2014 Vintage Yacht Regatta
Ideal weather conditions greeted the high quality fleet that gathered over the Queen’s Birthday weekend for the 39th Vintage Yacht Regatta at Queensland Cruising Yacht Club in Brisbane.
With good breeze and sunshine it was the warmest weather for some time at this annual event and it certainly seemed to make for enthusiastic crew, almost too enthusiastic on a couple of the boats in Race One who traded some varnish on the start line. Unique to the Vintage Yacht Regatta is the use of different course lengths within the same race area. This keeps the fleet together and helps add to the atmosphere and this was certainly the case for the first race when the entire fleet finished within twenty minutes of each, no mean feat when you have boats ranging in size from the stunningly beautiful Wraith of Odin at 18m, down to the smallest boat, Moggie, at just under 4m.
To keep the navigators on their toes each race during the weekend followed a different course and thanks to the great conditions, the fleet was back at Queensland Cruising Yacht Club in plenty of time after race two on Saturday to enjoy the waterside restaurant and allow judge Brian Hutchinson to get to work grading the fleet for the Concours d’Elegance competition. This is always a hotly contested event where it can sometimes come down to a number of scratches on the mast to split the yachts.
Sunday provided another day of great racing in building swell and wind that started to challenge both crew and yacht. One of the real charms of the weekend is that although the racing is competitive, everyone still has the ability to see the funny side when things don’t go quite as planned; well mostly! Euan MacDonald, skippering one of three Amity’s at the event, will attest to this fact as he recounted, to great applause, his adventure with one of the mark buoys at the presentation back at the Club
The main regatta over, Monday was an optional pursuit race to help the crew on their journey homeward. The concept is simple, the slowest boat starts first and all the other yachts start at predetermined times after it. If the sums are done correctly, everyone finished at the same time. With the promise of more wind again the fleet for this race was far smaller than the rest of the weekend but for those that did venture out, they were met with a cobweb blowing 30 knots of wind and a great sail out towards Moreton Island and back. As the wind was getting stronger the larger, faster boats had the advantage but even so the fleet finished in a tight eight minute window and then happily set sail for home.
After the event, Regatta Director commented that this years Regatta, had been one of the best he had been at and was already planning for the milestone fortieth running of the event next year.
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