Magnetic Island Race Week: Launs Townsville Race

Plenty of squirt from early on this morning has convinced organisers at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week to put the famed Around the Island Race off for another day, sending competitors to the Launs Bay course instead, as the wind whips up the sea, the clear blue sky disguising the freshness of the day.

The forecast is for 20 knots with a few squirts thrown in for good measure. Conditions are causing a swell and choppy waters and little white caps are starting to appear. 

It’s a day to dust off the cobwebs and a good time to do it, after the cocktail party at Townsville Yacht Club last evening, along with the crew party at Peppers Blue on Blue.

“We fed and watered all. We had around 150 people,” Event Chairman, Mike Steel said. Those attending were impressed by the SeaLink ferry driver’s skill in getting big the ferry into and out of the tight space outside the Club. 

Elvis impersonator singing on a boat in front of the wheel (with tongs as a microphone).
Elvis has left the building and is singing at Magnetic Island – Scott Radford-Chrisholm pic / SMIRW 2021

SeaLink Spinnaker Divisions 1 and 2, and the Multihull division are on a triangle course, taking them to the Nautilus Marine mark, then Launs Beach, a laid mark, Middle Reef East Beacon and to the finish. Division 3 and the Non-Spinnaker division are on a shorter course, from the start to Nautilus Marine mark, Launs Beach and to the finish. Racing starts from 11am. 

“It’s Maggie Island cool today,” Steel, remarked of the 25 degree ‘cold air’ morning caused by the 18 knots already apparent on the wind dials. 

Most competitors at breakfast at Peppers on Blue opted for the indoor seats this morning, staying out of the wind while they could.

A catamaran sailing downwind with their rainbow kite.
Vanish pushing along under kite yesterday – Scott Radford-Chrisholm pic / SMIRW

Yesterday the Rushour spell was broken in the Multihull class, with Kevin Lord’s Seawind 1150, Vivacious, coming out on top. The NSW multihull pipped Ian Johnson’s Lightwave 38, Salacia, to the post by a mere 8 seconds. Scott McInerney’s Evolution 43, Vanish, completed the podium. 

“From the start – we had a great start – and that makes a bit difference. We didn’t make a mistake. We nailed every tack, set the spinnaker perfectly, then it came down perfectly. Then we had a really good bash back through the sea and a nice reach into the finish. Reaches are great for us, they get us going as fast as we can,” Lord said.   

A catamaran sailing downwind with a purple and yellow kite.
Vivacious strutting her stuff yesterday – Scott Radford-Chrisholm pic / SMIRW

“It’s a good week up here,” Lord commented. “It’s too windy for us today, so we’ll stay ashore. We live and cruise on our boat for six months of the year, so we don’t need to wreck it!” 

Instead, Lord said, “We’ll do some things on the boat this morning. After that, there’s lots of nice places to go to on the Island. We’ll probably head to Horseshoe Bay and then find somewhere to have lunch.” 

2 people checking the sheets on the mast.
Checking the sheets on Ostara – Scott Radford-Chrisholm pic / SMIRW

In the Non-Spinnaker division, Lance Danby won his third straight race yesterday on his Bavaria 38, Ostara. Less than a minute in arrears was the Beneteau 47.7 cruiser, Femme Fatale, owned by Robert Marshall. Danby now has a target on his back.

For full results and all information, please visit:

By Di Pearson/SMIRW media

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