The yacht Frantic’s demise on the rocks at Grassy Island during the last race of Airlie Beach Race Week in August could easily have meant the withdrawal of the first Queensland entry for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race starting in less than four months’ time.
Instead, skipper Graham Furtado is scouting for a new 40-footer and though the timeframe is tight, he’s planning to secure a replacement by the end of October and still be part of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s first offshore race to Queensland setting off on January 2, 2017 from the mouth of the Hawkesbury River.
Frantic was competing at the Airlie Beach regatta when its spinnaker became wrapped around the forestay. Winds gusting up to 30 knots kept knocking the Sayer 40 over and dragging it towards the shore, while the tide sucked the stricken vessel in the same direction. Eight crew members were rescued by fellow competitors and the boat was left, only to wash out to sea and sink. Frantic was eventually located by a diver, who saw the mast tip sticking out at low tide off Olden Island, and refloated, then towed ashore where Furtado’s insurance company classed it a write-off.