Karpak got away to the best start at with a 3, 2 scoreline, leaving him at the top of the fleet, on a day when many sailors picked up wildly different scores as the wind played tricks.

Gusts of up to 250km an hour and a storm surge of up to 4 metres are predicted.

Early interest has already been registered by teams from Australia, Great Britain and Germany.

Communities between Lucinda and St Lawrence, including Townsville, Bowen and Mackay, may experience gales in the next 24 hours, with the Whitsundays and surrounding coastal islands among the first areas to be impacted.

Despite a two hour postponement, two races were completed on the fourth and final day of the Championships in 5 – 7 knots.

The Kiwi team defeated local skipper Matt Jerwood 3-0 in the finals.

With one day of racing to go, Team Beau Geste has a perfect score card and a guaranteed podium finish.

With two days of windward/leewards to go, Team Beau Geste holds a comfortable lead on IRC.

Australians Matt Jerwood, Torvar Mirsky and David Gilmour all made it into the semi-finals.

Communities between Cape Tribulation and Proserpine should prepare for a potential crossing anytime between late Sunday and early Tuesday, but the most likely scenario is for the cyclone to make landfall between Cairns and Townsville on Monday.

Earlier in the day Steve Thomas, also of Royal Perth Yacht Club, had become a giant slayer, eliminating Tour Card holder Nicolai Sehested in three straight races, to join yesterday’s local qualifiers David Gilmour and Matt Jerwood.

With a solid 15 – 20 knots of breeze in a sea state that resembled that of a dishwasher, sailors needed to strategise how best to complete the near 30 mile passage race to Botany Bay and back.

District Shift Supervisor Jesse Mowat said the skipper of the boat admitted to police he had been drinking, however couldn't confirm if alcohol had caused the incident.

"Communities in North Queensland should begin their preparations now, stay tuned for the latest official forecasts and warnings from the Bureau and follow the advice of local emergency services."

Williams and his GAC Pindar Team were never really in the game, with Matt Jerwood’s Redline Racing leading all three races from start to finish.