Magnetic Island Race Week

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 Magnetic Island Race Week

Magnetic Island Race Week 2010 – The fourth annual regatta came down to the wire today.

The last and for many divisions the deciding day of the fourth annual Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week 2010 started under beautiful blue skies with an eight to ten knots east nor east breeze blowing.

At the last two Magnetic Island series Townsville sailor Leon Thomas has scored two second places. In 2008 Guilty Pleasures was second on IRC behind Wayne Millar’s Zoe and in 2009 she was second in the Sports Class behind Patrick Stokes’ Stoked. In the first ever Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week his boat was sunk on the start line and could not compete.

The IRC and Performance Racing divisions were sent to race windward/leewards in Cleveland Bay.

At the gun the chartered Sydney 38 Zen (Peter Sorensen), at that stage second in the regatta, got another good start and headed to the left where she got a nice shift to lead at the top mark.

The breeze lifted to ten knots and was building, as at the bottom mark for the first time, Zen lead Guilty Pleasures III, Leon Thomas’ Farr 30, the overall series leader and Wayne Millar’s Zoe, in a lumpy seaway.

Yesterday evening dockside Sorensen said ‘Tomorrow we will be looking for more pressure to push the Farr 30 Guilty Pleasures III down the results list and give us the points gap to allow us to take out the regatta.’

And push he did. Zen lead Zoe round the top mark with Guilty Pleasures well back today. A possible change on the Overall event leader board looked possible as Zen had the momentum in this race.

Zoe split gybed and headed to the right looking for an advantage over her rivals. Zen lost ground on the left and possibly lost her chance to peg back Guilty Pleasures III, as the red shirted Farr 30 pushed towards the line.

Further back in the IRC fleet Jeffrey Brown’s 007 from the Whitsunday Sailing Club took a long time to get through Tracey and Gary McCarthy’s Brilliant Pearl and Belinda Cooper’s Groove. Brilliant Pearl picked the shifts well and hung onto 007 finishing just nine seconds back.

On handicap Zen won from Guilty Pleasures III with Brilliant Pearl third.

Going into the final IRC race, the series decider, Zen and Guilty Pleasures were equal on six points, with Zen leading on a count back.

Possibly a fatal mistake from the former Australian National IRC Champion Sorensen, driving Zen towards the pin on the final race start she was early and out of runway. Sorensen had no choice but to spin back and crossed behind the entire fleet. Zoe led Guilty Pleasures III at the top mark for the first time in this three lap race. Half way down the first run, Zen was buried behind Quattro (Graham Donnell). Heads were down.

Zoe was first to get the new breeze and extended her lead. Behind her Zen had just squeaked past Guilty Pleasures III but with the race half over Guilty Pleasures III was well ahead of Zen on handicap. If the Townsville skipper Thomas could avoid any mistakes it would be victory at last.

Across the line Zoe won from Guilty Pleasures III, with Zen third. On handicap Guilty Pleasures won the race as expected, Brilliant Pearl came second ahead of 007 and Zen was fourth.

The Overall results in IRC Grand Prix Division revealed Leon Thomas on his Farr 30 Guilty Pleasures III had won the Division. The skipper from the Townsville Cruising Yacht Club finished three points ahead of Peter Sorensen on board the Sydney 38 Zen, with Wayne Millar and his Townsville crew on Zoe completing the IRC podium.

Tracey and Gary McCarthy on their Beneteau 34.7 Brilliant Pearl from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club came home strongly today finishing with a 3,2 to take fourth place in the regatta.

Dockside Leon Thomas was very pleased. ‘It’s been a long road. My crew have been great and they deserve all the credit for this win. We have enjoyed the battle, we were lucky to have perfect conditions for our 30 footer this week.’

Peter Sorensen was obviously disappointed to have come so close, but not quite made it across the line. ‘My mistake on the start line and it was all over.

‘However we’ve really enjoyed the competition and we are keen to be back in 2011.’

In the Performance Racing Division Race 1 Dennis Coleman’s Blazer 23 Diva had her first series handicap win from Michael Roper’s Ropabull ahead of Doug Ryan’s Magic.

In Race 2 Phillip McGuire’s Kachina won on handicap, with Donovan Deem’s Let It Ride all the way from Western Australia second and Doug Ryan’s Magic, third.

Overall, however it was Mick Roper onboard Ropabull who took top honours in the Performance Racing Division. He piped Patrick Stokes’ Stoked at the post, with Amaya 11 (Peter Boxall) third.

The Cruising with Spinnaker and Cruising with Non Spinnaker Divisions were set course 25, the 16.5 nautical mile Launs Beach race, without a clearing mark. The picturesque course starts in Nelly Bay and heads across to Launs Beach across the shipping channel turns at the Q mark, with Orchid Rocks visible in the distance. At the turning mark, the wind had lifted to 10-12 knots. Whales had been reported in the area this morning, a common site in the waters around Magnetic Island at this time of year.

Don Algie’s Storm 2 finished the race taking line honours in Cruising Division 1 in a softening seven knot breeze. The balance of the fleet came down under spinnaker enjoying the sunshine and the bay scenery.

On line honours Cyclone (Stephen Keal) finished in second place ahead of George Snow’s Argo Blue.

In Cruising Division 2 Fortified (Graham van Brederode) took line honours ahead of Redline with Upshot in third place.

In the Multihull class Mal Tynan’s Barberella took line honours ahead of Italina ( John Bohle) with School’s Out (Bryan Beutel) third. School’s Out clearly enjoyed their day as they returned to the marina with wide smiles and blasting out their theme song, what else but ‘School’s Out’ forever.

In the Non Spinnaker division Esprit, beat Aussie Rules on line honours with the series leader Peggy third.

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