Photography by Andrea Francolini
The old dictum – just went you think you are due for a dose of wind, it starts looking iffy again – and that is the case at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week today, where PRO Denis Thompson and his team are mulling over their options on a day that was to be the ‘Around the Island Race’ – the most impressive of the courses, taking boats around Maggie Island.
But as more light weather is set to pervade Townsville and Magnetic Island, the race is in jeopardy, as the weather models show it would leave some boats on the course until well into the night.
Thompson and his team had to think laterally to come up with a solution – one that suits large and fast, as well as the small and slow. The upshot is that three separate courses will be sailed by the various divisions – something to suit all.
Hosted by Townsville Yacht Club, this is one of the lightest Maggie Island Race Weeks for years, but it has not affected spirits and for some, light air is welcome. It certainly hasn’t hurt Andrew Hesselmans and his Radford 12.2, Red Jacket. The Victorian yachtsman scored two second places – on the two lightest days of the regatta.
With a ninth place between, on Day 2, Hesselmans is happy to be secure in third place overall this morning, and poised to pounce on Pilgrim and Champagne, the top two on the SeaLink Spinnaker Division 1 leaderboard.
“This is the first time I’ve brought Red Jacket to Magnetic Island, but I’ve sailed on other boats here three times before and had wins on two of them,” Hesselmans says.
Red Jacket has recently returned to Melbourne after competing in the 5,500 nautical mile double-handed Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Race, but her owner says she returned with very little damage and ready to race.
“We’re very pleased with the performance we’re getting out of the boat.
We took line honours and finished second on the first day, but were late to the start on Day 2. Once we started, we got going though. And we had a good one on Monday, once the breeze came in,” he said.
It’s the same for Division 3 boat, In the Mood, owned by Keith Masters. The Northshore 380c from NSW is in fourth place overall and within easy reach of the top three.
SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week finishes tomorrow afternoon after one final race and the presentation at Peppers Resort.