2018 progam now online
Race 1 25th Feb
What a great day for a race to Keswick Island it was. 5 boats from Mackay Yacht Club lined up at the entrance to the harbour for a 1000 Hr start. With around 8 Knots of wind from the Nor-Nor-East, it looked like ideal conditions. After a quick getaway by Mistery and The Poacher, the race to Slade Rock buoy was on. Matangi, a bit slow getting away, worked her way up to second by the first mark, followed by Mistery, Cool Change and Trivial Pursuit not far behind.
The course then took us to a “Virtual Gate”, having to sail between two virtual buoys along the way. This turned into an interesting battle of navigation and tactics, with each boat having a different strategy. Mistery headed off toward Brampton Island, Trivial Pursuit played the rum line, while Cool Change went the easterly route. The two leaders headed straight out to sea, but then had to battle tide to get back to the gate. In the meantime, Mistery gradually disappeared over the horizon…
At the gate, The Poacher was first through the virtual gate, and very considerately left the gate open for the rest of the fleet. The fleet then followed through in the order Matangi, Trivial Pursuit, Cool Change and Mistery. From here, it was slightly sprung sheets to Hesket Rock, to the South East of St Bees Island. Trivial Pursuit called it a day at this stage and headed ashore, as the fridge stopped working and the beer was getting warm.
Hesket Rock was the next obstacle, with all boats reporting difficulty with the tide and wind, needing several attempts to get past. By this time, the tide was ripping, causing a slow trip to the east of St Bees. Finally, coming around the corner, boats could then fly spinnakers, and with tide behind, enter Egremont Passage to the finish.
Once anchored, refreshed and rehydrated, crew were ferried ashore by our hosts, Brett and Sandy, for after race drinks and a BBQ dinner with music. Eventually everyone got back to the boats for the night.
After rocking and rolling all night, the fleet then headed back to Mackay for a hard earned rest.
Final results: 1st The Poacher (John Foster), 2nd Matangi (Dave Turnbull), 3rd Cool Change (Bob Critchley), 4th Mistery (Bill Hopton).
Thanks to the team at Keswick, it was a great weekend. We are already planning next year’s event, which will be bigger and better.