Gordon MAGUIRE reclined on a poolside deckchair at Five Star Hayman late yesterday, sipped on a pina colada while watching his wife and children play in the pool then announced.<I> "This has been the perfect lay-day at a regatta. Nothing happened."</I>
The majority of competitors at this year's Hayman Regatta followed Maguire's lead. Under an azure tropical sky and with a refreshing south easterly tradewind blowing they took the time away from racing to sample the luxury offered by Australia's most awarded international resort.
Those competitors feeling energetic did make it to the 'Regatta Olympics', a beach party at the resort where they enjoyed a barbecue lunch and various sporting contests against Hayman staff members. Some others took to the water by boat to watch huge humpback whales breaching and cavorting on the Whitsunday Passage.
The scene changes today when the crews return to the racecourse for two windward-leeward races on courses set immediately adjacent to Hayman. Perfect sailing conditions are on hand - a 15-knot southeasterly wind, clear skies and a temperature in the mid-20's.
Maguire, who was a watch captain aboard Team News Corp in the last Volvo Ocean Race, is sailing as starting helmsman aboard Matt ALLEN'S gold-hulled Farr 52 Ichi Ban. With three races remaining in the IRC championship Allen and his team hold a two-point lead over Steve and Mary CHIODO'S remarkably competitive Sydney 47 cruiser-racer, Gomez. Then there's only another two points back to Wayne Millar's 41ft Murray, Burns and Dovell designed Zoe. The highly talented crew aboard this yacht includes two of Western Australia's best offshore sailors, Skip LISSIMAN and Scott MCALLISTER. They flew in especially to compete at Hayman.
Apart from looking destined to take the 'Gun Boat' trophy for the most line honours wins at the regatta, Andrew Short's Volvo 60, Andrew Short Marine, stands at the top of the table on points in the PHS division. This big boat and Don Algie's 62-footer, Storm II, should revel in today's fresh conditions and prove to be hard to beat in the PHS contest.