While Townsville and other Queensland sailors flock to SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week each year, over half the fleet sails long distances to take part – from New Zealand and Australia wide, they come to enjoy something unique.
Townsville Yacht Club’s (TYC) annual regatta has special ingredients that lure everyone from Olympians, Sydney Hobart winners, America’s Cup sailors and average sailors to race and have a good time with family and friends.
New Zealand is fielding two entries. Two-time Olympian Sharon Ferris-Choat will be at the helm of Ave Gitana, a trimaran she skippered in the 2018 Groupama Race around New Caledonia. On her crew is Australian double Olympian, Krystal Weir and short-handed sailor/adventurer, Joanna Breen.
Kiwi William Goodfellow will arrive with his 2018 Groupama line honours winner, Miss Scarlet, to take on the likes of ‘Money Man’, Paul Clitheroe, who for the first time is bringing Balance, his two-time Sydney Hobart winner from NSW. But getting balance back in his life, he will not be in full offshore race mode.
In the Spinnaker division on Grant Chipperfield’s Joker on Tourer from Victoria, you will find former America’s Cup bowman Peter Dowdney and his wife. “Sallie and I are playing the old cruising couple – not what you expect, I know,” says a laughing Dowdney, who like Clitheroe and others, have heard of the charms of this regatta.
Another notable Magnetic rookie, David Fuller (Vamp), says, “The crew have been pestering me for years to do this – I’ve had it on the agenda for a long time. We’re coming up to celebrate my 75th birthday.”
Once bitten, it’s difficult not to return, it’s just a special regatta.
New race to excite locals
Why should yachties have all the fun? A new race will take the fleet the length of The Strand in Townsville, bringing locals right into the picture. And unlike other sporting events, it is free of charge.
It’s a breathtaking, vibrant and rare experience – yachts and multihulls under spinnaker close to The Strand. The Surf Club near Strand Park is among those planning a lunch for anyone wanting to watch the race in style. Or you can watch from anywhere on The Strand.
Local partners get behind Father’s Day on ‘Maggie’ Island
In celebration of Father’s Day, Townsville Airport has again thrown its support behind the Magnetic Island community to ensure an unforgettable experience for families wishing to spend the day on the Island.
SeaLink is offering discounted return ferry tickets and Port of Townsville Limited is providing free shuttle buses from the SeaLink Ferry Terminal on the Island to Picnic Bay return.
Once there, all can enjoy the fun-packed Rotary Beer Can Regatta at Picnic Bay, along with Artisan markets in the Picnic Bay Mall. And due to popular demand, the Beach Retreat returns, with ‘Godfathers of Funk’ entertaining all throughout the afternoon. There is plenty to savour on the Island, as the yachties do each year.
Townsville Yacht Club and the Race Week committee are grateful for the support of all of event support partners and welcome the addition of Pickerings Auto Group and FKG Group this year.
All information on SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au
By Di Pearson, SMIRW media