Story by Ross Kendal
Local sailor Craig Watson battled near gale-force winds on Coopers to have one of his best ever Brisbane to Gladstone yacht races claiming fourth place in line honours.
‘It was pretty challenging at times but a great race,’ he said.
‘We are a cruising yacht so to get fourth in line honours was incredible.
‘We recorded winds of 40 knots but it apparently got up to 46, that’s near gale-force.
Coopers and her nine crew were one of only 23 yachts to make the distance out of 48 original entrants.
Racing yacht Black Jack had to retire after breaking her mast.
‘It was an amazing effort by the crew,’ Craig said.
Other accolades claimed by Coopers in the Easter race included first in performance handicap, first in cruising class and second place in the IRC division two.
Craig keeps Coopers up in Brisbane as it draws too much to cross the local bars.
When he is not sailing he runs Soul Patterson chemist in Mullumbimby.