Photography by Andrea Francolini
In their first showing at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, David Fuller’s Vamp has won the Around the Island Race from Miss Scarlet and two-time Sydney Hobart winner, Balance, once again avoiding all the holes in the course that the others fell into on Day 3 of the Townsville Yacht Club hosted regatta.
Vamp, from NSW, won by over 10 minutes and in doing so, has won IRC Racing with a day to spare. “Don’t worry, we’ll be back on the course tomorrow,” Fuller said, thrilled having won three of the four races sailed.
“They both fell into a hole off Middle Reef and we passed both of them. The weather gods are on our side. Miss Scarlet took line honours and Balance pipped us on the line,” Fuller said of Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 crossing just 14 seconds in front of his Corby 49.
“It was a really nice race,” he said of the beautiful conditions that finally came through well after the planned 11am start, when racing was once again delayed.
“I love it here – it’s been a pleasant surprise – I’m so glad I’ve done it,” said Fuller who made the decision to be here for the first time in his 75th year.
Meanwhile, Miss Scarlet, a Kiwi entry that recently took line honours in the Groupama Race, missed the start, throwing up a kite to get there. “Tactician’s fault, but he redeemed himself by picking all the shifts right,” skipper Graeme Wilson said.
“We took off in the breeze transition and in the end, beat Balance home by three minutes. I feel for them, they fell into a hole again. It was a lovely sail around the Island though. I’m hoping we get the promised breeze tomorrow and then we’ll have a crack at it,” Wilson said, referring to the fact they have come close, but been caught each race between the other two yachts.
Division 1 went to Kenny Bruce’s Moo from David Perkins’ Vanilla 2 (Vic). In winning the race, Moo, an X562 design from Queensland, also takes control of the Division 1 pointscore, but is on equal points with Paul Ley’s well-sailed Kaufman 58, Pilgrim. Tomorrow will be the decider.
The rest of the fleet undertook a shorter race on the bay on two separate courses. Spinnaker Divisions 2 and 4, along with the multis, were on one course, the remainder on another.