Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The wild weather last week has been and gone, but for the Whitsunday Sailing Club sailors, it was a very reduced fleet who ventured on the water on Wednesday afternoon for the club’s twilight race.
Only eight boats accepted the challenge to compete in conditions which included violent rainstorms, minimal visibility and wind gusts in excess of 30 knots.
With only four boats on the starting line for the Division 2 start, there was plenty of space, with Bobby’s Girl (Mark Beale) leading the fleet away, maintaining that lead throughout the race.
At the windward mark, Bobby’s Girl held a comfortable lead over Reignition (Charles Wallis), with Smooth Criminal (Iyas Shaheen) and Wide Load (Shannan Hart) behind. The gybe mark got interesting when the fleet arrived with zero visibility and a strong squall.
The first boats all chose to forego the gybe in favour of a granny turn, a new experience for many of the crew. Somehow the fleet managed to find the rounding marks and the finishing line, with Bobby’s Girl crossing the finish line almost six minutes ahead of Reignition, with Smooth Criminal a further two minutes back.
On corrected time this lead was reduced to two minutes over Reignition, with Wide Load a further 20 seconds back.
Division 3 also saw four boats on the starting line, with Rossgo (Greg Hammon) leading the fleet away, despite a halyard failure shortly before the start.
After a slow start, Matchless (Terry Stevens) took the lead on the water, gradually pulling away from Shiraz (John Cable) and Rossgo.
After surviving the first lap, Lighthorse (Di Forster) called time and headed ashore, leaving the others to battle the elements.
Matchless completed the course in 47 minutes, leading Shiraz home by five minutes with Rossgo a further two minutes back. On corrected time, Shiraz took the honours by 30 seconds over Matchless with Rossgo one minute off the pace.
The monthly prizes went to Bobby’s Girl and Matchless.
Races continue every Wednesday from 4:30pm, with limited crewing positions available. Those wishing to participate as crew need to be at the club by 2:30 pm (limited spots available).
Contributed with thanks to Ross Chisholm.
Bobby’s Girl looming out of the rain. Photo supplied