2018 progam now online
Race 1 25th Feb
The Premier Offshore event of the Region, the Advanced Alarms Mackay Whitsunday Offshore Yacht Racing Circuit, was held over the Labour Day long weekend. Boats from Mackay, Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach contested the series. Races were scheduled for Saturday, Mackay to Hamilton Island, Sunday, Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach, and Monday, Airlie Beach to Bowen.
The first leg was held in a fresh south-easterly breeze, making it a 50Nm reach to Hamilton Island. The first boat home was Cool Change (Bob Critchley) from Mackay finishing only 5 hours and eighteen minutes after starting. One hour and twenty minutes later, Sorceress (Eric Smith) was close to the finish and ran aground on reef near Dent Island. Unfortunately they had to start the motor to get the boat free of the reef and had to retire from the race.
Close behind was Shady Tradie (Tommy Jordan) from Mackay, with Matangi (Dave Turnbull) also from Mackay finishing just 39 seconds behind. These two were followed by Crossbow (David Lund) from Airlie Beach a further ten minutes back. A close finish after such a long distance.
On corrected time, Cool Change was the runaway winner, from Shady Tradie and Matangi.
Sunday morning, a light easterly breeze was blowing through the marina and the boats started at 10 am for a race from Hamilton Island, around Pine Island, and then on to Airlie Beach. The yachts sailed around Pine Island in 5 knots of breeze, but then had to sail down the Molle Passage with very patchy wind all the way. Spirit of the Maid (Bruce Absalon) from Hamilton Island, chose to go between Long Island and the mainland, hoping for the tide to push the boat through Long Island Sound quickly, but the wind died completely in that area and they were forced to retire after being becalmed for an hour. Shady Tradie was sharing the lead with Reignition (Charles Wallis) as they approached Daydream Island, when the tide pushed them the wrong side of the island! They managed to get around the island after more than two hours!
Reignition went on to finish the race first with Crossbow sailing a great race to finish second, and Sorceress, Matangi and Hamilton Mentor (Roen Quinn) from Hamilton Island finishing close behind. There was a large gap then to the rest of the fleet.
The winners on corrected time were Reignition, followed by Crossbow and Sorceress.
Race 3 had to be cancelled due to a lack of wind, so the result after two races was 1st place - Crossbow, 2nd place - Matangi, 3rd place - Cool Change.
Thankyou to our main sponsor - Advanced Alarms Mackay, and to our support sponsors - Whitsunday Industrial Sewing, Doyle Sails and Ullman Sails Whitsunday.