Top fleet makes for high-quality 2019 CQ Titles.
2019 Central Queensland IOM Championships – Gladstone
25th & 26th May 2019
A cracking field registered for the 2019 CQ International One Metre Titles being held in Gladstone, at what’s becoming widely regarded as one of the best radio controlled yachting venues in Queensland. Current Australian Champion Sean Wallis made the trip from WA, former Australian Champion Paul Jones was a last minute inclusion, driving up from Lake Macquarie and a whole host of state and regional title placegetters over recent years filled positions in the 30 strong/two fleets that launched off the bank at 10 am Saturday.
A beautiful 8-10knot E/NE breeze graced the course area and from the outset it was fast and tight. From the vantage positions, high above the water from a commercial pier, yachtsmen had a ‘god like’ view of proceedings and this made for close but fair racing, with many finishes sending David Black and his host of helpers scrambling.
As expected Sean Wallis launched out of the blocks with a bullet in the first ranking race, following that up with another in the first heat, while former CQ IOM Champion Doug Allen from Kawana booked his place in A-Fleet with a first in the seeding race.
As racing began to settle down the usual suspects began to find their way to the top of the score sheets, with former State Champion Greg Torpy from Wynnum Manly, Paul Jones, Sean Wallis and Peter Sherwood from Wynnum Manly all crossing the line first in the first 8 heats. However, the local contingent wasn’t far behind with Aaron Farrar placing in the top 5, Grant Cooper bagging a first but finding it hard to keep consistency across the day and the big improver, Steve Bray regularly placing top 3 and consistently scoring well in the A-Fleet.
By the end of the first days sailing, Paul Jones had recovered well from a slow start to lead Sean Wallis by a solitary point while the Gladstone trio of Bray, Cooper & Farrar were 3rd to 5th, with only 3 points separating them. Strong showings from Greg Torpy, Tim Brown from Twin Towns RYC in NSW, Doug Allen, Peter Sherwood and John Gower from Paradise RYC down the coast, rounded out the top 10.
Even though the Sunday was picture perfect, unfortunately, the breeze was a bit light on from the south with 0-5 knots greeting the yachtsmen early. Ian Ashe (PRO) had some moments finding the right course, but sailing got underway on time at 9:30. Those that adapted to the fickle conditions the quickest saw immediate results with good results posted by Ben Taylor from Lake Maquarie, Geoff Morris from Kawana and Gladstone’s Laurie Donohoe even pinching a 4th early. It was mentioned by visiting yachtsmen that they were impressed by the high level of competetiveness of all Gladstone local sailors, with Laurie Donohoe, Graeme Aldridge, Ian McKay, Marty Watson, Greg Flintham and Phil Brown all finding their ways into A-Fleets from time to time.
The championship became a two horse race early on Sunday as Sean Wallis and Paul Jones traded places at the top of the score sheet, with Wallis taking the advantage early and putting a small break on Jones. However, there were very interesting sub-plots going on for the rest of the top placings. Locals Grant Cooper and Steve Bray couldn’t keep up their form from the first day and slipped out of contention for the bronze while Gladstone’s Aaron Farrar and Greg Torpy kept their rivalry very much alive, taking advantage of the leaders shift in focus to post wins in strengthening conditions. Tim Brown showed consistency after rescuing a brief drop into B-Fleet to move up the rankings and Peter Sherwood shook off the cobwebs that plagued him on Day 1 to post a couple of wins.
Race 13 (ironically) was the unlucky turning point for Sean Wallis’s campaign for his first CQ Championship, barely remaining in A-Fleet with an 11th while Paul Jones posted a solid second behind Peter Sherwood leaving the two National Champions tied for points with two races to go. If that wasn’t enough, another five-point division came in the next race with an uncharacteristic 10th from Wallis handing Jones a 5 point lead heading into the last race.
Gladstone’s Aaron Farrar had a superb afternoon with his Britpop design finding an extra gear in the perfect afternoon conditions and finished the regatta with another win in the final race, securing the third position overall from the fast-finishing Greg Torpy, while a second position for Wallis was not enough to bridge the gap to Jones, who came home a close third over the line.
Congratulations to Frank Russell from Club Kawana who narrowly got home in the Masters Division from Geoff Morris.
1 Paul Jones Lake Macquarie RYC NSW 28.0
2 Sean Wallis Champion Lakes RS WA 32.0
3 Aaron Farrar Gladstone RCYC QLD 53.0
4 Greg Torpy Wynnum Manly RMYC QLD 58.0
5 Tim Brown Twin Towns RYC NSW 72.0
6 Peter Sherwood Wynnum Manly QLD 97.0
7 Grant Cooper Gladstone RCYC QLD 100.6
8 Doug Allen Club Kawana RY QLD 104.0
9 Steve Bray Gladstone RCYC QLD 116.0
10 John Gower Paradise RYC V 10 QLD 120.0
1st Masters Division Frank Russell Club Kawana
All results HERE