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19 March 2007, 10:46 am
Queensland Sailors Compete
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Yachting Queensland Club Marine Team Racing Championship 2007
Brisbane, Australia

Seven teams competed in the 2007 Yachting Queensland Club Marine Open Team Racing State Championships on Sunday 18 March, which was the qualifying event for the forthcoming Australian Championships to be held at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) from 4-7 May.
Australia are one of the traditional forces in the world of team racing, having competed at every ISAF Team Racing World Championship since the first event in 1995. This year the ISAF Team Racing Worlds will be held on the Mediterranean for the first time, with Gandia, Spain set to host the event from 23-29 September.

The racing was conducted at RQYS with two teams travelling from Townsville, North Queensland, to compete. The other five teams were Brisbane locals with the current Term 1 Secondary School Team Racing Champions Brisbane Boys College also entering a team.

The day began with a light easterly breeze that eventually filled in to a consistent 15 knots from the southeast from 11:00. The two round robin event had 42 races for the day resulting in a best of three sail off to determine the final results for first and second.

TBA Vs BBC 1

Teams TBA (Ryan PALK, Sam KERR, Steve MASTIN, Leah GALLAGHER, Katie CUNNEEN, Erin GALLAGHER and Rhys THIELE) and BBC 1 (Gray PRITCHETT, Warwick HEATH, Jay WHITTEM, Cathy GRANT, Tony WHITTEM and Tim ROBBA) finishing first and second respectively after two round robins, both teams lined up for the nail-biting sail off.

After the three-race sail-off team TBA with a 2-1 win were declared the overall winners of the 2007 Yachting Queensland Club Marine Open Team Racing Championships.

Both TBA and BBC 1 will now go on to represent Queensland at the Open Nationals in May. There is also the option for team Wee Wee (Grant HUDSON, Charles KOSECKI, Andrew SEYMOUR, Jess HIGGS, Shona MCLEAN and Rachel MCLEAN) and SEA LSD (Ryan STODDART, David SCHMIDT, Curtis SKINNER, Casey SUTHERLAND, Melissa HARDY and Samantha HARDY) to join them depending on the number of interstate entries received for the Open National Championships.

Principal Race Officer Louise DAVIS said the racing was some of the best she has seen as this level, 'The teams all behaved in a professional manner however there were moments of adrenalin forced screams all vying for penalty turns to be ordered to competing teams. It's evident that competition will be fierce at both the events we are preparing for in April and May.'

Tough Day For The Umpires

The umpires had a strenuous day of calls with not one race passing by without a red flag. 'There were protest calls coming from every direction however most infringing teams redeemed themselves within a reasonable time. It's great to see that all teams were precise with their rules. Although teams were usually pretty good with their penalty turns there were times when the umpire was called and we had to make a decision. All in all the racing for the day was excellent and all teams must be congratulated,' said Head Umpire Tom JOHNS on completion of the final race.

RQYS has used the Term 1 competition and this event to prepare for two major upcoming regattas being the Yachting Queensland BMW Motorline Secondary Schools Team Racing Championships in April and the Yachting Australia Sail Westpac Open Team Racing National Championships scheduled for May.

RQYS has seven new Pacer dinghies arriving within the next two weeks in preparation for these forthcoming regattas bringing their fleet number to three with 21 boats in total.

For information regarding the Yachting Queensland BMW Motorline Secondary Schools Team Racing Championships and the Yachting Australia Sail Westpac Open Team Racing National Championships please contact Suellen HURLING on 07 3396 8666. Details regarding team racing at RQYS are also available on the website www.rqys.com.au.

Suellen Hurling (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Brisbane:© Suellen Hurling
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