Lightwave Yachts on the Gold Coast, if you didn’t already know produce a fine production sailing catamaran, as well as a powercat. Nathan and Roger and the team are amongst the friendliest crew around and are proud of their success in converting Tony Grainger’s design into an exceptional sailing boat.
TO celebrate that success Lightwave held its first ever regatta on May 29, 2004. They had 23 of their 33 owners turn up for the event and a fantastic time was had by all including Sally and Dennis from New Zealand and many Lightwave owners from interstate. As well as owners there were 10 boats appearing for the event with the new powercat acting as the command ship.
The concept of an owner’s regatta is not new; Seawind and Schionning Designs have held such an event for some time now. Indeed I have been invited to a number of the Seawind events but work commitments have prevented my attendance. As well as offering owners a chance to compare boats in a light-hearted and supportive atmosphere I think these events also allow the builders and designers a great opportunity for feedback. The proportion of boats appearing at the regatta to the volume of production though was pretty impressive and I think that all the hard work that went into the event was clearly justified.
Friday night saw a get together and dinner, skipper’s brief and other ancillary activities, certainly got the weekend off with a bang.
Saturday was the business day of the regatta with all yachts grouping up just to seaward of the Southport Seaway entrance. Along for the ride on board the powercat was designer Tony Grainger who was keen to observe how the powercat was working and how the sailing boats performed. I would think that Tony would have left the day feeling satisfied on both accounts.
Also along for the ride was Mayor of the Gold Coast, Ron Clarke and his wife to act as starter for the event. Unfortunately for the committed hard chargers, the breeze was light to say the least. Whilst this doesn’t make for as much fun, I have previously indicated that seeing how boats perform in light air is very important and a very valid criteria in selecting a cruising yacht. Well, we certainly got that opportunity.
Visually it was very impressive to see all the similar boats moving around awaiting starters orders and the vista of the northern end of the Gold Coast, love it or hate it, was also very impressive.
The boats got off to a fairly pedestrian start but the crew on Inn for a Penny were fairly obviously the pace setters and so it remained throughout the day.
The race course was a fairly simple, south to Burleigh Heads and back. A benefit of the light breeze was the absolutely crystal clear water and thus the ability for yachts to choose to go closer to shore if they felt it would be to their tactical advantage. This certainly impressed some of the people on the beach.
Throughout the event the powercat kept an eye on proceedings as did the drinks ship which was a chartered boat which carried the willing workers from Lightwave who by all accounts were having a great time. Also keeping an eye on proceedings were Greg and Leanne, a couple I first met when they undertook a test sail on a Lightwave, from Derby whose Lightwave has yet to receive its rig. Not to be outdone, Greg flew a bed sheet from the seagull striker as his preferred downwind rig.
After the race finished all the boats made for a lagoon in the Paradise Point area. It was again a very impressive sight to see all the similar yachts anchored together. The respective crews came ashore to experience the evening’s barbecue and entertainment provided by a local band.
As the sun set, the food drink and fun commenced and an enjoyable evening was had by all. For what it is worth Inn for a Penny was the clear winner, but I don’t think anybody felt like a loser. It was great day with all that I spoke to indicating that they would be back for the next regatta for sure (unless they were cruising Polynesia).
Thanks to Roger and Nathan and Sam and Joe for their kind hospitality. I too, hope to be back next year.