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Members in the Whitsundays

posted Jun 19, 2013, 8:57 PM by Mark Tobin

Last week a group of club members travelled to the Whitsundays to participate in the Seawind Catamaran Rally. Trevor and Kay Kanaar (invincible), Bill & Carmel Dicker (Leeuwin), Jo and Kevin Lord (Overture) and Peter Robinson chartered a Seawind 1160 named Xtsea. Colin and Konnie Apps (Zephrys ) and their crew chartered Lady L. There are 7 seawinds in total in the rally which is a very social affair.

Following a Meet the Fleet evening at Airlie Beach the fleet set off in light winds to Long Island, where the afternoon was spent bush walking and relaxing before a dinner onshore.


Day two race started with a les Moines start from the shore in the tenders. Robbo and Carmel did a great job steering the tender out to our waiting crew who hoisted them aboard, the tender on the davitts and setting sail. It was a gorgeous day, but not ideal sailing conditions. The winds were very light and the race was shortened a couple of times as the fleet needed to be anchored at the next anchorage by 4pm. The destination was on Shaw Island, a lovely spot where the crews had a sandcastle sculpturing contest. Our crew worked well as a team, constructing a octopus which we named Octopussy, giving us first place.

Day three dawned sunny, again but not a breath of wind and after an early start and floating around in circles for awhile the race was abandoned and we headed for the picturesque Whitehaven beach which didn't disappoint. A swim, a walk, a game of cricket and then a blind man dingy race. Wow...that was chaos. The tenders had paddles and not oars so we had 3 persons in the tender at the beach. We had Bill and Kevin, both blindfolded and me (Jo) who had the very difficult job of trying to keep them quiet long enough to listen to my instructions, to navigate out around a fender buoy and back to shore. With abit of aggressive behaviour we managed to finish second. It was then a game of beach cricket using a paddle as the bat, each boat earning points for runs made. Tongue Bay was the overnight anchorage and a walk up to the lookout gave us magnificent views down Whitehaven Beach. The highlight was watching a dugong just behind our boat. A pleasant evening was spent on Lady L with guitar.

From Tongue Bay we sailed around Border island with a brisk 15-20 knot wind and the three captains we have on our boat were very happy and full of ideas. Bill enjoyed tweaking the headsail all day, a habit which had him banned from that job. The race ended off Hook Island and the afternoon was free to snorkel in the warm waters. The fish and coral life was abundant especially in Blue Pearl Bay. we spent the evening in Butterfly Bay. Cards were played, which decided the helming positions for the next day. Carmel gets to do the start, which I must admit are much more relaxed than those at JB.

Today the rally is taking us around Hayman Island and then south to South Molle. With breezes over 20 knots we have the boat humming. The fleet are spread out over a large area and we have the large tides to contend with this afternoon which will be running against us. Time will tell if we should of tacked earlier or not.

We hear that the weather is not too warm back home so are making the most of our time up here. Tomorrow takes us in the final day to Hamilton Island with a dinner and presentation night.