Day one: Marina Challenge

The Marina Hindmarsh Island Goolwa Regatta Week got underway on Saturday the 14th at The Marina Hindmarsh Island with the Marina Challenge, a unique and exciting time-trial yacht race in Barker, Sturt, Strangways and Hutchinson Lagoons sponsored by The Marina Hindmarsh Island and Club Marine Insurance.

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Image: TMHI Lagoons 

Now in its 6th year, the format involved two runs through the lagoons and boats were started at two minute intervals with the fastest boats getting underway first.

Due to the nature of the confined start line, the black flag rule was in place, meaning any boat that crossed the line early would be recorded as disqualified for that run.

With the wind a fresh 17-21 knots from the sou’ west, there was enough wind to get boats moving and maintain momentum in the lulls behind houses.

Residents lining the race course were again out in force to provide encouragement to the yachts as they raced by. All the race competitors agreed there were even more house parties than in previous years. Marina residents who were treated with box seats as boats sailed within metres of their front lawns.

Timing the start right proved a bit tricky for some of the entrants, with a number of boats making dramatic manoeuvres metres from the start line as they attempted to avoid the disqualification that came with a untimely start. Many learnt from previous years the importance of getting a good start and all boats successfully started and completed the first time trial.

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Bacchus skippered by past Commodore Brendan Murray powers towards the start line.

With one run under their belts, boats were now familiar with the course and readied themselves for a tighter and cleaner run the second time around. With the wind having shifted more to the east the crews and skippers had to work harder to keep the yachts moving into the breeze. Some yachts resorted to tacking.

At the conclusion of the second run, boats moored up in front of The Landing where race post mortems were held as delicious refreshments were served.

The Marina Hindmarsh Island has established a Marina Challenge Perpetual Trophy for the event that will remain on display at The Landing.

Results were read from last to first heightening the atmosphere as the announcement of place getters drew near. So in that tradition:

In 3rd place: Elanora (RL28) skippered by Louise Edwards.
In 2nd place: Endeavour (Restricted 21) skippered by Lyndon Bartlett.
And in first place, drum roll......

In 1st place: Dolphin (Restricted 21) skippered by Chris Reiffel.

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L-R: Tim Cook Club Marine Insurance, Chris Reiffel (skipper Dolphin), Andrew Chapman CEO The Marina Hindmarsh Island, Louise Edwards Vice Commodore GRYC