The Sail Iceberg 2011 NQ Easter Regatta, hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club couldn’t have taken place on a better weekend. Conditions were perfect - with clear skies and fair breezes gradually building over the duration of the regatta.
43 boats turned up to take part in this year’s Easter Regatta, with a strong Laser division and a big turnout of junior sailors in Sabots, Optimists and O’pen bics. Five Tasars also took to the water, racing on yardstick in the “Mixed Monos” division against Corsairs and an RS Feva.
This year saw a division of RS100’s compete for the first time in the Whitsundays. The division was filled out with four boats, including one sailed by Performance Sailcraft’s Nathan Ellis, who was on hand to promote the RS100 class as well as lend a hand to some of our Laser sailors.
Unfortunately the numbers in the Catamaran division were down on previous years, due to many of Queensland’s Nacra sailors being away at the Nacra state titles in Bundaberg. Two catamarans – a Hobie Tiger and a Tornado – took to the water to enjoy increasingly faster races as the wind built over the weekend.
Day one started sailors off gently with glorious clear skies and gentle 8-10 knot breezes for the afternoon’s two races.
The trend toward light wind continued the next day with morning racing being postponed until the wind picked back up to 10 knots and settled in direction. This time sailors sailed two shortened courses before returning to the water in the afternoon for one full, and one short course race. By this time the wind had picked up nicely with 12 – 15 knots providing some more pace downwind.
Day three saw plenty of excitement! In the morning 15 – 18 knot winds with a healthy dose of Pioneer Bay’s trademark shifts and bullets kept sailors on their toes – and from time-to-time tipped them into the water!
Plenty of weary (and hungry) faces could be seen at lunch - and with the wind building some decided to relax for the afternoon rather than punish themselves in the bigger gusts. The two afternoon races were held in winds of 18 – 20 knots with gusts up to 25 knots providing some very exciting reaches to and from the wing mark!
In the Catamaran division, Brendan Effeny, sailing the Hobie Tiger, took out first place over the team in the Tornado.
In the RS100 division Nathan Ellis showed his form by taking out first place in all but one race - where Guy Chester from Tinaroo crossed the line first. Second place was a very close call with Mike Tolley finishing one point ahead of fellow Tinaroo sailor Guy Chester. Special note was made at the presentations of the terrific effort put in by fourth placed Jack Chester, who despite many capsizes kept on going.
Prizes were awarded to Laser sailors in two “divisions” – one being the full and radial rigs, and the other being the 4.7’s. Chris Connell, who had travelled all the way from the Gold Coast to take part was the clear winner in the full rig division with a swag of first and second places. Whitsunday sailor Dan Townsend, having only recently stepped into a Laser 4.7 took out the 4.7 division.
When viewed as a single division, the result between Chris and Dan was incredibly close – with the two of them tied on points and Chris taking out first place on countback!
In the laser full/radial division, Bowen’s Tony Buckingham took out second place, followed by Whitsunday’s Steve Townsend. Second place in the 4.7 division was taken by Kevin Noonan, while third went to Ben Osborne from Mackay.
The Mixed Mono division was won by Bill and Jenny Mairs in their Tasar, winning narrowly over Bruce Carter, Jim Hayes and Anne Clark who placed second in their Corsair. Daniel Scott and Steve Gibson took out third place in their Tasar.
There was plenty of close racing in the Junior fleet, with the Sabots dominating early on and the Optimists moving up the field as the wind strength increased over the regatta.
The juniors raced in two divisions - with the younger sailors sailing a shorter course. In the first division on overall yardstick, Emma Barsi took out first place with Jack Turnbull and Cain Williams in second and third place respectively.
Prizes were also awarded to the first, second and third Division 1 Optimists, with Eva Lorenz in first, followed by Brendan Hoffman and Ollie Annear in second and third.
Of the Division 1 Sabots, Emma Barsi won first place with Jack Turnbull, Chris Barsi and Jamie Torplund in second, third and fourth.
Prizes were also awarded to Division 1 sailors on a personal handicap basis, where any sailors who had one a place in the yardstick competition ineligible. Taking out the top spot in the personal handicap was Tim Fryer, followed by Dane Bulder and Lucy Osborne.
In Division 2, overall yardstick, Aidan Gummow took first, followed by John Hatfield (and crew) and Samuel Smith in second and third place.
The Whitsunday Sailing Club would like to extend a huge thank-you to the volunteers (both on and off) the water who helped make this regatta a success.
Thanks to our P.R.O Tim Parker for an excellent regatta, and a big thank-you to volunteer Shannon Hart who set the courses and was on hand in the safety boat. Joining Tim on the start boat were volunteers Andrew and Heidi, and (on the final day) competitor Kevin Noonan lent a hand.
Running the junior courses were: Jeremy Cooper, with Amthony Hoffman, Dave and Gayna Turnbull, Jim Barsi, John Hatfield (snr), Jeff Osborne and Grey Annear all lending a hand on-water with course setting, time taking and safety boat duties.
A special mention must be made of our tireless volunteers off the water, with Angela Rae, Tania Watson, Alli Swaine, Jacqueline White, Ian (“Frog”) Davey, Kim Bels and Cheryl juggling many duties in the kitchen and around the regatta.
Bruce Carter helped by organising club charter boats for competitors while Daniel Scott and Steve Gibson lent a hand with the results.
A big thank-you must also go to regatta organisers Jim Hayes and Roger Stewart.
Last but not least: thank-you to all of the competitors for making the trip from various towns along the coast - some even from New South Wales and the Gold Coast! We’re so glad that this year the weather rewarded that travelling with some terrific sailing and some absolutely perfect camping on the waterfront.
See you all next year!