Friday, December 06, 2019
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2018 DragonFlite 95 North Queensland Challenge

Saturday, the 8th September 2018, saw the inaugural DragonFlite 95 challenge regatta held in sunny Townsville, North Queensland, Australia. With competitors coming from Mackay, the Whitsunday’s and Townsville, this first-time event saw 8 skippers vying for the title of North Queensland champion. We had hoped for some visitors from the South East corner to come and show us how to sail these fantastic little craft, however due to various circumstances no one turned up.

The racing got underway in a fading light North Easterly breeze which oscillated to a north Westerly during the races, this made picking the wind shifts extremely challenging and taxing on the skipper’s patience. However great sportsmanship and camaraderie amongst the skippers made the event very enjoyable with very few penalties needed to be done, and plenty of helpful advice after each race to improve everyone’s boats.

After 12 races with small breaks after every 4 races, a clear winner emerged with the well-known local, Col Cameron, sailing consistently in the trying conditions. Maybe a bit of local knowledge may have helped him as he was kept on his toes with fierce competition from Shane Beyer (Whitsunday’s) 2nd and Dean Anderson (Mackay) 3rd. It is interesting to note that Col has taught and coached these skippers for several years, but it wasn’t the apprentices turn to beat the master, maybe next time boys.

The rest of the fleet had their turns at podium finishes, which clearly showed the interested public how close and competitive these fantastic yachts are. It was also timely to reintroduce the Nth Qld Interclub Trophy which has a long history starting way back in 1996, as we now have the 3 clubs sailing the same class of yacht, and it was the Whitsunday club who won it this year. In 2019, we have agreed to hold 3 Nth Qld events, each one held in the individual club sailing sites and the overall winner will be a combination of the 3 results.

The event was successfully hosted by the Townsville RC Yachting group and a special thanks goes to Bob, Ian, John, James and Braxy (the snake catching fox terrier) who gave up their time to help with the scoring, observing and manning the pick-up boat. The venue had excellent facilities, but the wind was not ideal this time. Also, a special thanks to our sponsors, Northern Eyes Optometrists, for providing every skipper and volunteers with a glass cleaning kit as well as 3 new sunglasses for prizes, which were distributed amongst the competitors.; donated a new A rig set of sails for the skipper who came in the middle of the fleet, Clay Bauman (Whitsunday) and to Hobby World who supplied some trophies.

We all are looking forward to our next event when we can catch up and renew our friendships and make new ones.

Link to Results



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