Fleet has a wild time
TWILIGHT SERIES: A wild and blustery afternoon saw a smaller than usual fleet competing in the Whitsunday Sailing Club's weekly twilight race around Pioneer Bay.
Due to the windy conditions, the race committee had difficulty anchoring the boat which forms one end of the starting line, causing a number of delays in getting the racing under way.
After a third attempt, the Division 2 fleet, somewhat impatient, approached the starting line early, with the result that four of the five boats started prematurely.
While three of these boats returned, Reignition, skippered by Charles Wallis, failed to do so, subsequently retiring from the race.
Once they were under way, and with Reignition out of contention, Rob Davis in Treasure VIII worked forward, catching up to Kevin Fogarty's Twister by the time they reached the second rounding mark, then increased their lead.
Not so fortunate was John Galloway in QMS, who never recovered from the forced restart, finishing third, with the smaller Treasure VI, skippered by Terry Stevens, further behind.
However, the delays at the start gave Twister enough of a head start to ensure that she clearly won the corrected time result, with the Treasures finishing second and third, Treasure VIII holding the advantage by 17 seconds.
The competitors in Division 3 were better behaved, with all boats getting away to a clean start.
Perfect timing by Shannan Hart in High Tide saw them within inches of the starting line to take the Doyle Sails-sponsored best start award.
However, the race at the front turned into a close battle between Carol Roberts' Infarrction and Dan White's Riff Raff, crewed as usual by a number of backpackers and visitors.
While Infarrction had the advantage up wind, Riff Raff continued to close the gap on the reaching legs.
With an upwind finish, advantage was to Infarrction by 27 seconds, with High Tide almost two minutes behind in third place.
On corrected time, taking into account the relative speed differences between the boats, Riff Raff finished well ahead, with Dewi Hughes, sailing Anthea, second and Infarrction third.