Written by Di Pearson
Photography by Andrea Francolini
24 July 2017
“It’s the happiest regatta in Australia,” Colin pronounces. Wife, Denise, concurs.
“We were having withdrawal symptoms,” Denise says, explaining their last appearance in 2014 when they finished second overall to Peter Jones’ Spirit of Mateship in the PHS class, which they have elected to sail in again in 2017.
Colin adds, “The reason we love it so much is because it’s so relaxing. Everyone is happy and the camaraderie is second to none. We love the friendly atmosphere. Everything is two minutes away – accommodation, restaurant, bar, the marina. And it’s all first-class, but doesn’t cost the earth.
The Sydney couple who have sailed all the major’s on the Eastern seaboard with their MKL49, Never A Dull Moment over many years, also enjoys the relaxed and welcoming nature of event organisers, Townsville Yacht Club – and the social program the Club takes pains to organise.
“It’s something different every year. I remember the first time we went they organised Cane Toad races – each boat was given one to race. It was hilarious. We also love the evening prize giving sessions,” Denise says.
“You can sit an enjoy a coffee watching for the postponement flag to come down; jump on board when it does and then motor to the start line in a couple of minutes. You can’t beat it,” Colin adds with a big smile on his face.
He has only one complaint. “Everyone wants to crew for us at Magnetic Island – we actually have to knock people back – we have a waiting list. Usually I am scraping to find a full crew at away events.”
The Wilsons, from Sydney, are looking forward to first racing at Airlie Beach Race Week and then the sail up to SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, this year to be held from 31 August until 6 September. They were in the throes of taking advantage of the Peppers Blue on Blue Resort 15 percent discount off the Bed and Breakfast fully serviced price when we spoke to them.
The offer is available for 7 x 3 bedroom apartments (up to six people); 3 x Studio Superiors (two people); 5 x Hotel Superiors (2 people), inclusive of 15 rooms with marina views, with a daily hot buffet breakfast, daily housekeeping service thrown in.
The offer, subject to room availability, ends 30th June 2017 unless sold sooner and must be booked direct, by calling the resort on: 07 47 582 400. Quote ‘Magnetic Island Race Week Early Bird Special’ to receive this special.
Magnetic Island is a scenic 20 minute ride from Townsville. The Island’s marina (a two minute walk from the ferry) and its first–class facilities can cater for over 100 boats.
The event is open to IRC, PHS, Cruising in Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker yachts, Trailable Yachts, Sports Boats along with divisions for Multihull Racing and Cruising boats.
At the time of writing, 44 entries have been received, representing Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW.
For online entry and NoR, visit the official website.