Greg Torpy crowned Queensland IOM Champion.
Updated: Jun 20
The State of Queensland International One Meter Championships have been sailed and won in perfect conditions in the Gladstone Marina last weekend.
The predicted 7-12 knot north to northeasterlies arrived at the exact start time allowing PRO Ian Ashe to set a perfect course close to the skippers and with uninterrupted and unrestricted winds. Skippers were impressed with the elevated vantage of their yachts and the constant breeze, prompting many to suggest the Gladstone location as one of the best places to sail in Queensland. Skippers from the Wynnum/Manly, Springfield Lakes, Kawana, Brisbane, Moreton, Fraser Coast and north to Mackay joined the Gladstone contingent to make a disappointing but strong 16 boat competition.
It didn’t take long on Day One to see it was going to be a tussle between two for the ultimate honours. Greg Torpy from Wynnum Manly sailing a V-10 jumped out of the blocks with 2 wins and 2 seconds while Aaron Farrar from the host Gladstone Club didn’t take long to find his mojo and after an early 6th went on to record 8 ‘bullets’ in the first 12 races with his beautifully set up BritPop. Former CQ Titles holder Doug Allen from Kawana found the going tough with various unfortunate situations and after a racing incident that saw his BritPop sustain damage having to retire and then sit out another, the leaders were creating a big gap on the scoreboard. Local skippers Steve Bray sailing his beautiful V-10 and Laurie Donohoe with his Blitz 5 were starting to show glimpses of their talent, mixing it up with Johnny Gower from Wynnum Manly, posting regular top five places – but consistency was hurting their top 3 aspirations.
It was fantastic to see a true friend of the GRCYC and all round good bloke Colin Cameron make the trip down from Mackay with his brother Peter as his wing-man. As many would know Col has been fighting the dreaded ‘C’ and it was nothing short of a herculean effort to travel, compete and ultimately support the sport of RC sailing in regional Queensland putting others skippers with lesser excuses to travel to shame. Col understands the importance of supporting regional clubs hosting our sports prestigious events and what this means for the publicity of the sport outside the metropolitan area. And it was clearly evident he wasn’t here to make up the numbers either with many top-five finishes on day one.
At the halfway point, in what could have been a blowout, Aaron Farrar couldn’t replicate his strong form and began to come back to the fleet late in the day. Eventually, Greg Torpy who recorded a contrasting six wins in the last 7 races to lead the pack by 7 points. Doug Allen, even though 30 points behind found some late day form, while Steve Bray was also was scoring consistently. The racing ran so smoothly, the Ian Ashe & his race committee couldn’t believe it when Gladstone’s Ian Mackay sailing a Blitz broke through for his maiden State Title race win in the last race of the day, that 21 races had been completed.
That night all skippers went back to the Gladstone Yacht Club and enjoyed an incredible feed, a few cold ales and the friendly fellowship that the Gladstone Club is famous for.
It was Day 2 and even though storms were threatening, it was a carbon copy of Day 1, with the breeze settling in 15min before race time. From the first race, the Farrar/Torpy show looked destined to go down to the wire with an opening victory to Farrar signalling his intentions. QRYA Secretary Ron Fawcett started to show more consistency with his Kantun S while Peter Sherwood from Wynnum Manly settled into the top 10 with glimpses of brilliance… backed up with moments of madness. If Peter played the percentages more and ‘took his medicine’ ducking a few more sterns, it’s this scribe’s opinion he would have placed much higher. Peter went on to be awarded the ‘Sportsman Award’, probably due to the amount of 360 turns he did, with little ‘prompting’ over the series – and there was a LOT!
While there was a ding-dong battle at the head of the fleet, positions 11-16 were a competition within a competition. Kim ‘starboard’ Mitchell from the Fraser Coast Club and the colour coordinated Russell Gray From Wynnum Manly were constantly crossing tacks with Phillip Brown from Gladstone, David Cox from Brisbane, Patrick Collins from Springfield Lakes and Ray Wilson from Wynnum Manly (who ended up earning the Encouragement Award for his results from such a new member). It was great to watch these competitors slug it out and if a perhaps a few of these guys remembered to ‘give it a couple more meters’ before tacking on the lay line, there may have been less carnage at that top mark. (Yes we’re talking to you David!)
PRO Iain Ashe called time 3pm on Sunday with an incredible 40 races completed with not one protest hearing. Sure there were moments of meditation, but most racing was completed in the respectful, adult way it was intended. In the end Greg Torpy’s skill, speed and consistency were undeniable, taking out the regatta by 25 points over a gallant Aaron Farrar and being crowned Queensland IOM State Champion for 2017.
Finally – Thanks to all our Gladstone Club Members for all your efforts over the weekend with special mention to Nat Cooper & Laraine Mackay for the catering and Cass Bray for the amazing photos.