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Queensland Championship at Mooloolaba: Wrapt in Raptor.

26-June-2012. Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron skipper Mark Buchbach set a new standard when he steered his Stealth 850 Raptor to a perfect score win in the 2012 ASBA Queensland Championship at Mooloolaba last weekend.
Both Mark Buchbach and his exceptionally talented crew were totally unsure of their prospects when they sailed onto the open waters off Pt Cartwright for the first of the three race championship series.

The crew understood that the untried Raptor had a proven pedigree from the design board of leading Australian sports boat designer Alan Carwardine but they needed to know more.

Collectively they had the sports boat sailing experience to understand that Raptor would have to produce something special to compete against a very strong fleet.

However they were confident that the maiden race performer had the speed sailing potential that could stand up to the test but were unsure about having the consistent all angle speed to outpace her high .933 handicap rating.

All their fears were effectively washed away in the speed sailing wake when Raptor won the line and handicap double from former Australian champion Brett Whitbread’s Bloke World and the consistent Peow Peow (Andrew Triggell) in race one.

Their winning line honours margin of 3 minutes 35 seconds in a race time of 49 minutes and 20 seconds set the standard for Raptor to outpace her rating to record an impressive 1 minute 9 second victory in her maiden race.

Unfortunately there was very little that their impressive list of rivals could do when the Raptor crew scored an equally impressive line and corrected handicap win in race two.

While there elapsed time was 23 seconds slower the Raptor crew had enough time in reserve to claim a 1 minute 57 second win while the Ben Leigh-Smith helmed Vivace held on to claim second just 16 seconds in advance of Peow Peow.

Naturally the Raptor crew were impressed with the performance of their new and relatively untuned sports boat.

Just to prove that two wins from two races was no fluke the Raptor crew made a clean sweep of the State championship trophies winning race three by the narrow margin of 31 seconds form Peow Peow and Blokes World who also claimed the minor championship medals overall.

Based on aggregate corrected handicap times over the three races Raptor was 4 minutes 15 seconds faster than Peow Peow and 5 minutes 44 seconds faster than Blokes World.

This suggests Raptor will be the favourite to win the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week sports boat championship on the Whitsunday Sailing Club courses from August 17 -23.

Meanwhile the Raptor crew will continue with club racing on Brisbane’s Waterloo Bay before they begin the long road trip to Airlie Beach where they will face another high standard fleet representing West Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland who be aiming to break Raptor’s remarkable performance.