Luke Reinehr and the crew on his S80, Intrusion, will arrive at Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s Festival of Sails with a target on their backs, having won their 15th Victorian S80 Championship on Port Phillip last week.
Intrusion won five from seven races, defeating her nearest rival, Merak (Bas Huibers), by four points after the latter won two races. Revolution (Tim Godbert) placed third. All three will race in the S80 Series at Geelong. Others include Jack Tar (Manfred Herzer), Outlaw (David Judge) and Take One (Kellie Knowles) in an all-Victorian showdown.
Intrusion has been owned and raced at Sandringham Yacht Club by Luke Reinehr for 25 years and in that time has won or placed second in the last 25 years of S80 state and National Titles.
Reinehr stresses a consistent turnout at club events, along with the Range Series and Festival of Sails, means Intrusion and her crew are right up there as one of the best performed small racing yachts on the Bay over the last 20 years.
He also says Intrusion is about as good a boat as you could want. “We nicknamed it Makbye Diva (the famous racehorse) because it just wants to win all the time,” he says, laughing.
“The key to it all is that I’ve been sailing the boat for 25 years. Experience counts.
Reinehr also pays homage to his longstanding crew: “It’s been the same group of guys for such a long time. We all know each other and the boat extremely well. Michael Keusghen has been with me forever and the other guys for five to 10 years between them. Continuity is important.
“I just skipper, but the rest of the crew can do anything on the boat. We have so much fun on and off the water,” he says. “We just have a ball.”
The Melbourne sailor says this will be “A third or fourth time at the Festival of Sails with Intrusion. But I’ve done a lot of others on other boats. I did my first one 40 to 45 years ago.
“I love the destination, the waterfront and the conditions in Geelong. And it’s held towards the end of summer. It has a great holiday and party atmosphere; everyone having fun. We’re renting a house together, which will make it even more fun.”
Of the competition he will face, Reinehr says, “Merak is, without doubt, the best boat in Geelong. They t-boned us in Race 3 at the States last week. We’re just fixing the damage ready to race. It’s all good between us, but we’re looking forward to racing – and to beating them,” he ends, with a laugh.
Held since 1844, the Festival of Sails traditionally takes place over the long weekend weekend from 26-29 January. The 180th Passage Race will start proceedings on 26 January 2023.