With a light chop and excellent weather conditions, 22 RQ and 11 Southport Yacht Club boats competed for the coveted Goodwill Cup, an annual tradition that has continued for 59 years. Two different courses around Peel Island were set for GPS and Traditional divisions. Other than Stradbroke car ferries and a few other yachts crossing the course, all boats had to contend with tricky cross currents, wind and tides.
The Traditional Division with 15 competing boats is the ultimate navigation test of staying on course with a map, compass and stopwatch. The GPS Division allows the use of electronic chartplotters, but maintaining an exact course and speed still tests a team’s skill in handling their craft throughout the testing conditions. On board satellite trackers monitor exact course/speeds of boats as they pass thru multiple mystery “gates” on the defined course, with penalty points assessed for deviations of speed, distance off course and time.
Competition was intense in both Divisions. In the Traditional section, the winner was RQ boat September Song, skippered by Stephen O’Brien with Gray Pritchett (Navigator) and crew, Dougall Henderson and Sean Poole-Warren with 57 points. Stephen commented that while tides were strong in parts of the course, preparation, homework and great conditions contributed to a pleasing win. Second place went to Cloud Catcher (RQ – Phillip Holzberger) on 71 points closely followed by Nocturn (RQ – Charles Kirby) on 72 points, and Rous Explorer (RQ – Tim Green) with 103 points.
The GPS section with 18 competing boats, on the other hand was a nail biter. Always rivals in past Cup events, Southport’s Mia, skippered by Todd Brooker and RQ’s Northlight, skippered by PC Denis Land fought it out to an even 11 point draw. A tie breaking count back, according to the Cup rules, resulted in Northlight being declared the winner by .149 of a second being the difference in aggregate scores across the 30 gates – a blink of an eye difference. Denis Land has an outstanding record of Navigation event wins. His crew on this occasion was his son Chris (Navigator), Patrick Boucousis, Alex Ford and Mike Cleary. Third place was RQ’s Harbor-Nating, skippered by John Higgins with 15 points, closely followed by Commodore Barry Cuneo’s Poppins with 16 points. Congratulations and thanks to everyone that participated.
All in all, a very successful Navigation event and a great result for RQYS.
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