Tasar elite battles off Airlie

THE Sail Iceberg 37th Tasar National Championships got underway at Whitsunday Sailing Club last Sunday.

The practice race was held in 15 knot winds on Pioneer Bay. Current national champions Shane Guanaria and Mel Rippe from NSW won this race, setting the scene for a great series.

Whitsunday sailors Aaron Linton and Jamie Jochheim won the first heat on Monday and were unlucky to be disqualified in the second heat that day for being judged over the start line.

Tuesday saw another two heats being sailed in pleasant winds.

In the fourth race, brothers Keiran and Dane Mouldey from Tinaroo Sailing Club came second in a very competitive fleet.

Another Tinaroo crew Scott Cant and Michael Overland came seventh in the first heat and second in the third race.

The current leaders are world champions Rob and Nicole Douglass from Bateman's Bay, NSW.

Twelve Queensland crews are competing, including the regatta's naming rights sponsors, the owners of the Iceberg cruising yacht. Luke Mairs is sailing with partner Isabelle Diabold, while his parents, Bill and Jenny Mairs, are sailing together.

There are 94 yachts competing in the championships, with several crews eligible for masters and grand masters categories.

The competitors are enjoying the Whitsunday waters, according to Australian Tasar Council president Mike Paynter.

“This is one of the best sailing venues that the Tasar class has been to for many years, with southern crews enjoying the warm weather and consistent winds at Airlie Beach,” he said.

Racing was suspended yesterday for a lay day when crews will visit the islands and outer reef.

Racing resumes with three heats today. It concludes this Saturday.

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