Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Whitsunday Sailing Report

What a difference a week makes.  Last week it was raining and uncomfortable, but this Wednesday just passed provided a 12 knot easterly breeze, flat seas, and a stunning Whitsunday sunset.  It couldn’t get any better for the 105 sailors, on 19 yachts, who participated in the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s twilight race.

A very close start saw QMS Ponyo (John Galloway) leading the fleet away with Smooth Criminal (Leo Rodriguez) right on their tail.  A poor start by Wide Load (Shannan Hart) saw them first to tack in toward the shore, a move that didn’t work, leaving them trailing the fleet for the whole race.  At the first mark of the course, Bobby’s Girl (Mark Beale) snuck through to take a slender lead over QMS Ponyo, gradually increasing the gap as the race progressed, finishing just 1 minute ahead, with Smooth Criminal a further 11 seconds back.  On corrected time, Twister (Kevin Fogarty) took the honours over Treasure VIII (Rob Davis) and Houdini (Robert Meizer).

For the second week in a row, Lighthorse (Di Forster) led the fleet away, but it was Wobbly Boot (Craig Piccinelli) and Matchless (Terrence Stevens) neck and neck after the first lap, with Aquatarius (Tom Parker) running third. Behind them, Rossgo (Greg Hammon) was ahead of Masquerade (Tom Vujasinovic), Shiraz (John Cable) and Lighthorse.  On the next lap, things changed at the front, with Aquatarius passing both of the boats in front to take the lead by 1 minute over Matchless who overtook Wobbly Boot just before the finish.  On corrected time, Aquatarius took the honours by 21 seconds over Shiraz, with Norbert G (Ghigo Casalini) 20 seconds further back in third.

A delayed start by Malice (Graham & Clayton Matthews) allowed G’nome (Terry Archer) to lead the multihulls for much of the race before Malice took the lead.  The 30 odd seconds delay at the start was probably the difference as, on corrected time, G’nome won by 31 seconds.

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). Full results are available at

Contributed with thanks to Ross Chisholm.

Reignition under full power

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