2014 State Titles at Mission Beach

 The Tasar Sailors gathered on the water at Mission Beach for not only the Zhik Round Dunk Is Regatta but also the QLD Tasar Championships. 

This was the first time the Qld championships were included in this regatta with its marathon around Dunk Island Race. The format was also changed this year with three races run back to back on Sunday morning instead of one race in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The expected strong sou-easter did not eventuate for race one on Saturday morning and after some delay the regatta got underway in light conditions. Many of the boats started at port end of the port bias start line but Tortle Peter and Angus MacGregor and AA Team Arron Linton and Jamie Jockheim stayed down the starboard end so that they could tack early and keep out of the tide by going along the beach. Not only did this tactic pay off but when they came back on starboard an unexpected southerly swing gave then a good lift to the top mark. This left a good buffer between these two boats and the rest of the fleet around the trapezoid course. AA Team won from Tortle and third was defending champion boat A Bit of R&R. 

Renee Cordingley could not skipper A Bit of R&R to defend the title this year as the rules don't allow three in the boat!! So husband Rob snapped up ex Qld Champion sailor Warwick Heath who had flown in from Canada the day before.

A 10 to 15 knot sou-easter settled in nicely for the Round Dunk Island race in the afternoon. The tide had settle down so the tactic of going along the beach at the start did not hold that much water. The fleet spread out across the tropical waters between the islands and crews were working wind shifts on the long eight kilometre windward beat to the eastern end of the island.

AA Team went in close to Dunk to get a lift off the bending wind near the shore. This tactic paid off and they rounded the end of the island first. The lighter crew on-board Shifty, Lachlan Heath and Carmen Walker, were in striking distance of AA Team after the beat and hoped they could still close the gap on the 9k downwind leg. 

A Bit of R&R. was third around the top followed by Greg and Judy Heath in Chuckling Again. Top Mission Beach sailor Jay Whittem, now living back home, borrowed Crusader to take his partner, Hayley O'Conne,r on her maiden voyage. They were combining well to round fifth ahead of six time Qld champion Peter MacGregor.

A tactical battle ensured with the top three boats down the back of the island. AA Team hugged the shore looking for shifts and tide. A Bit of R&R went wide looking for the less sheltered breeze and Shifty gybed down the middle.

Shifty's tactic paid off and lead the fleet to the finish from AATeam and A Bit of R&R. The battle for 4th was just as thrilling but when Chuckling Again met the fast reaching breeze just past Purtaboi Island first, they held off Crusader and Tortle.

These thrilling tactical battles ensured throughout the fleet. Sue Smith and Mike Spillman in Boyz Light Up went low on the reach from Purtaboi Is and stayed on the plane to beat Josh Claus and Mark Milrae in Easy Aussie, and the youngest skipper of the fleet, Tom Hick-Ledez and his dad,Ben, in Alchemy to the finish. Light weights Karen Carcary and Geraldine Williams in Icon found the long beat hard enough and were not impressed with the extra ballast they had to carry according to the rules. However, a close tussle with Alex Kostin and trainee crew, Fiona Mackechie, in Amature Hour kept them on their toe straps.

Up came the wind on Sunday morning to 15/20kn. The shore break at Mission Beach can be difficult in these conditions and some sailors decided not to risk it. 

Two laps around the Trapezoid course and Lach and Carmen felt good with a win in those conditions. However, in the next race, Aaron and Jamie got one back and made the scoreboard even for the two front runners before the last race. Rob and Warwick consistently clocked up 3 points in every race.

A dropped mainsheet on Shifty at the start was all it took to allow AA Team to put a tight cover on them up the windward leg. The wind had increased and so only a quick one lapper was set. A couple of Tasars skewed down the waves and went past the point of no return but not the two front runners. Aaron and Jamie in AA Team held on the win the Qld championship.

Greg & Judy Heath