Thursday, January 18, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Although the threat of rain prevailed during the day, by the time that the fleet of 14 yachts lined up for the start of the weekly Whitsunday Sailing Club twilight race, a 10 knot south easterly breeze complemented the cloudy, but dry skies.
The fleet bunched up as they approached the starting line for the first start, with firstly Smooth Criminal (Leo Rodriguez) and then Matchless (Terry Stevens) bailing out to avoid other boats. This left just Bobby’s Girl (Mark Beale) as the sole premature starter, needing to return around the committee boat. This allowed Treasure VIII (Rob Davis) and QMS Ponyo (John Galloway) to lead the fleet away from the start. By the end of lap 1, Smooth Criminal held a slender lead over Bobby’s Girl, Little Black Jack (Karen Evans) and QMS Ponyo. As the fleet continued on the second lap, Little Black Jack made their move into the lead as Treasure VIII opened the gap to Wide Load (Shannan Hart) as they closed the gap to the boats ahead. At the finish, Little Black Jack took the honours, while a misjudged tack caused Smooth Criminal to hit the finishing mark and retire from the race. On corrected time QMS Ponyo took home the chocolates by one second ahead of Wide Load with Treasure VIII just 5 seconds back in third.
The Division 3 start was much more placid, with Shiraz (John Cable) making easy work of taking the Doyle Sails sponsored best start prize. Behind them Rossgo (Greg Hammon) and Riff Raff (Dan White) changed places several times during the race before Riff Raff finally got the upper hand, finishing a credible 85 seconds behind the faster Shiraz. Rossgo finished a further 20 seconds back. That result worked well for Riff Raff, taking the corrected time win over Norbert G (Mireille Morcos) and Rossgo.
The SML Prize, sponsored by Whitsunday Industrial Services, went to Shiraz, while the weekly special prize, sponsored by Soft Rigging solutions, went to Treasure VIII. In the teams event, the Blue Team (Bobby’s Girl, Wide Load and Shiraz) took the daily honours over Yellow, Purple and Green teams, all in equal second place.
The Whitsunday Sailing Club twilight series continues every Wednesday with racing commencing at 4:30. Limited crewing positions may be available. Those wishing to participate as crew need to be at the club by 2:30 pm (limited spots available). Full results are available at https://app.sailsys.com.au/club/85/profile?tab=results.
Contributed with thanks to the Whitsunday Sailing Club.