Monday, September 5, 2016

Frantically Seeking a New Boat for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race

The yacht Frantic’s demise on the rocks at Grassy Island during the last race of Airlie Beach Race Week in August could easily have meant the withdrawal of the first Queensland entry for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race starting in less than four months’ time. 
Photo: Andrea Francolini
Instead, skipper Graham Furtado is scouting for a new 40-footer and though the timeframe is tight, he’s planning to secure a replacement by the end of October and still be part of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s first offshore race to Queensland setting off on January 2, 2017 from the mouth of the Hawkesbury River.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Frantic was competing at the Airlie Beach regatta when its spinnaker became wrapped around the forestay. Winds gusting up to 30 knots kept knocking the Sayer 40 over and dragging it towards the shore, while the tide sucked the stricken vessel in the same direction.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Eight crew members were rescued by fellow competitors and the boat was left, only to wash out to sea and sink. Frantic was eventually located by a diver, who saw the mast tip sticking out at low tide off Olden Island, and refloated, then towed ashore where Furtado’s insurance company classed it a write-off.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Whitsunday Times report on August 19
Photo: Lulu Roseman
“It’s a shame, we were sailing it pretty well. We’d bought new sails for the Pittwater to Coffs this year, which aren’t so good anymore. They are all with the boat, which is probably going underground,” Furtado said

The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron member had entered Frantic in the RPAYC’s New Year race and was planning another 12 month campaign before looking around for a cruiser/racer style replacement. “This was thrust upon us; it would have been nice to hand one boat over and jump onto the next one. Now I’m boat-less, though I’m looking at a few options in the 40-foot range and hope to be back on the water soon,” Furtado said positively.

Eligible monohulls and multihulls are invited to enter the 370 nautical mile Category 2 ocean race, which starts off Barrenjoey Headland on Sydney’s northern beaches at 1pm on Monday January 2, 2017. It will be a key event during the RPAYC’s calendar of Sesquicentenary celebrations marking 150 years of operation.

Usually the RPAYC’s longstanding New Year offshore race finishes at Coffs Harbour however storms earlier this year destroyed some of the marina infrastructure necessary for berthing the fleet.

Lisa Ratcliff

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