Sailors gear up for race week
BUNDABERG sailor Grant Thompson has hoisted the sail on his cruising boat Volare for the Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week before chasing the horizon in search of the Louisiades in Papua New Guinea.
Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week, now in its fourth year, held just off the coast of Townsville, is the fastest growing offshore sailing regatta in the Asia Pacific.
This year, a fleet of almost 70 boats enjoyed sailing the sheltered waters of Cleveland Bay and around Magnetic Island, the southernmost island in the Palm Group.
Sailors from every state and territory enjoyed this relaxed and friendly north Queensland regatta in the warm early spring sunshine.
Joining Grant for the regatta was wife Leslie Thompson, Bernie Latimer, Hugh Davenay, Krystine Burke, and Susie Norvilas.
Grant also has the pleasure of sailing with two other yachts, Instant Karma and Escape, not only as competitors in Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week, but also offshore to Louisiades.
Grant met both boats' skippers, David Moran and Paul Wise, last year in northern regattas, agreeing that Sunferries Magnetic Island Race Week would be the perfect place to meet for a bit of a race before sailing offshore.
An increasing number of sailors are coming to this event before embarking on an adventure cruise up into Papua New Guinea and on into the Asian cruising grounds.
For four months, Volare will be sailing in the Louisiades experiencing a natural and primitive way of life, taking tokens to trade with locals, including clothing, toys and food, while enjoying the reef .