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Australian Sharpie Championships at Queensland - Day 1

by Chris Murray 30 Dec 2011 09:16 GMT 29 December 2011 - 5 January 2012
N902 (Mainiac) Ian Richardson from Port Kembla NSW competing in the tough conditions at the Australian Sharpie Championships © Chris Murray

Well they promised it would blow, and it did exactly that, to get the 69th National Championships underway.

The 33 competitors from all around the country were greeted with a warm (water temp above 26 deg celcius), but blustery welcome on Waterloo Bay, Manly and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Only 13 boats completed the testing course with wind speeds topping the 37 knot mark and quite a few retirements including a broken mast, and few boats requiring the famous Sharpie Code Flag Z.

Line honours and a handicap victory went to the South Australian Sam McCloud SA928 (Warpig) from Adelaide Sailing Club, the current Queensland State Champion Q892 (The Gringerbread Man) sailed by young Sunshine Coast female entry (and soon to be a mum) Elke Hacker took out second place, whilst the current National Champion from Tasmania attempting to defend their title on T900 (One Hump or Two) was in third place.

The rest of the fleet was a scattering of past national champions, class legends and lots of locals including the Commodore of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron - Greg Clarke on his boat Q882 (McGees Property).

Racing continues with the first two heats of the seven race series tomorrow from 1pm. Stay tuned for more results and further information is available on the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron website or visit www.sharpies.com.au to find out more about Sharpie Sailing.

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