It is clear that the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s weekly twilight race is one of the most popular events at Airlie Beach with last week’s event attracting 19 boats and 122 people participating in the race. Held every Wednesday afternoon, it brings together sailors and non-sailors alike, with the opportunity to compete in a yacht race.
Fortunately the Whitsundays usually brings excellent sailing conditions with blue skies and just enough wind. Wednesday fitted that description perfectly.
In the first start, the fleet were perfectly matched, with Houdini (Robert Meizer) leading the fleet away to the first mark. By the time he got there, Bobby’s Girl (Mark Beale), QMS Ponyo (John Galloway) and Smooth Criminal (Leo Rodriguez) were already around and gone. Reignition (Charles Wallis) soon joined the leaders for a 4 way race at the front. Bobby’s Girl maintained her lead by 1 minute over QMS Ponyo by the time they reached the shortened course finishing line, with Smooth Criminal a further 30 seconds back. On corrected time, Wide Load (Shannan Hart) took the overall honours.
The start for Division 3 was a bit more exciting as Wobbly Boot (Craig Piccinelli) jumped the start but failed to respond to the recall, leaving Rossgo (Greg Hammon) to pick up the Doyle Sails sponsored best start prize. On the race track, Aquatarius (Tom Parker) took the lead over the battle between Matchless (Terrence Stevens) and Wobbly Boot, who was disqualified from the results. Hot on their tails was Fordplay (Grant Ford) just ahead of the mid fleet pack. On corrected time, Lama (Heather Sutton) took the honours from Fordplay and Aquatarius.
In the multihull division, M32 (Michael Van Der Zwaard) sprinted away from the start, with G’nome (Terry Archer) in pursuit. On the water, M32 is a much faster boat, which the handicapping system normally brings back into line. With the shortened course, they ended with a trifecta of best start, line honours and handicap win.
Full results are available at https://app.sailsys.com.au/club/85/profile?tab=results. Races start from 4:30pm each Wednesday afternoon, so those wishing to participate as crew need to be at the club by 2:30 pm.