PRESS RELEASE                                                                                            6 September, 2017

Another matchless SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week comes to an end

Townsville Yacht Club’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week came to an end this afternoon, after six days of sailing and fun - a sailing event like no other in Australia.

Once again the AP set the tone for the morning, as the heat took control and no breeze was to be found, so crews lazed around, enjoying a long breakfast, reading and chatting aboard or sipping coffee at Peppers Blue on Blue resort.

The AP was pulled down shortly after midday when on-water officials reported a 4-5 knot easterly which looked set to increase.

Coming into the final race, Peter Lowndes’ Lyons 49, Wine Dark Sea, led PHS Division 1 by five points from TYC Commodore, John Stokes Mach 1 and Adrian Walters Shaw 11 Metre Little Nico (NSW). This division sailed six races, one more race that the other divisions.

“We’re sweating on whether Mr Thompson (PRO Denis Thompson) will pull down the AP,” he said, referring to their leading position. No sooner had he said it than the AP came down.

And sadly their dream finished there when Adrian Walters and his Shaw 11 Metre Little Nico won Race 6 and took the series by four points from Wine Dark Sea with TYC Commodore, John Stokes finishing third with his Bavaria Match 38, Mach 1.

Little Nico, from Sydney, named for Walters’ daughter Nicoleta (nicknamed Nico and Little Nico), was a family affair with Walters’ wife Sonja and son Aaron sailing along with Mitch White, Peter Ryan, Steve Perks, Bryony Gregory and Gus Williams, who recently won the Youth Match Racing Worlds with Harry Price and Tara Blanc Ramos

“We couldn’t have asked for a better course,” Walters said ashore. There was a lot of reaching in 8-16 knots on a 19 mile course. It’s been a hard but fun week. The harder you go, the more you get punished on handicap, so it’s pleasing to win,” he said. “Mitch and the boys give it their all – we go out early training, practicing sets and gybes etc.

“It’s a fantastic regatta – very laid-back and chilled with a lot of camaraderie,” said the Maggie Race Week first timer. 

Vanilla 2 and Vanilla 1 from Victoria were, paradoxically, on equal points sharing the Division 2 lead. The final race decided it in favour of Vanilla 2, skippered by Doug Shields, her third place today giving her seven point advantage over Vanilla 1, skippered by Steve ‘Harpo’ Harper. Little Miss Sunshine (Sam Pavic) also from Victoria, took third place.         

Geoff Adams S99, Rampallion (Vic) led Division 3 from Rainbow (Stuart Cocker, Qld) and the elegant Oasis (David Keyes-Tilley, Vic), but it was the fun crew of Librian, owned by Stanley Barnes who stole the show and the top trophy by winning the final race .

Librian won by one point from Rampallion, with a further point to Rainbow – 10th and eighth respectively in the last race.

In the Non-Spinnaker Division, Lady Virginia (Nicholas Cable, (Vic) was in the top spot going into the final race and won from  Lady Katherine (Peter McDonald, Qld) by just a point and Poppy (Michael Phillips, SA) by a further point. Both have been her toughest adversaries all week.

“We came all the way from Melbourne, we campaigned her at Hamilton Island and here at Magnetic – it’s our third time here – and we’re thrilled to win,” Cable said.

“We’ve had a lot of fun here – a lovely time – we really enjoyed Richard and Karen’s barbecue at Cape Upstart too. We did our very best today (they were third in this race which was won by Lady Katherine, with Chloe (Ian Burns), a local boat third. We had fierce competition. I’ll be 70 in April and feel like I’ve done it all – I can go happy,” he said.   

The Multihulls were an all-Townsville affair led by Mistress (Dennis Coleman), with Salacia (Ian Johnson) and The Boat Graeme Etherton, hot on her heels, one point behind on equal points. So Coleman finally got the win he has hankered over for years.

Mistress, a Corsair Sprint Mk1, finished third in the final Race 5 to take the overall win by two points to Graeme Etherton’s Crowther Windspeed 32 Cat, The Boat, while Rupert King’s Re1066t jumped up into third after winning Race 5. 

Coleman, whose crew is a tight-knit affair of eight years, includes son Nathan and Scott McInerney, a dab Contender sailor, who helms the boat.  

Prior to racing, Coleman and McInerney agreed: “We’d be happy if they cancelled racing today – it’s our best shot – we’d win!”

“Actually I’d be happy if we were even second or third – it would be the first time, we always end up fourth,” said Coleman, who fixes machinery in a meatworks by day and works with pizzas by night and has never missed Magnetic Island Race Week.

“We always start out well, so when we win, the handicapper nobbles us. Today will be interesting to see how it pans out,” added McInerney as the pair received an SMS to say racing would get underway shortly.

“Despite small numbers this year, the competition is fierce. You have to sail well every day,” said Coleman who loves sailing so much, McInerney says “he’s told the crew: ‘If I die while we’re racing, finish first, then drag my body ashore.”

On one of their main rivals, Salacia, owner Ian Johnson, has sailed here every year since the event started “and this boat (a Lightwave 38).

“We’re a bit slower than the others, but we’ve done OK. I think the handicappers have done a good job with our fleet,” said Johnson who was thinking the weather might be a bit light on for them today.  

“We absolutely prefer the windier days because we’re heavier, but having said that, we won on the really light day. We found a gust and then the race was shortened. Lucky us.”

The fleet as a whole benefitted from ideal mid-range breezes on the first two days of SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week. Day 3 was light but gave those specialists their opportunities, and while an AP started Days 3, 4 and 5, competitors could not complain about those days, because as the racing progressed, so did the breeze.

Warm sunshine every day, flat water sailing some days, with a little swell and waves on others.

As Ian Johnson and others pointed out – seven degrees in Melbourne, excessive cold gale-force winds in Sydney, snow in Bass Strait and on Mount Wellington in Tasmania and cloudy cold wet days in Adelaide versus the sun, green flat water and tropical setting of Townsville and Magnetic Island. Not to mention the convivial company you find at this regatta.

“It’s like the old style regattas where everyone sits around on their boats at the marina chatting and then we’re all together ashore for the prize giving and entertainment,” Johnson said and many others echoed throughout the week.  

At the official prize giving, the winner of each division will receive a framed Andrea Francolini photo of their boat taken during the week – a special prize that will be appreciated for years to come.  The top three in each division will also receive trophies.

Full results and all information:    


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media


PRESS RELEASE                                                                                           6 September, 2017

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Warrigal – home grown and raced   

Jim Finch is a Townsville local of some 50 years, arriving in Townsville for a holiday and never returning home – he has also attended all 11 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week’s with Warrigal – the Finch 40 he conceived, designed and built.

“I’m still on holiday,” says Finch laughing. I come from Albury-Wodonga originally and leaned to sail there on the Hume Weir – so I’m very good in light weather and at dodging trees,” he remembers of his time sailing a Corsair there.

But it is his bright orange yacht Warrigal that causes most interest, not in the least because of its colour. When the 73 year-old built it 27 years ago, yachts were predominantly white. “It was like a bomb going off when people saw her,” he says laughing.

“The concept for the boat came from three other boats. I built of her high-tensile steel and called her Warrigal (Dingo) cos she’s a Heinz variety,” says the former owner of JNS Motors, a panel beating and engineering shop in Townsville where the yacht was designed.

“It had to fit in the shed I had, therefore it’s 40 feet,” he recalls. “She’s strong and goes well in light air. I designed her for the Coral Sea Classic, but we never got around to doing it.”

However, Warrigal has raced with distinction locally “She was Townsville Yacht Club champion twice – in the late eighties and nineties.  

“I’ve been a member there 50 years, on the Board for four years and was Vice Commodore once,” Finch says of the Club which organises hosts SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week.   

“I believe I saw the Club through some very productive years and helped pre-form it into what it is today.”

Warrigal also won the Ansett Challenge at Hamilton Island a long, long time ago. Here at Magnetic Island where she is racing in PHS Division 2, Warrigal and her crew of Finch, Alan and Michelle Glanville, Peter Minogue and Peter ‘Kiwi’ King, scored their best result on Monday’s light air, finishing sixth in a hot fleet.

When Finch says he’s done all 11 Magnetic Island Race Weeks, he means almost. In 2008 he recalls: “We were in the middle of racing and I couldn’t work out which side of the line I should be on. I knew there was something wrong, I remember it distinctly.

“The chest pains got worse and the manager at Peppers got the medical people here. Once they stabilised me, I went out in style on a helicopter, leaving Magnetic Island behind. I was in the process of having a heart attack.”

In Intensive Care for 10 days, the upbeat Finch also discovered “I was a screaming Type 2 diabetic – probably all the rums I drank after racing!”

As soon as he could, Finch was back sailing.  He is, as usual, here for the 11th Magnetic Island Race Week, enjoying the racing and camaraderie “and grateful to still be here,” he said.

And on other boats, just when you thought Elvis had left the building, he turned up on Michael Phillips’ Poppy this morning, blue suede shoes and all, but refused to sing a note.

That was not the case on Stanley Barnes’ Librian and Donna Dewhurst’s Soul Sister though. Both crews leave the dock singing and return the same way each day. Naturally, the ladies on Soul Sister start with their namesake song.

All these capers happen well after the beautiful sunrises at Magnetic Island each day.

For all information on SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, go to:    


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                            5 September, 2017

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: From light to lovely conditions

Sunrise gave what appeared to be a sneak preview of the day to come at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week – hot, sticky and a little airless, Denis Thompson and his team new they were in for another morning of hard decisions after yesterday’s testing conditions where light wind changed direction at whim.

A postponement ashore for the Townsville Yacht Club’s (TYC) 11th Race Week and finally the fleet was on the water and PHS Division 1 kicked off racing at 12.25pm, with PHS 2, 3, Non-Spinnaker Division and Multihulls starting at five minute intervals after. Each division piled up at the boat end of the line, with a few loud voices heard when the going became too close.

Tony Muller, owner of Brava, humorously relates: “Big Vanilla (at 17.5 metres) nearly killed everyone on the start line, stuffing up little Vanilla (16.2m) and us. Little Vanilla only just managed to avoid t-boning them, and little Brava (12.3m) had to avoid t-boning both.

“It was a great day otherwise. We had a lovely shy kite run home, the breeze topped out at 18 knots,” PHS Division 2 competitor, Muller, said.

The two Farr 40s Ponyo (David Currie, Vic) and Guilty Pleasures VI (Hughie Lewis/Gary Cripps, Tas) were on for another match race and both crossed the start line early, but both recuperated quickly in a pleasant light 5-7 knot breeze.

It didn’t affect Ponyo, which finished second to Tony Ritter’s Thompson 7 sports boat, Spank, with Mach 1, owned by Townsville Yacht Club Commodore, John Stokes, third.

Just when all looked to be a light race, the wind kicked in as the Division 1 yachts  came to a mark, kites set and bearing away.

As the breeze increased, Therapy’s (Thomas Hoogenbosch, Vic) kite shred, her crew having to get quickly into gear to pull it down.

Ashore, everyone seemed happy enough.

Doug Shields skippered Vanilla 2 today and said he and the crew had thoroughly enjoyed the kite run home.

“That is our best point of sail and on the long leg we made good speed,” Shields said after picking up substantial boat speed on the shy run home.

“It certainly made up for our digression earlier on in the race,” he said in reference to the light 6-8 knots at the start of the race and the fading breeze coming to the second mark, which does not suit the Dufour 560 Gl.

“The breeze shifted there and we got hammered by Vanilla 1 and others, but being wide, we picked up on the reaching legs and the leg home the breeze picked up to 10 knots plus. Nice,” ended Shields of their day in which they finished seventh and continue to lead Division 2 overall.

On Vaniila 1, a charter for Magnetic Island Race Week, Steve ‘Harpo’ Harper said: “We’re a bunch mainly from Sandringham Yacht Club. We’re loving the friendly competition with Vanilla 2. They beat us today – they’re bigger.”

On board too is John Middleton, a long time sailing instructor/race official from Melbourne. “This is my first time at Maggie – another one ticked off the bucket list,” he said referring to a nasty bout with prostate cancer.  “This is a pretty good place to be – meeting up with a lot of old friends from years gone by.

“It was a bit light for us today. Hopefully we can hold our position, have a good race tomorrow and finish on the podium.” Vanilla 1 finished fifth today to maintain second place overall – on equal points with her main rival at this regatta.

On today’s Division 2 winner, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, the Beneteau Sense 50’s owner, Sam Pavic, was explaining the name. “It’s for my wife Denise (she’s also racing here). The tender is called ‘Mr Grumpy’ and that’s for me,” he said, before anyone else got the chance.

The win today has lifted the beautifully appointed boat up to 10th place overall and the nine crew aboard had a good day out, including Kevin Wilson, who normally does duty as a race offer, having a rare few days off.

“It was a beautiful day from start to finish – we loved it all,” said Pavic, explaining, “This is our first time at Race Week. The boat is purely for Denise and our family for cruising - it is four metres wide across the bottom – not built for racing. Our daughter and her fiancé will join us up here after the regatta and we’ll do some cruising.”

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week finishes tomorrow with one final race planned.

Full results and all information:    


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                            5 September, 2017

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Tevake II – I’ve been everywhere man!   

Fluttering race flags from every major race and regatta on and from the east coast of Australia makes the 13.6 metre Radford designed Tevake II a standout at Townsville Yacht Club’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week where she is racing for the third time.

An indefatigable Angus Fletcher bought the 2000 launched Tevake II in 2005 from her original Fremantle owner. She replaced his original Tevake (purchased in 1986), named for Basil Tevake, a master Polynesian navigator of whom Fletcher is fascinated by.

“She is also named for the Tevake bird,” Fletcher says of the white-tailed-tropicbird found in the Pacific. “I thought it was a nice name for a boat and that if we needed guidance in the Pacific, the spirits might help us.”

The pair has cruised, raced, won and placed up and down the east coast of Australia since commencing Tevake II’s offshore racing career in 2006. They are wonderful ambassadors for the relatively small Hobsons Bay Yacht Club in Victoria.

“My first offshore race with the boat was the Melbourne Hobart. We used and wrecked just about every sail. It’s an interesting time to go into Bass Strait,” Fletcher recalled.

“We were fourth over the line behind three 60 footers and unfortunately one boat beat us to the overall win.”

Since that time, Tevake II has become a seasoned campaigner, racing through the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s entire program with success. “And for my sins, I became Commodore there for a short time,” he says.

“While competing there, I was looking for a new race to do out of Melbourne. George Shaw and I came up with the Melbourne to Vanuatu Yacht Race,” he says of the leg stretching 1885 nautical mile race which was inaugurated in 2006. He competed that year and again in 2010 when Tevake II took line honours.

Their resume also includes the 2006 Vanuatu to Mackay, six Melbourne to Hobart West Coasters (scoring successive overall wins in the 2012 and 2013), numerous shorter Bass Strait races, along with the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Sydney to Hobarts, with a best result of third in PHS Division 1 in 2014.

“The West Coasters are more difficult than the Sydney Hobart,” Fletcher says.

The two have also competed in the Sydney Gold Coast race, at Airlie Beach Race Week and Magnetic Island in 2014 and again 2016 when they won Cruising Division 1. The Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel is another favourite, “and the only race we’ve retired from. There was little wind and some of the crew had to get back to work,” Fletcher says.

“If I start a race, I intend to finish it. I strongly believe you should finish every race you start. So we have just the one cross against us.”

All the while Fletcher has been plying Tevake II up and down the east coast, he has cruised her to each of these events, thousands upon thousands of miles.

“I never get sick of it; I just like getting out. It’s a perfect escape, getting away from it all. The best thing about racing is when the start gun goes. You have to rely on yourself.”

Although he only came to offshore racing in 1988, Fletcher, who turns 72 “in a month and a half’s time,” says: “I talked my parents into buying me a Gwen 12 when I was 15. My brother and I spent the first season upside down - but it didn’t stop me. I can’t imagine not sailing. Life has been busy…”

For all information on SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, go to:    


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                            4 September, 2017

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Diamonds for some stones for others

A slow start to the day as Denis Thompson and his on water officials patiently waited for a light breeze to filter through, which it eventually did and Day 3 racing SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week finally got underway one hour late at 12pm.

It was painfully slow going up the first beat in the Townsville Yacht Club hosted regatta, and in complete contrast to the first two days when the fleet experienced 13 -22 knot winds. Not only that, but the weak easterly changed to a northerly, the breeze fading in and out and becoming patchy and elusive. For some it was diamonds and for others, diamonds turned to stones.

In PHS Division 1, David Currie’s Ponyo and Robert Green’s MBD41, Reignition, started best. Never A Dull Moment, Col and Denise Wilson (NSW), were called back to restart after crossing early, but it was not long before they had overhauled their Lyons 49 sistership, Wine Dark Sea (Peter Lowndes, NSW), leaving them in their wake.

As usual, Adrian Walters’ Little Nico was quick off the start, while astern of the Shaw 11 Metre, the two Farr 40’s, Ponyo and Guilty Pleasures VI (Hughie Lewis/Gary Cripps, Tas) match raced up the beat, but somewhere on the first run, Ponyo left her sistership in her wake.

The light air was perfect for the two Farr 40s’s, Little Nico and for Peter Sorensen and crew on the Thompson 7, Spank.

Ponyo won PHS 1 from the other Guilty Pleasures (VII, owned by local Leon Thomas) with Peter Lowndes’ Wine Dark Sea third.

David Currie spoke of their day: “On the run, Little Nico headed inshore. We knew from experience not to do that. We got a puff and got in front of Nico and Guilty Pleasures with our bigger Code Zero. We gybed and got the first bit of the northerly – those behind us didn’t get it,” he said.

“Near the mark off Townsville, it got lighter and lighter. Nico came down with breeze and caught back the near leg we had taken from them. We saw the multis spearing and boats hitting marks and each other in the next to nothing breeze. We were lucky to get through – it was a very testing day,” the Victorian ended.

Col and Denis Wilson were doing their best to rack up another win to celebrate their tactician and Olympian, Nev Wittey’s 60th birthday today. Wittey, though, was left ashore after falling victim to the dreaded lurgy that has been around these past four weeks. In the end they finished fifth overall. Little Nico leads the division after three races from Wine Dark Sea and sistership Never a Dull Moment.

Division 2 got away surprisingly cleanly considering the bulk of boats piled up at the pin end. Doug Ryan’s Beneteau 44.7, Shazam, and Peter Byford’s Jeanneau 469 L’ Esprit, were away best, just squeezing Vanilla 2, David Perkins’ Dufour 560 out at the pin. Despite this, Vanilla 2 continues to lead the pointscore by two points to Vanilla 1!

Those in Division 3 also got off the line cleanly, then came the Multihull Division. All was well until they were caught in some patchy light air going down the run the first time, with Graeme Etherton and crew on The Boat first to have trouble flying their kite. Etherton was forced to drop down on the course and behind them, Dennis Coleman’s Mistress also struggled.

By the gybe mark, Mistress had overhauled The Boat, while Adrian Lawrie’s Scamper was far enough ahead of the two and did not suffer. However, the gybe mark also provided plenty of overtaking lanes and many took advantage. Ian Johnson’s Salacia won Race 3 to take the series lead from The Boat which is now on equal points with second placed Mistress.

In the Non-Spinnaker Division, the crew of Poppy were exhilarated. “We got the gun,” said South Australian owner Michael Phillips after crossing the line first in their division and winning overall to take the series lead by three points from Nicholas Cable’s Lady Virginia.

“The day went very well for us, thank you! We picked the right side of the start line towards the middle, so got away well. We lost concentration a lot further down the track and coming up to the last mark was most frustrating – the breeze changed and we were almost becalmed, but kept moving slowly. It was hard steering.

“Fortunately, the breeze came back, so we had a nice work back to the finish,” the Adelaide yachtsman said.

David Keyes-Tilley also got the gun today with his beautiful Sky 51 design cruiser/racer Oasis coming home first in PHS Division 3. She finished third overall and is third overall in the pointscore. The Sandringham YC yachtsman said: “We sailed smart today and scored our third from three line honours victory.”

While Keyes-Tilley and most of his crew have raced at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week before, it is the first time he’s brought the 37 year-old yacht he has owned for 11 years to this event.

“We are absolutely happy with our performance. As you can see, she is a heavy boat  - 23 tonnes, so she’s better in a big breeze.”

As to whether they are enjoying themselves, crew member and 1984 Olympic crew in the Soling, Dean Gordon, said tongue firmly in cheek: “Hating it. Lousy place. It’s dirty work but someone has to be here. I can’t wait to get back to Melbourne to see if the weather’s more than 7 degrees.”

Keyes-Tilley, a dentist, said they were having a ball. “After this, I will do some cruising around the Whitsundays with my family before going back to work.”

It was a day of drivers having to give it their full attention while crews sat to leeward and had moments enough to take in the beautiful scenery which Magnetic Island has an abundance of.

Racing resumes tomorrow from 11am. More light weather is expected.

Full results and all information:    


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                             4 September, 2017

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Argy bargy at Beer Can Regatta – pier jumping at Picnic Bay    

It was layday at Townsville Yacht Club’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week yesterday so crews and locals got stuck into the Magnetic Island Rotary Beer Can Regatta and turned lunch and a live band at Picnic Bay into the Inaugural Pier Jump.

The quiet achievers of the Beer Can Regatta, “The Italian Stallions’, won the event after getting off to an ordinary start.

“They were dressed and looked like gondoliers in Venice. The boat was even made to look like a gondola,” an observer, Judy said.

“They were probably the oldest crew there and they won by a long way,” he she said.

A team named ‘The Happy Hookers’ also did well, probably stunning people with their name. the Port of Townsville entry started disintegrating straight off the start and fell apart quite quickly while going around in circles as they could not get into sequence, which left some viewers quite disturbed, while the Peppers Blue crew played the game hard.

“They started pelting flour bombs and they were followed by water balloons and rotten eggs,” Julian said.      

Back on the Beer Can race course, there was a fair amount of argy bargy at the top mark, competitors confused about which way to round it – typical yachties! It wasn’t pretty as some makeshift boats went nose down, others crashing broadside. It was on for young and old.

Meanwhile, over at Picnic Bay for a supposed spot of lunch while listening to some Australian rock from the Godfathers of Funk, some got it into their mind it was time for a pier jump, and so the inaugural Pier Jump competition came into being.

The Jump was led, naturally, by the Unhinged crew (no names, no pack drill) and pretty soon it was on for young and old. Five of the Wine Dark Sea crew (also naturally) joined in.

“First we enjoyed a seafood extravaganza,” Wine Dark Sea owner, said Peter Lowndes, and then we joined in.”

A normally competitive Olympian, Karyn Gojnich, decided watching was better. “You needed more than a competitive spirit,” she said laughing.

However, Lowndes’ partner, Sarah Goddard-Jones gave it a go: “It took me five false starts and finally I launched – I really wanted to do it,” she said.

While a number of participants favoured the feet first approach, as the competition wore on, others became more creative and there were some pikes and  double pikes thrown in for good measure.

This morning, Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson warned competitors the breeze would be a lot lighter than the past two days. There were no groans of disappointment. The truth is, most are still recovering from lay day at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week. Many were seen sipping coffees at Peppers Blue on Blue while waiting to discover what the day will hold.

For all information on SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, go to:    

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                            2 September, 2017

Thrills, spills and a reef to contend with at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week

Competitors at Townsville Yacht Club’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week contested the Around the Island Race today in winds up to 20 knots on a rather large swell, meaning a good time for some, damaged for others and one boat hit Middle Reef, despite warnings from the Race Committee.

Wayne McNee’s Celebrity was an early casualty when she scraped Middle Reef and had to be towed back to the Peppers Resort marina, one crew member quipping: “We’ll be wearing false beards at the prize giving tonight so nobody recognises us.”

McNee, from  Queensland, said this afternoon, “We haven’t done any damage as far as we’ve seen so far, so we should be right to race on Monday (tomorrow is a lay day). We only scraped it, there wasn’t a ’bang’ as such.”

Graeme Etherton, owner of the Crowther Windspeed 32 Cat named ‘The Boat’ (Qld), said they could not have had a better day after literally match-racing the larger Scamper, Adrian Lawrie’s  Schionning 15.2 (50ft) around the course until the South Australian Scamper set spinnaker for the home leg and could not be caught.

“We had a good tussle with Scamper. We led them almost to Horseshoe Bay when they overtook us, then we passed them again, doing 15 knots of boat speed. They put up a kite and said ‘goodbye’ and we weren’t able to catch them again. They got around 51 seconds in front of us and finished with that same margin, Etherton said, adding they had clocked up to 21.5 knots.

“A good day out – two good days of sailing, very enjoyable,” he said after winning the race from Scamper by nearly five minutes and lead the pointscore by one point from fellow Queenslander, Mistress (Dennis Coleman). Making up a Queensland trio, in third place is Salacia (Ian Johnson).

On Guilty Pleasures VI, a Farr 40, new Tasmanian owners Hughie Lewis and Gary Cripps said they benefitted from their sistership, Ponyo (owned by David Currie from Victoria), tearing their main during the race.

“It was fairly windy – up to 20 knots – and very lumpy,” Lewis said after finishing 11th in PHS 1. “We got a fairly good start and then ran a symmetric spinnaker – we should have set an asymmetrical. After that was a fairly big beat on the other side of the Island.

“Ponyo (which finished second in division last year) was ahead of us, but then she tore her main from top to bottom, so they had to drop it – and we overtook them – not how we wanted to do it, but there you have it,” said Lewis who was on his way to Ponyo to offer Currie the use of Guilty Pleasure VI’s spare main.

Lewis and Cripps, who sail for Bellerive Yacht Club in Tasmania, only took delivery of the Farr 40 two weeks before contesting Airlie Beach Race Week.

“It was light, so it suited us there – the boat goes well in the light,” Cripps said of winning Cruising Division 1 there.  

It didn’t give much time to learn the boat which Lewis said they came by via a Farr 40 sailing friend Colin Thomas.

“I had been sailing an SB20 and Gary was sailing a Sydney 38 and we decided to go back to the dark side and buy a fast yacht. We told Colin we needed something that was already in Queensland, it had to be cheap and have new rod rigging. Colin said ‘I’ve got something that ticks all the boxes’, and here we are.”

Lewis says the average age on board is 63. “Except for my 30 year old son-in-law on the bow and we bought the boat to have fun with it. We don’t want to get too serious. We call ourselves ‘Gerry and the Atrics’,” he said laughing.

In PHS 1, the first division away at 11am, Adrian Walters’ Shaw 11 Metre, Little Nico, took off like a rocket not to be seen again. She took line honours and won the race from Magnetic Island Race Week’s event chairman, Mike Steel and his Boadicca. Peter Lowndes Wine Dark Sea was third,. With a second and a win, Little Nico leads the division from sisterships, Wine Dark Sea and Never a Dull Moment.      

For all results and all information:    


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                            1 September, 2017

From hospital bed to winner at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 

Winning today’s opening race at Townsville Yacht Club’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week was a bigger deal than usual for Sydney yachtsman, Colin Wilson, who until recently was recovering from a minor heart attack in Townsville Hospital.

Wilson and his wife and boat partner Denise are here for their sixth appearance at the annual event, which is celebrating its 11th year, but a short time ago, Wilson did not know whether he would be ready to sail or not.

What should have been a routine tooth extraction was anything but, when it caused Wilson to have the heart attack. Sidelined, he left his Lyons 49 in the capable hands of Tony Kirby for Airlie Beach Race Week and did all doctors told him to so he could race here at Maggie Island.

“It’s so good to be back on the water and to end the day with a win – good for my first sail. I was so relaxed and in full sailing mode,” Wilson said.

“We had a blinder upwind and just felt in the groove – and stayed there. The weather was fabulous – 13-14 knots.”   

A corker of a day with an ideal breeze and sunny skies for the opening day at today, but not everyone got off to the start they wanted.

On Wine Dark Sea owner Peter Lowndes was hoping to give Never a Dull Moment a run for his money – you see each owns a Lyons 49’s and both live in NSW. And both had a trick or  two up their sleeves – Lowndes has three-time Olympian Karen Gojnich in the afterguard, while Wilson has Olympian and former world champion Nev Wittey calling tactics and sailmaker Ian (Hood Sails) Broad.

“I’ve known Broady for around 30 years. We’re mates and I love having him on the boat – he’s an asset,” Wilson said.

Lowndes, who finished fifth today, was worrying this morning that everything on the boat was shipshape.

“You know how it is when you haven’t raced for a little while and you’re wondering if you’ve done all the jobs? I think we’re ready. We’ll soon see,” he said.

Adrian Walters’ Shaw 11 Metre, Little Nico, took line honours from Never a Dull Moment and finished second overall in PHS Division 1.

First race nerves go the better of PHS Division 2 competitors, Thomas Hoogenbosch’s Bavaria 46 Therapy (Vic), and the locals on Mal Pirett’s Beneteau Oceanis 45, Champagne. Both were called over the start early, but Champagne’s crew did not heed the first call, so trailed her division as the fleet sailed uphill towards Cape Cleveland.

Perhaps the Therapy guys will drink champagne to recover this evening and the champagne guys might need some therapy!

Meanwhile, Australian Sailing’s relatively new president, John Lee, arrived at Magnetic Island in time to jump a ride on Mach 1, owned by Townsville Yacht Club Commodore, John Stokes. They finished fourth overall in PHS Division 1.

In PHS Division 2, Paul Commins’ Beneteau First 50 Carp Diem finished second, sandwiched between Vanilla 1, Peter McAdam’s Jeanneau54ds and David Perkins’ Dufour 560 Gl Vanilla 2.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson sent PHS 1 and 2 and Multihulls to Course 1, while PHS 3, and the Non-Spinnaker Division sailed the shorter Course 2 for Nautilus Marine Day Race 1. The scenic Around the Island Race is planned for tomorrow, starting from 11am.

Sixty five entries from Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW are taking part in SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week.

Full results and all information:    


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media



Wednesday 30 August 

A full complement of boats will take part in the 11th SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, to be held from 31 August to 6 September, for yet another year of spectacular racing set against some of Australia’s most breathtaking scenery here in tropical North Queensland, showcasing Townsville and Magnetic Island as a premier racing destination. 

Townsville Yacht Club has grown this event from a fleet of 21 boats in 2007, to now being a ‘must – do’ on many sailors’ calendars, evidenced by the variety of people who participate from Olympic and world class sailors to pure cruisers, sports boat and multihull sailors – the event caters to all types.

This year, Karen Gojnich, a three-time Australian Olympian and with her crew Nicky Bethwaite, the first women to ever represent Australia in sailing at an Olympic Games, returns after participating for the first time last year. And for the first time, Adrian Walters is bringing his sexy, sleek black Rob Shaw 11 metre designed ‘Little Nico from Sydney.

Boats will travel from as far afield as Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW, ready to take on the ’locals’ for SeaLink Magnetic Island Race week, hosted by Townsville Yacht Club and proudly sponsored by SeaLink Queensland.

WHAT:                 Launch of SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2017  

                            Announcement of fleet numbers and other information

WHEN:                 10.00am to 11.00am

                             Wednesday 30 August, 2017

WHERE:               Townsville Yacht Club

                              1 Plume Street, Townsville 4810

                              (Limited street parking only – please allow extra time to park)

WHO:                   Denis Thompson, Principal Race Officer

                             Tony Muller, Rear Commodore, Townsville Yacht Club and SMIRW competitor

                             Executive Committee     

VISUALS:            Participating yachts at Townsville Yacht Club

CONTACT:           Terri Mitchell, Townsville Yacht Club media manager

                             0410 477 244 or email: [email protected]

For more information about SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, please visit:

For hi-res photographs of last year’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week for editorial use, please ask Terri Mitchell

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                 8 August, 2017

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Entrants prepare for a week of fun and sun

Entries for Townsville Yacht Club’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week have reached 65 and most are already gearing up for a week of sailing, soaking up sun and catching up with friends for the final northern regatta, held during the first week of spring.

It does not cost an arm or a leg to compete at the event, set at the 52 square kilometre Magnetic Island, named in 2009 as one of Queensland’s 150 icons for its role as a ‘Natural attraction’. Located off Townsville, it is hard to beat the beauty of the Island and its surrounds. The natives are very welcoming and the accommodation, well, it’s pretty perfect, the centrepiece of racing and all social activities.    

So far, the Cruising Spinnaker/PHS boasts the largest number to-date, with 45 entered, including Angus Fletcher, back to defend his Division 1 title with Tevake II. This sleek 17 year-old Radford 13.7m is a seasoned campaigner, according to her Victorian owner.

“We’ve successfully completed in the 2006 and 2010 Melbourne to Vanuatu races, the 2006 Vanuatu to Mackay; 2006, 2010 and 2014 Sydney to Hobarts; six Melbourne to Hobart West Coasters and numerous shorter Bass Strait races,” Fletcher says.

Notable results in recent years include line honours in the 2010 Melbourne to Vanuatu and back-to-back overall wins in the 2012 and 2013 Melbourne to Hobart West Coasters. He has also competed at Airlie Beach Race Week and the past two Magnetic Island Race Weeks.

“I’m looking forward to the race up to Keppel, then Airlie Beach and Magnetic Island Race Weeks,” the Victorian said.

Joining Tevake II are fellow ‘returnees’ Sydney yachties, Peter Lowndes and Sarah Goddard-Jones, with their Lyons 49 Wine Dark Sea.

The couple famously raced with their cats Smudge and Noodles at ‘Maggie’ Island Race Week last year, but the felines will be missing in action this time.

“We started our trip around Australia in April and after the two months practice last year, we decided the cats were not really enjoying the long distance cruising (though they loved the racing), so before we left, we found them a new home with loving new parents,” Lowndes says.

Lowndes otherwise confirms the crew is similar to last year: “We’re delighted to have Karyn Gojnich on board again. She represented Australia at three Olympic Games, is a board member of Australian Sailing and in 2015 was elected Vice President of the Oceania Sailing Federation. She’s put so much back into sailing.”  

Goddard-Jones adds: “Similar to last year, we have a largely female crew, with just three token males (including Pete) – one more than last year. Most are our regulars from Sydney racing, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing everyone again.  From Maggie, Pete’s parents will join us to sail the next leg of our trip, heading up to Gove in the Northern Territory.

On the social scene, breakfast is a friendly affair at Peppers Resort restaurant. At the Opening Night Welcome, rock band Dr Jack on Pepper’s Deck will kick-start the nightly entertainment, while drinks and a prize giving daily following racing is accompanied by the day’s highlights, made more fun by a running commentary from TV personality Scotty Hillier.

The presentation night buffet dinner at Peppers closes the week, with lots of fun activities in between, including a cocktail night at Townsville Yacht Club. See ‘Social Events’ on the official website for the day by day program.

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week is open to IRC, PHS, Cruising in Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker yachts, Trailable Yachts, Sports Boats along with divisions for Multihull Racing and Multihull Cruising boats. 

The current crop of entries represent Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW.

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media


PRESS RELEASE                                                                                               19 July, 2017

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Cape Upstart stopover back on the menu

Because it was so well-received in 2016, SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week organisers are planning to host the Cape Upstart stopover again this year, for boats travelling from Airlie and/or Hamilton Island to SMIRW. 

“Cape Upstart is totally unique to this event,” Mike Steel, Event Chairman and Townsville Yacht Club (TYC) Director said of the event which was added to the calendar for the first time last year.

“It’s a great way for competitors, particularly those from interstate who are travelling from other regattas to unwind and get to know each other. It was a lot of fun and is a great way to start our regatta off,” he said.

“Richard and Karen Bonato kindly host and cater this BBQ event for the Club, opening their home at Cape Upstart to welcome yachties. Richard is not a yachtie, rather a motor boat owner, who is thrilled to share his piece of paradise.

“Cape Upstart is inaccessible by land, so the Club ferries competitors ashore from their yachts moored off the beach. We had around 100 attending last year and everyone made the most of the night, including a big bonfire.”

Steel’s comments are endorsed by Victorian yachtsman Mark Chew, who participated and took photos before racing his beautiful classic timber boat, Fair Winds’, at Magnetic Island last year: “It was a wonderful night with a big fire on the beach. It was really beautiful gesture,” he recalled.

“Competitors only had to supply the drinks,” he said of the memorable evening that combined convivial company and a seafood BBQ provided by the Club set amid some of the most spectacular scenery on offer in Australia.

TYC will send an invitation for Cape Upstart to all registered boat owners in August and also has other social events in the pipeline, while Queensland television personality, Scott Hillier, returns to film and comment live on the action at the daily prize giving. 

To-date, TYC has received 55 entries from monohull and multihull owners. Among them are two ‘ten timers’ for the 11th running of SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, which will be raced from 31 August until 6 September.  

TYC members Stanley Barnes with his Supersonic 27, Librian and Mike Steel, again skippering his Dufour 36, Boadicca have not missed since the event’s inception. Not far behind them is Ian Johnson’s Salacia with nine, while Doug Ryan (Shazam), Graeme Etherton (The Boat) and Jack Maguire (Zen) have each attended eight.

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. 

Entries close on Thursday 24th August 2017, so enter now to race against the current crop of 55 representing Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW.

Enter online via the official website:    

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                13 June, 2017

‘Never a Dull Moment’ at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week

There is ‘never a dull moment’ at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, just ask returnees Colin and Denise Wilson, enduring owners of a yacht bearing that name who enjoy the scenic racing on the Coral Sea and the fun times the event offers.

“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% 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. Don’t miss out.

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:    

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

Further information: Di Pearson, SLMIRW media manager, phone: 0410 792 131

PRESS RELEASE - 17 May 2017

The cat is out of the bag, Townsville sailors are going to work some early pre-event training into their schedules in an effort to outsail their interstate counterparts when SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week gets underway on the last day of August.

The 11th running of ‘Maggie Island’ Race Week will be held from 31 August to 6 September and members from the host, Townsville Yacht Club (TYC), are buoyed up and ready to rumble ahead of the Coral Sea classic.

"A few of us are headed to Quicksilver Port Douglas Race Week this month. It will be a good opportunity to put in some racing practice outside of our Townsville Yacht Club races,” TYC’s Rear Commodore, Tony Muller, confirms. “We have six boats making up the fleet of 11 in Division 1 for this year’s event.” 

Included in the “few of us” who will take part at both events is Muller, with his Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409, ‘Brava’, as he is keen to successfully defend his Cruising Spinnaker Division 1 title of last year at Magnetic Island.

Doug Ryan's Beneteau 44.7, 'Shazam', winner of the title in 2015 will also be on both start lines. Ryan is extremely familiar with the waters of these events, having lived in Port Douglas, where he was commodore of Port Douglas Yacht Club, before settling at Magnetic Island.

And while Mal and Sylvia Pirret only occasionally race during the TYC season with their perfectly named Beneteau Oceanis 45, 'Champagne', they are likely to be strong competition and have competed at Port Douglas Race Week to prepare over these past few years.

Other ‘Maggie Island’ regulars from TYC who have confirmed they will race at Port Douglas include Wayne Millar and his Murray 41, ‘Zoe,’ well-known for their participation in all the major regattas and races in eastern Australian.

Meanwhile, Mike Steel, Townsville Yacht Club’s Event Chairman for Magnetic Island Race Week, is feeling grateful they can go ahead with the event at all, because the region was incredibly left untouched by Cyclone Debbie.

“We all bunkered down for Cyclone Debbie, but all we saw were gusts to 30 knots. Fortunately for Townsville and the Magnetic Island region, we escaped unscathed,” Steel commented.

“We were lucky to be on the northern side of the system, unlike our neighbours in the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach, who experienced excessive damage.

“Thankfully, North Queenslanders have bounced back and we’ll see all three northern regattas run as per plan. 

“Many of Townsville’s businesses have been busy assisting residents and businesses to get back on track, so I expect by August, much of the damage will just be a memory,” ended Steel who will again bring his Dufour 36, ‘Boadicca’ to the start line at Magnetic Island.

Prospective competitors are reminded there is still a little time to take advantage of the Peppers Blue on Blue Resort 15% discount off the Bed and Breakfast fully serviced price.

The offer, subject to room availability, ends 30 June 2017, unless sold prior 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. Don’t miss out. 

At this early stage, entries from Queensland, NSW and Victoria exceed 20. 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. 

Discounted Early Bird entry closes on 31 May, so enter now via the official website:     

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

PRESS RELEASE                                                                              14 March, 2017

Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week entry open – 40th and 80th birthdays for first entrants

Online entry to Townsville Yacht Club’s 2017 Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week is open, with the first entry coming from Akarana as she celebrates her 40th birthday while her owner, Ian Hamilton, is to celebrate his 80th during the September event.

Celebrations for Akarana, known to all regulars at Magnetic Island, have already begun, according to the owner’s daughter, Vicki, who is now skippering the yacht.

“In 2013 there was a changing of the guard,” says Vicki, who has not looked back since taking over from her father, who at 79 still enjoys being involved.

“Dad turns 80 on the 2nd of September, so he’ll be aboard to celebrate during Maggie Island Race Week. He’s really looking forward to it. He loves to sail,” says Ian’s daughter, who only has to cross the water between Townsville and Magnetic Island to compete.

So a double celebration is imminent at the 11th running of Sealink Magnetic Island, to be held from 31 August to 6 September. And the dress-up themes the crew has become renowned for will be on again, although the Hamiltons remain tight-lipped but promise they will not disappoint.

“You’ll just have to wait and see,” says Vicki, whose crew enters into the spirit of the event wholeheartedly. Previous themes have included Barbie in 2009, cowboys in 2010, 1970s rock stars in 2011, sexy pirates in 2013, Mexican fiesta in 2015 and last year it was burlesque (dad Ian took centre stage in a tux).

Akarana, a Farr 1104, was designed to the IOR rule as a rule beater by the eminent Bruce Farr. “The hull was state of the art in those days, being fibre, built of foam sandwich with a steel frame, but has since been reconstructed in laminated hardwood,” Vicki says.

She was trucked from Compass yachts Sydney in October 1976, fitted out in Townsville by Ian Hamilton and launched in 1977 in time for the annual Easter Ocean race from Townsville to Dunk Island, which she won.

Rated as a one tonner, she went on as to win the Mooloolaba 79 SCOR series and followed up with success in the inaugural Gladstone to Cairns race and subsequent Cairns to Moresby race.

Since then, Akarana has been a regular in TYC races with moderate results. Vicki sailed her to third overall in Cruising Division 2 at Magnetic Island Race Week last year, nine years after her father Ian became a divisional winner at the inaugural event.

Over the years Akarana has sustained her share of damages. The shortlist includes five booms, three masts, three motors and two rudders, but the Hamiltons enthusiasm never wanes.  

Vicki and her crew wouldn’t miss Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week for quids.

“It’s a relaxed and fun event and dressing up adds to that feel. We love it. We use the event to also enjoy a holiday. It’s so easy to get to, but like another world. It’s a great way to have an island holiday with your mates. It’s my ‘play up time’ of the year. 

“My kids used to call it ‘Mum’s naughty weekend away,” she adds, laughing. “It’s a week of fun with my crew mates, mostly women – I didn’t plan it that way - it just evolved. They’re very experienced now, capable, so I enjoy pushing them. They gain more confidence that way.”

Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week enjoys the distinction of closing the northern circuit of major sailing events each year. It attracts entries from Australia wide. It is a wonderful way to wind down before heading home or back to work. With divisions for IRC and Performance Racing, Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker Cruising, along with multihulls, this event is growing in stature by reputation.

Director of Townsville Yacht Club, competitor and Event Chairman, Mike Steel, reminds prospective competitors: “Peppers Blue on Blue Resort is offering a 15% discount off the Bed and Breakfast fully serviced price, but the offer is subject to room availability and ends 30 June, 2017, unless sold sooner.

“Bookings must be made direct with the resort by calling 07 47 582 400 and quote ‘Magnetic Island Race Week Early Bird Special’. I urge competitors to book as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment,” Steel said.

Don’t miss this fabulous event. For all information, including social events and information, visit the official website:    

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

Further information: Di Pearson, SLMIRW media manager, phone: 0410 792 131

PRESS RELEASE                                                                              31 January, 2017

First in best dressed for extended 2017 Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week

Event organisers from Townsville Yacht Club have responded positively to pleas for Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week to be extended, so the popular regatta has been stretched to six days in 2017, and to celebrate, Peppers Blue on Blue Resort is offering a substantial discount for those who book early.

As is usual, Race Week will close the northern circuit, following Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race Weeks. The new regatta dates for the 11th running of the event are 31 August to 6 September. There is strong indication an increase in numbers from last year’s record fleet is on the cards, as news of the fun regatta has scattered near and far.

Mike Steel, Event Chairman and a director of Townsville Yacht Club said, “Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week is the perfect ending to the northern circuit and we understood competitors’ wishes for an extra day of racing, so have accommodated them.

Steel continued: “We commend Peppers Blue on Blue Resort offering a 15% discount off the Bed and Breakfast fully serviced price, including a welcome drink voucher per person in their popular Boardwalk Bar,” he said of the deal.

This 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, inclusive of daily hot buffet breakfast, daily housekeeping service and marina view rooms. 

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.

“The Notice of Race will be available on line from mid-February and entry will open from 1st March for both monohull and multihull boats,” said Steel, who is a great advertisement for Race Week as a regular with his Dufour 36 ‘Boadicca’.   

In fact Townsville Yacht Club is well represented at Magnetic Island Race Week. Vice Commodore Ian Johnson competes with his multihull Salacia, Rear Commodore Tony Muller with his monohull Brava and Director, Vicki Hamilton with her Akarana, joining their many fellow club members on the water.

The joy of Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week is it is a perfect way to end winter and enter spring in Queensland, not to mention the relaxed fun factor infusing the regatta, where every activity is centred around Peppers Blue on Blue – meaning a two minute walk to everywhere.

The fleet moors at the resort, which features fabulous dining and a bar, while the race start area is a mere five minute motor away. And the course area is nothing short of spectacular, the scenery is special. The ferry between the Island and Townsville is also a two minute walk, as are buses and local shops.  

Adding to the atmosphere of this unique event is those crews who dress in theme, something different each day. It adds to the fun and frivolity of the regatta. However, it is professionally organised and run, with Denis Thompson and his race management team keeping racing on an even keel.  

After racing, you will find competitors ashore at Peppers Blue for a couple drinks and the daily prize giving, hosted by TV personality, Scotty Hillier, before nipping to their rooms to change for the evening entertainment and dinner at the resort. Some opt to cook and entertain friends ‘at home’, or walk/bus to the local restaurants. It couldn’t be simpler.      

For all information, including social events and information on Magnetic Island, visit the official website:    

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

Further information and high res pics: Di Pearson, media manager, phone: 0410 792 131

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