2018 Moreton Bay Multihull Regatta
Sunny skies and an abating south-easterly blessed the 23 multihulls that contested the inaugural Moreton Bay Regatta – March 17-19.
With the third largest bay in Australia on their doorstep, the MYCQ and RQYS have collaborated to create a regatta neatly aligned with the annual northern pilgrimage. The clear blue waters of the offshore sand islands merge with the green tinged mainland foreshore forming south-east Queensland’s premier yachting playground.
The regatta kicked off on Friday afternoon with a race around the WAGS course, out around Hope Banks on the open bay. Saturday morning saw the racing divisions pitted against a windward/leeward course then it was the long race SE around Peel Island to the Bay Islands. There’s something magic about sailing to a distant island and getting together after a shared sailing experience. Canaipa Point, situated on the far north east point of Russell Island, largest of the Bay Islands, is an adventure into the wilds of nature. Crews set too with rum bottles, sea baths, dips in the pristine pool and a blazing big fire helping to ward off the ubiquitous mosquitoes. Replenished with a hearty meal, some adventurers continued to weave their stories well into the night.
Division two champ, Double Black Diamond charging into the finish line off Macleay Island on day two. Image Beryl Roberts
With 14 boats in divisions two and three, the rise of the cruiser-racer is an impressive part of the scene. Double Black Diamond, Andrew Stevenson’s Seawind 1160 ran out winners of PHRF division two fending off an interesting challenge from Talisker, a Seawind 1160 extended to 12.8m. While Talisker was generally a bit quicker for Alan Hunter’s efforts, DBD’s consistency delivered the gold, with Endorphin the F22 claiming third.
Vying for line honours in this division, the Richard Jenkins special Kestrel scored two guns, with Triton, the Sprint 750, sharing the glory twice also. In the final race it was Double Black Diamond’s turn to claim a bullet. Always hot on their heels was Agape the Farrier 82r and the Corsair 760 who took out division two OMR. Hayden Rough’s Outer Limits started well but pulled out after race two. Fruition, Andrew Bruce’s Lance 14m catamaran, improved steadily during the regatta, proving that a cruising cat can match it with the sporty racers.
Avalanche, the splendid Lidgard 52, powers upwind towards Potts Point, Macleay Island. Image Beryl Roberts
In division three, Scarlett, the Seawind 1160, flying only white sails took the PHRF honours. While their crew shirts sported ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,’ they sailed well to relegate the magnificent Schionning 60 Esprit to second. Len Barnes’ beautiful La Dane, a Mashford 11.5m tri came third ousting the gorgeous Lidgard 15.85m Avalanche, headed by Craig Molloy and his father.
Julian Griffiths skippered the highly refined Extreme 40, The Boatworks to dominate division one on OMR, revelling in the flat water. Designed by Yves Loday, they are a scaled up version of the ex-Olympic Tornado and sport a whopping 19m mast. Christopher Wren’s Catalyst, the Nacra 36 was keeping The Boatworks honest until they found a bit of coral at 18kts off Peel Island and “suddenly lost all momentum.” Drew Carruthers 50’ Rushour enjoyed a super showdown with Mike Perbedy’s superbly restored XL2. Rushour claimed third on OMR electing to forego the final race to undergo urgent work in preparation for the B2G.
Farrier F82r, Agape, powering upwind on Redland Bau. Image Beryl Roberts
Tony Considine’s Diam 24, Fury Road started promisingly but came unstuck when they missed a mark of the course in the long race back from Russell Island. This remarkably sleek race machine is from the drawing boards of VPLP who design many of the fastest boats in the world including Macif and Comanche. An exciting addition to division one was Dirty Deeds, Michel Van Der Zwaad’s 8.5m box rule boat with the previous owner from New Zealand aboard. Beautifully built she scored well in the one fresh wind race but struggled in the lighter airs to finish sixth overall.
The Multi Marine team on Purple Haze, the Grainger Essential 8.8m sailed well and were always in the mix. In race one Fantasia, the Seven Seas 50 took the wooden spoon, pipped at the finish line by Rob Dean’s flying Cut Snake, the original Alan Carwardine 12.7m cat. With Olympic hopeful Mara Stransky calling the shots, Fantasia the family cruiser improved with each race, winning the final race and claiming second overall.
La Dane, the Mashford 11.5m tri, having finished the race to Macleay Island. Image Beryl Roberts
Moreton Bay, Brisbane’s natural wonderland, alive with Loggerhead turtles, dugongs, dolphins, flocks of migratory birds and home of the Moreton Bay bug offers endless anchorages, the ideal setting for regatta sailing. The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s first class facilities and long experience in running regattas all but guarantee a smooth event. The perfect warm up event for the B2G and Airlie/Hamilton/Magnetic raceweeks or just to sharpen up for a cruise.