SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Port Stephens scouts slip back in

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week. Don Algie's Storm 2 on the start line.
Teri Dodds
A group of 10 fellows from Port Stephens are quietly taking over Don Algie’s sleek 66-foot Storm 2 for this year’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, being held from 28th August to 2nd September 2014.

The sailors are from the Corlette Point Sailing Club, located at Port Stephens. The club is so small that it only has 20 members. When at home these sailors, including their head regatta organiser Paul O’Rourke, run the very successful annual Sail Port Stephens regatta.

There is no clear indication the Port Stephens regatta team are on a scouting mission to Magnetic Island. Rather they seem to be focusing on racing Storm 2 and having fun.

However, in case there is any scouting going on during the event, Paul Victory from the Magnetic Island organising committee said he will happily share with O’Rourke and crew, his thoughts and ideas as both events attract similar fleet numbers for a similar race program.

In reality though, the Port Stephens Regatta team have been to Race Week before and enjoyed it so much they are coming back a second time for more fun. Perhaps that’s what they will take away from this year’s regatta; a few more lessons on how to successfully turn on great racing and lots of fun for the sailors and spectators at any race week.

The team is being led by Bruce Gosper, a long-term friend of Algie. 'I used to drive the original Storm for him in the Whitsunday’s, years ago. Our friendship started down in Jindabyne. We were in the ski fields together,' Gosper said.

'It’s a good, fun regatta. It’s a chance for us to get away and have a bit of fun together. Go for a sail and enjoy the warm weather. Magnetic Island is where we kick back and enjoy the racing. It’s a little reward for our hard work. It’s not the high pressure of other events.

'We are all sailors, so like all sailing regattas, you sail hard on the water, but you also play hard. You’re not just there for the sailing,' he added.

Storm 2 will be racing in the Cruising Spinnaker Division against a good sized fleet and some tough competition including the experienced racing team of Geoff and Vicky Player on board their Beneteau Sense 50, Silver Minx.

The Notice of Race and the online entry is at www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au. Entries close Friday 22nd August 2014.