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Races Wrap Up 2019

Races Wrap Up 2019

Hamilton Island Race Week Multihull Wrap-Up

By Lisa Ratcliff

Hamilton Island Race Week, sandwiched annually between Airlie Beach and Magnetic Island race weeks, draws thousands of sailors keen to escape the wintery chill gripping the popular southern Australian boating hubs, as well as those enjoying milder Queensland winters.

Despite the softer economy, the latest edition of the country’s most popular offshore regatta attracted the second biggest fleet in 36 years. Two hundred and thirty-four boats were towed, trucked, sailed and raced, via the inaugural Lendlease Brisbane to Hamilton Island Yacht Race, to the Whitsunday jewel for the six-day pointscore and busy shoreside program.

Multihull Racing class was scored under OMR with a seven-race schedule in trade winds that opened at 8-10 knots before a significant weather system on day three pumped up the sou’easters to 20 plus knots — where the breeze remained; consistency that’s not been experienced by competitors in many years.

Top place went to Michel Van Der Zwaard’s Extreme 40, Back in Black, which had the crew experience to ride out fresher conditions and sea state, including current Tornado world champions Brett Burville and Max Puttman among other national and world champs in various classes. Special guest Carrie Smith, the Rio Games’ 470 sailor, at Race Week to launch Hamilton Island’s partnership with Australian Sailing’s SheSails, joined the Back in Black crew on the penultimate day for a super-charged blast around the island’s course.

Second overall in division was Tony Considine’s new Tf10 Mad Max, a tri-foiler designed to target boat speed three times true wind speed that had made its racing debut the week prior, at Airlie Beach Race Week. Considine explained the rationale for his latest purchase: “We basically won everything with our old boat, a Grainger cat. So we talked about building a new one and what it would be. We looked at the America’s Cup foiling boats and thought it would be great if we could find a foiling trimaran, but it had to be trailarable as we needed to move it around easily. We found a DNA Tf10 foiling trimaran and the guys, headed by Mad Max’s skipper George Owen and Considine’s son, took it for a sail, and that was that.”

Karl Kwok’s MOD70 Beau Geste tearing around the island paradise made a spectacular sight. But short- course racing is not the record-setting trimaran’s genre. The international crew, under highly experienced boat captain Gavin Brady, opted to sail conservatively with guests and media aboard, never expecting they would make a dent on the corrected time results, but working up to speeds of 30 to 34 knots, which Brady later described as “taking it easy”.

“It’s tough getting this boat around those islands given it’s designed for long ocean races,” Brady said. “You just have to pick your times to reef, and then make the most of the downwind to try and get away from the 40-footers. We’re really just getting back into spending more time on the boat before we head back to New Zealand for the Coastal Classic, so it’s mostly about recalibrating. This boat is very wet, therefore we are enjoying sailing in the tropics. We’ve decided it’s a warm water boat!”

The two Multihull Hamilton Island divisions completed six EHC scored passage races around various Whitsunday islands, each daily course dependent on wind and tide as selected that morning by regatta director Denis Thompson and his large team whose primary aim is to have boats through the tidal gates before the change sets up a roadblock.

Purple division top honours went to Craig Molloy’s Avalanche, a Lidgard 52 from Southport Yacht Club, and Black division first place went to Ken Plowman’s Lightwave 38 called Red Undies, the unusual moniker that had everyone trying to guess the meaning behind it.

Multihull crews docked among the array of cruiser- racer monohulls and were treated to the island’s usual high level of hospitality including complimentary ice delivery and morning coffee cart and afternoon BBQ, which encourages crew to gather for a snag in bread while reviewing the day’s outing. Later each evening, the island’s many restaurants and ticketed events were bursting and the main stage entertainment ramping up with free nightly bands playing live.

St Helena Cup Regatta

By Frances Mulcahy


Wynnum Manly Sailing club is proud to conduct the biggest weekend “big boat” regatta, the St Helena Cup, held in Southern Queensland each year. It is also the only team event on the local sailing calendar. Around 100 yachts regularly enter either the monohull teams competition, the cruising division or the multihull division.

Shore-based activities are hosted at Wynnum Manly Yacht Club, with sign- on day on Friday, 4 October, and entertainment and prize draws on Saturday night, 5 October. Meals, refreshments and breakfast are available over the entire weekend. Berthing options are also available for visiting yachts.

The St Helena Cup regatta dates back to 1976, but the Cup itself was awarded to the winner of a rifle shooting competition held on St Helena Island in 1890. It was kindly gifted to Wynnum Manly Yacht Club by Mick Patterson, the grandson of the 1890 winner, Edwin Cloherty. Sadly, Mick Patterson passed away on 27 July this year, but his legacy lives on with the St Helena Cup.

Proudly sponsored by Nautilus Marine Insurance, Manly Hotel, Muir Marine, Hood Sails, DisplayCraft, AustraliaWide Boat Sails, and Multihull Central, the event is offering several thousands of dollars worth of prizes for the various winners and placegetters.

For more details and the notice of race, visit


1976 goes down in history as the first year of the Club’s signature event – the St Helena Cup. The idea came from long standing members Stan Davey, Mick Patterson and Rod Florence, who in the early 1970’s began planning a yacht race in Moreton Bay of equal importance as the Bribie Cup or the Myora Cup events run by other clubs. They wanted a team race similar to the Admiral’s Cup raced in the UK at the time.

The idea reached fruition in 1976 when Mick Patterson kindly donated his family’s treasured silver cup as the winner’s trophy. Commodore Vince Hayes accepted the cup on behalf of the Club, and the proposed yacht race was named the St Helena Cup.

The Cup was handcrafted in England in sterling silver and its long history dates back to 1890 when it was a trophy for a rifle shooting competition held on St Helena Island. It was won by Mick Patterson’s grandfather Edwin Cloherty, who was a warden on the island when it was a notorious prison from 1865 until 1932. The President’s Cup, as it was known in 1890, was won by Edwin. It was inscribed with his name and went into the family’s heirloom cupboard. Mick inherited the Cup from his Aunt Helena who was the first white child born on St Helena Island.

(Excerpt from A history of Sailing and Boating on Moreton Bay by Peter Auld)



(Published in the Oct-Dec 2019 edition)




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