Articulate Airlie Beach Doyle Loft sail maker, Charles Wallis, and his sailing mate, Seddon Cripps, will fly the Whitsunday Sailing Club burgee at the prestigious international China Cup regatta later this month.
Both sailors first started their careers in distant countries. Charles Wallis is an Englishman and Seddon Cripps is a South African. However they are now proud to be known as tropical shirt sailors who call Australia and the Whitsundays home.
Their collective experience is well documented as the co-owner skippers of the Iain Murray, Ian Burns and Andy Dovell designed sloop Re-Ignition, winner of the 2008 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Performance Handicap championship.
However they have accepted to challenge their skill and tactical reputations on the unfamiliar waters of the South China Sea at the helm of a local charter yacht.
They are a dedicated sailing combination and are expected to exercise their right of way when the international fleet compete for space on the start line, but making their rival crews understand the word ‘Protest' will probably fall on deaf ears.
The International China Cup regatta hosted by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in association with the Vanke Longcheer Yacht Club has grown in stature with crews from 20 nations including France and England vying for honours this year.
As expected the Whitsunday Sailing Club crew are not prepared to make any predictions on the outcome of their regatta prospects but they are more than capable of showing their class rivals that they are well prepared to go hard when the sails are tensioned.
All races and venues are uniquely different and that is the accepted challenge which both Charles Wallis and Seddon Cripps will face when they stand watch at the helm in a bid to add another major trophy to the mantelpiece at the Whitsunday Sailing Club in the final race on November 2.
– Stripey Grant