Bumpy to beautiful

The SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week is well underway, yet sailors still have time to secure a win on the water.

Photography by Andrea Francolini

05 September 2022


The morning started lumpy and bumpy at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, but by midday, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and sailing conditions were about as good as it gets for Day 2 of Townsville Yacht Club’s Strand Bay Race.

Racing on the Townsville City Council Race Day was away on time at 11am, with Division 1 first off the line.

After that start, Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson was heard loud and clear with several individual recalls in other divisions.

The fleet started off Peppers Blue on Blue Resort and worked up to Strand Bay, where onlookers on the Esplanade in Townsville were treated to the colourful sight of various divisions setting spinnakers for the run home via a mark or two.

SeaLink Multihull Class Division 1 went to Gordon Beath’s Chamberlin 14, Roamance. A regular at Maggie Island, she also won Race 1.


Darren Drew’s Wind Cheetah placed second, only 11 seconds behind the winner. Graeme Etherton’s local entry, The Boat, placed third.

In Multihull Division 2, Gary Prestedge took advantage of the conditions that suited his Lagoon 380, Happy Hours to win the race. Stephen Richardson’s Shenanigans placed second, with Red Undies, owned by Ken Plowman in third.

“This is our second time here; we came to have lots of fun,” said Prestedge.

“The boys are good sailors – we had three on board yesterday and 10 today – the ladies abandoned us yesterday to go to the Liptember Long Lunch.”

Conditions, he said, “Were much nicer than yesterday. We are a heavy boat. It helped to have a good start and the boys and girls all did their jobs well.”

As to his order for Monday, the Victorian said, “We just need a bit more breeze because of the heaviness of the boat. We are here for a good time and that’s what we’re having.”

The Non-Spinnaker division was won by Noel Borel’s Kulani, an Eastcoast 31 from Lake Macquarie in NSW, which gives her the series lead.

It’s made Borel fear that race management will take a hacksaw to his handicap. Second and third places went to locals, Russell Kingston’s Falcon and Mal Pirret’s Champagne.

“We like the lumpy and bumpy stuff,” Borel said.

“We had a pretty good start. There were a couple of boats that were over, which caused a few issues for all of us.

“We pretty much stayed in the middle of the course and picked up a good wind shift going to the top mark.

“From there it was a poled-out reach and we stayed out of trouble. Today was right in our wind strength. It works well in the chop.

“We didn’t have reef at all. We’d like more like that, but unfortunately you can’t book them,” he laughed.

Around 12.30pm, Ragamuffin 111 called the start boat to advise a sports boat had been dismasted at Middle Reef.

Stuart Tivey’s local yacht stood by the boat until a mark boat came to tow the vessel back to Maggie Island Marina.

Later in the race, Sir Robbo Robertson retired It’s Time, citing mainsail damage.

Then the forestay on Jessie Goodheart’s local boat, Godspeed, broke, but drinks in hands and obviously enjoying themselves, they finished their race in the Non-Spinnaker division.

Peter Byford and Rob Aldis’ Azuree 46, Kayimai, won SeaLink Division 1 to take the overall lead. Ian Edwards’ Wings placed second with Craig Douglas’ Popeye third.

In Division 2, James Permezel (Charm Offensive) made it two from two with a win today from John Kint’s Bundaberg.

Division 3 went to Rob Reynolds Fareast 28R, despite a wineglass in the spinnaker on the run.

Townsville Yacht Club’s Rear Commodore, Tony Muller, sailed Brava into second place. However, it’s Townsville Yacht Club’s Vice Commodore and Event Chairman, Mike Steel, who is in second place overall with Boadicca, after two days of racing.

All went well for Townsville Yacht Club, as John Stokes, the Commodore, won Division 4 with his Mach 1, to take the overall lead.

After taking the win yesterday, Ian Griffiths backed up with second today with Witchy Woman, for second overall.

Racing concludes 7 September.



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