With a 13 knot easterly breeze and rolling swell to begin with, the Gold Coast shoreline has proven perfect for sailing conditions at Southport Yacht Club’s 2017 Bartercard Sail Paradise Regatta.
Twenty-five entrants began racing today to battle on water for the crown of series champion.
“The perfect weather conditions made for a brilliant performance from all the crews today assisting in very close racing, with lighter winds forecast for tomorrow will give the crews a great variety of sailing conditions throughout the regatta,” said Race Director Denis Thompson.
A close start amongst the IRC division with SYC local Auric Quest skippered by owner Fred Bestall leading the fleet, proving just how much of a blessing local knowledge can be.
“Having my first yacht, Auric’s Quest for a little over six months, we are finally in a position where the boat is beginning to perform to our desired standards. Together with new sails and Sail Paradise being the team’s first regatta together, this has been a learning curve for all our crew. Having said this each crew member is getting more and more confident with each race, testing the grand prix yacht to its full potential. We are all ecstatic with the result today, and are very much looking forward to holding our position throughout the regatta and keeping a consistent score on the leader board,” said Fred.
Performance Racing division 1 also led a fantastic start with the fleets only International one design Etchells, Grape Juice skippered by Wayne Kirby taking on David Chadkirk’s 50ft German Friers design, Cyclone for a close call in divisional start line honours.
Sail Paradise 2017 will continue racing on Monday 9th, Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th January off the Gold Coast shoreline.
– Bronwen Hemmings, Southport Yacht Club