilson’s Lyons 49 Never a Dull Moment took Overall race line honours.

Dockside Wilson, said ‘a good race, very soft around the back of the Island but we had good speed when the breeze picked up.

‘In the Western Channel we close tacked along the sandy shoreline. I suspect we were stupid rather than brave, we were right on the shallows but we got through...just.’

The southern sailor cannot speak highly enough about this regatta.

‘Today was another perfect day. The back of the Island was pretty amazing, the granite cliffs are spectacular and today we saw a sea eagle with a sea snake in its claws.

‘Seven of our crew, who were due to fly out on Wednesday, are staying longer - they are having such a great time. This is the most affordable regatta on the national circuit; it’s just a pleasure to be here.’

It is very tight for Overall honours. Apollo V1 is first, with Reignition second on count back. Never A Dull Moment is third, by way of a count back from Kachina.

The Sports Boat fleet enjoyed a wild and wet ride around Magnetic Island. The adrenalin was pumping as Guilty Pleasures, Leon Thomas T7 from Townsville crossed the line just 44 seconds ahead of Patrick Stokes, Stoked. Michael Unwin’s Fuzzy Logic was third.

On handicap, Stoked won today from Fuzzy Logic and Guilty Pleasures.

Another close fight for Overall divisional honours with Stoked leading Guilty Pleasures by one point. Fuzzy Logic is a further one point further back.

Patrick Stokes previously crew on Guilty Pleasures, is enjoying showing his former skipper the ropes. He was all smiles this afternoon. ‘We are absolutely stoked to be leading the regatta. Guilty Pleasures did well on the upwind beat, but we were pleased to take back her gains on the reach and the run.'

In Cruising with Spinnaker Division 1, Don Algie’s Storm 2 continued its clean sweep again taking line honours. Seaduction, skippered by Brian Pattinson was second, with Bob Robertson’s On Location third.

On handicap Windsong, Rob Starkey’s Holland 46 from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Pittwater, took its first win in the series. Delphian, John Sloan’s McIntosh 47 with kangaroo mascot aboard was second, with John Finch’s Warrigal, a Finch 40, was third. Overall On Location leads from Instant Karma and Warrigal.

Very close racing in the Cruising with Spinnaker Division 2 today. The line honours win was eventually secured by Richard Nichols Seaduction, just one minute and eight seconds ahead of Doug Ryan’s Magic, with Phil McCutcheon’s Farrago, just thirty six seconds later.

Farrago took the overall handicap win in the division from Magic. Jeni Anne, John Phelan’s Elan Impression 344 made her first podium debut of the series, finishing in third place.

Overall Farrago is leading from Magic on a count back with Seaduction third.

Planet Peugeot, Alison Smith’s Bavaria 50 from the UK took the line honours win in the Cruising Non Spinnaker division, from Dick Cerny’s Beneteau Oceanis 500 Aussie Rules. Tucana, Andrew Burford’s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 was third.

The handicap placings were the same; Planet Peugeot from Aussie Rules and Tucana.

Aussie Rules leads the division overall, with Vantage and Starkers both tied on 12 points. Vantage currently holds second by way of a count back.

First day Cruising Non-spinnaker winner Mackay boat Spindrift did not have such a great day today. She was tacking along Pallerenda shore, attempting to stay out of the running tide when she ran aground on a falling tide. The skipper of the sturdily built wooden sloop decided to stay put and refloat on the next tide, rather than risk damage being dragged from the sand.

The Multihull division is always tight and today was no exception. Graeme Etherton’s The Boat took line honours today from Mal Tynan’s Barbarella and Shaun Watson’s Slinky Cat.

Barbarella took the handicap win from The Boat and Slinky Cat.

Mal Tynan commented 'We needed a little more breeze. We were sailing hot angles, with our hot pink kite. A lovely day on the water.'

Overall The Boat leads from Barbarella and Slinky Cat.

Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week 2009 has already been pronounced a great success by some of the top southern sailors. Mooloolaba Yacht Club Commodore Bob Robertson said yesterday ‘This regatta is going to grow and grow. It has all the best elements of the Whitsunday regattas, exciting new sailing waters and the locals are very welcoming.’

Colin Wilson, the Commodore of Kiama Yacht Club said today. ‘Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week is definitely a winner. It’s a great formula; great sailing waters, a really good venue and affordable accommodation all across the island, meaning it’s a great opportunity for family holidays, and the spring weather is amazing.’

There has been lots of good sailing and lots of good parties this week. The Sunferries spectator boats on Saturday and Sunday offered everyone the chance to enjoy the racing from an on-water vantage point, and the Race Week shore side party over spilled the deck at Peppers Blue on Blue resort on Saturday night.

Story: Rob Kothe and Al Constable -
Photos: George Hirst

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

The race around The Rock
September 7th 2009
I think this event certainly added colour and movement to "Maggie" - it even managed to bring the 'Mary (aka Marie) Celeste' otherwise known as Peppers Restaurant to life! Amazing!
Rick Gale
September 8th 2009
I live in England, but I have been to magnetic island when I was a young fella. Looks rather nice. But if I lived there now I wouldn't be able to go to Villa Park, Birmingham to watch my heroes.
Thank you
Jenny Simonds
September 8th 2009
Keep your Villa Park Rick you need it Im sure to compensate for living in the rain. But thanks Maggie Times for sharing with us just how beautiful that Island of yours is. I live in Melbourne and need my dose of the Times to keep my dream alive of one day joining you. Holidays aren't enough! Ta George the photos are excellent and good luck guys with getting rid of the plastic bags.
Rick Gale
September 14th 2009
It doesn't rain that much here. Sometimes we have hose pipe bans. Got lots of relos in Melbourne and in laws at Mount Eliza. Lived in Stralia for three years in the 70's. Loved it. Heaven only knows why we came back. Such is life.
Thank you

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