QLD Beneteau Cup and French Yacht Challenge preview

QLD Beneteau Cup 2010, Ultimate Positioning sailed in light airs on day one
The tri-colours will be soaring proudly at the Queensland Beneteau Owners weekend of all things French for the Spirit Marine Beneteau Cup and French Yacht Challenge from the 27th and 28th October. The fleet of 25 French production boats and their crews, decked out in the traditional red, white and blue, will enjoy friendly competition on Moreton Bay and themed parties with lots of prizes back at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

The weekend regatta comprises one race on Saturday for the French Yacht Challenge and then a further two races on Sunday for the Queensland Beneteau Cup. There are spinnaker and non-spinnakers divisions for both events.

While there is quite a lot of emphasis on fun for the weekend event, there is still an underlying competitive spirit among the exciting fleet of small and large boats.

French Yacht Challenge two-time winner, Michael Schmidt, will be pushing his little Jeanneau 32, Flight Deck, towards a third handicap win in the spinnaker division.

He says he hasn’t done anything different to his boat in preparation for the race, but then he admits he does have a brand new Ullman main. 'We plan to go out and enjoy the day and hope for three times lucky. A win would make my sail maker very happy,' Schmidt said.

In the Beneteau Cup Performance division there will be stiff competition between Gary and Tracey McCarthy’s 34.7 Brilliant Pearl, Laurie Booth’s 44.7 Blue Dog, Tony Kinsman’s 40 Blunderbuss, Dave Waller and Jane Virtue’s 50 The Matrix, Peter Uscinski’s 42.7 Medina and Tam Faragher’s 44.7 Ultimate Positioning.

The Matrix crew geared up for Queensland's Beneteau Cup an French Yacht Challenge photo TJohnstone
Faragher has stepped off his new top-line racing machine, the 50-foot Ker design Kerumba, while it is going through some repair work in preparation for this year’s Sydney Hobart race.

'This has freed us up to sail in the Beneteau Cup. Stuart Markwell suggested I bring out Ultimate Positioning as it is for sale and worth keeping in front of people. It’s still a good boat,' Faragher said.

He will bring his Kerumba crew across for the two-day regatta. Since they are all originally from Ultimate Positioning Faragher said they shouldn’t have too much difficulty adapting to the Beneteau 44.7. However, they have been sailing hard with a different downwind set-up on Kerumba. 'The Ker doesn’t have a spinnaker pole, so we are hoping everyone remembers the old tricks.'

Faragher’s light-hearted joke about telling the rest of the fleet not to bother racing as Ultimate Positioning will be the winner in 2012, may actually be his way of flagging to his French challengers he intends approaching this year’s event with intensity.

Late entries are still being accepted for this year’s event. To enter, click here.

QLD Benteau Cup 2012, Ultimate Positioning foredeck crew may want to study this shot before this year's event

QLD Beneteau Cup 2011, French Challenge winner Flight Deck handled the boisterous race conditions beautifully

QLD Beneteau Cup 20120, Ultimate Positioning struck hard on the start line in race three