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C/QLD IOM Champs - 5/6th October 2013

Day 1.

A beautiful Gladstone day greeted the 14 sailors on day 1 that entered the CQ IOM Championships. With skippers from the Gold Coast to Mackay,

Commodore Tony Zussino from Gladstone warmly greeted everyone and with a little time on our hands before racing , everyone re acquainted themselves with infrequently seen mates.The GRCYC had set up many shaded areas for the skippers to rig up on the grassed area of the Gladstone Marina. The wind was initially SE at 7-10K but was expected to swing during the day, however this early breeze allowed PRO Ian Ashe to set an efficient up/down course with a separate start and finish line, right along the foreshore. The elevated sailing position gave all competitors a beautiful view of the course and their machines. 

Racing got underway on time and the Fraser Coasts Mark Beneke sailing his Pikanto got away to a flyer with two bullets straight out the gun with veteran skipper Allan Walker from Brisbane showing he was going to be around the mark with consistent top 3 finishes. Col Cameron from Mackay must have been making around with his power boats and neglecting his IOM as Cols found himself on the wrong end of a transmitter/receiver glitch and missed the first 5 races, until John Matthews from the GRCYC organised another one for him. Thanks John. Doug Allen from Kawana on the Sunny Coast was duelling with Glen Foley from Bundaberg trading blows at the pointy end of the fleet until Doug hit form and secured a string of top 3 finishes including a few firsts while Glen found a couple of big scores, ready for discarding. 

Dave Laurie now at the Fraser Coast returned to his old sailing grounds and soon found consistency would be the key as some top 5 finishes were interspersed with some big numbers at the other end. Gladstone's Steve Bray, sailing in only his second championship showed some blistering speed at times but like his fellow, more championship experienced GRCYC sailors, Grant Cooper, Aaron Farrar and Laurie Donohoe couldn't keep finnding interesting ways to wrestle victory from the jaws of defeat and the local sailors featured down the list on their home ground. John Macintosh from the Fraser Coast, Ross Anderson from Mackay and John Tootell from Bundaberg were having their own personal battle with each other, occasionally showing glimpses of brilliance, threatening to break away from each other, hinting of still better races to come.

Lunch couldn't come soon enough for some struggling sailors and soon the ladies of the GRCYC had a magnificent spread of meat & salad rolls and trays of cakes, which were appreciated by everyone. David Black who also made the trip north handed out the score sheets, even if you didn't want to see the progressive scores and it was evident that already a top 4 had broken away from the main pack. Mark Beneke, Allan Walker, Doug Allen and Glen Foley seemed destined to fight it out for the glass wear, even with a day to go. The wind started on it's expected swinging arc to the north and soon John and the pick up boat were called into action, swinging the buoys around to accommodate the worst direction for viewing, an on shore breeze. Ian battled with the course, setting the fairest racing possible and with the change in direction came a change in intensity and fortunes for a few of the sailors.

Grant Cooper and Col Cameron took a shine to the windier conditions and posted some great scores while the top 4 seemed to just go about their business, except for some hiccups for Mark Beneke, copping a couple of technical dramas and a decent sized palm frond around the keel, assisting in some discards.

Ian Ashe called racing to a halt at 4:30 with an incredible 18 races completed and not one argument – that would have to be a record.

Day 2

It was expected to be a drifter but sailors were delighted with a light north easterly, allowing for a course to be set immediately and racing getting underway at 10. Dave Harris, who could join the fleet yesterday due to work commitments got straight into the action and was threatening the scoreboard immediately. Allan Walker hit the course running with a great first up win but was chased around the course by Gladstone's Steve Bray who was showing some much improved form. Also on the improve was Grant Cooper who finally hit form and less marks, posting some good scores and closing the gap on Bundaberg rival Glen Foley. As with all of the event so far, Doug, Allan and Mark had less than 5 points separating them most of the day, with lead changes on the scoreboard a regular thing. The wind strengthening, teaming with the windward marks being a long way fro the sailors caused some interesting mark roundings …. BUT even then the sailors were adult, sophisticated and considerate….

The racing tightened up, the finishes were close and after 35 races… Allan Walker and Doug Allen tied on 87 points and the scorers had to go to the count back system to separate them with Allan Walker eventually awarded the 2013 CQ IOM Championship.

Many may have been disappointed with a smaller than normal turn out for an event like this…., but with the way the event was run by Ian Ashe, scored by David Black and organised by the fantastic members of the GRCYC…. the sailors that did make the effort to travel enjoyed themselves immensely. 

Thanks to one & all.

Photos available for download HERE

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ulsa75re0dtixav/vNYI4Xco6W

   

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