It was a wild ride for the sailors who took part in the 2021 Port Douglas race week as roaring winds supercharged the sails of the boats at the annual regatta.
25 boats over three divisions entered the weeklong event that saw winds up to 30 knots testing crews and boats to the limit, but the seadogs loved the challenge.
Secretary for the Port Douglas Yacht Club, Robyn Shelly said “it was a highly successful event, we are very pleased with how it went despite some very strong winds.
“It was a tough race for everybody, the conditions were demanding for all the sailors but they enjoyed the challenge.
“We had a lot of fun there were a lot of tired and very happy sailors at the end of the regatta,” said Ms Shelly.
2021 Port Douglas Race Week overall winners:
• Division one: Charm Offensive – Skippered by James Permezel
• Division two: Falcon – skippered by Russell Kingston
• Division Three: Jasmin – skippered by Julian Summers
Relentlessly ploughing through the extremely difficult conditions, not all boats came out of the dramatic sail unscathed. One boat had to retire with a broken rudder, and another suffered a serious knockdown that had the other boats in the fleet holding their collective breath. Fortunately, both boat and crew are said to be in good shape.
The sailing community was eager to make waves at this year’s event after COVID put the handbrake on the 2020 Port Douglas Race Week, making this year’s event a fantastic opportunity for skippers and crews to get out on the water for social racing and post-race celebrations.
Ms Shelly said within minutes of entries opening we had people signing up.
“This is the first regatta in this part of the world this year since the COVID shut down, Port Douglas is usually the first cab off the rank when it comes to regattas in North Queensland.
“People were very keen to get back out on the water,” Ms Shelly said.