With a light easterly breeze forecast, a fleet of 18 boats came prepared for a slow race around the waters of Pioneer Bay in the latest Whitsunday Sailing Club Twilight Race. With a total of 109 crew spread across the fleet, the twilight races are one of the largest weekly sporting events in the Whitsundays. The fleet is split into 3 divisions subject to the size and performance of each boat.
The first division away were the faster racing yachts, with Treasure VIII (Rob Davis) leading the fleet away. At the first rounding mark, Reignition (Charles Wallis) held a slender lead over Smooth Criminal (Iyas Shaheen) and Bobby’s Girl (Mark Beale). By the time they reached the end of the first lap, these three boats were close together, allowing Bobby’s Girl to sneak through as the lead positions reversed by the finish. On corrected time, Reignition took the honours from Smooth Criminal and Bobby’s Girl.
The next division away saw Rossgo (Greg Hammon) take the lead from the start, taking with them the Doyle Sails sponsored best start prize, but there was no stopping Matchless (Terry Stevens) as they sailed away from the fleet. The light winds kept the fleet close together, with Aquatarius (Tom Parker), Shiraz (John Cable) and Rossgo in close proximity throughout, with Masquerade (Tom Vujasinovic) also joining in the action. Matchless crossed the finishing line 6 minutes ahead of their rivals, but that was only good enough for 4th place on corrected time, with the handicap win going to Norbert G (Ghigo Casalini) from Rossgo and Lighthorse (Di Forster).
The final group to start were the multihulls, with G’nome (Terry Archer) leading the fleet for a start to finish win. Hot on their tail was Fangerang (Hayden Turnbull), with little to separate these boats on the water. KayCee (William Richards) made up the third boat, unable to match the quicker, lighter boats on the water, but good enough to come in second on corrected time, just 15 seconds short of G’nome.
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 (limited spots available).