At the briefing, with an average reported wind speed of 21 knots, but gusts reaching 29, we decided that racing was on! Eight boats with 19 crew readied up on the beach, including two junior crews in their Flying Ants, who could just not be dissuaded from having a go.
However, before the start, three boats were already out with capsizes and gear breakages.
Sid and Skye, in Sid’s Flying Ant, made it to the top mark of the first leg. A tremendous effort.
Every boat went for a swim, except for the Weta and Mark and the crew on the Corsair, Keenas.
The across the line finishers were Monique and crew on the Corsair Swell Lady, followed by Dave and Isaac on the Hobie 16, followed by Keenas. Three finishes. Total.
This month the TVSC Juniors packed up the boats, loaded their tents (and their families) and headed south to the mighty Clarence River for the first of a series of Australian Sailing run Youth training camps. The venue was the envy of all sailing clubs, especially “container club” TVSC. The brand new club house at Big River Sailing Club in Harwood with camping in the spacious club grounds by the river was ideal. The kids were also impressed with their young kiwi instructor, George Martin – he did an excellent job along with assistance from TVSC’s Nicole Bushnell with the race training group who sailed in their first full length race on the Saturday afternoon.
Morgan and Miles Bushnell (13 & 10) from Eviron had their Manly Junior “M&M” flying. They’re looking forward to being joined on the water at Fingal Head this summer in the TVSC’s newly acquired fleet of 6 Manly Juniors. Kynan Luescher (12) from Fingal made a big step up from our X3 training boats to a 4.7 Laser (smaller sail than a full rig Laser) and Konnor Wheeler isn’t far off doing the same.
Lots of new sailing buddies were made and our youngsters learned a lot from George and all the other sailors. It was a great experience for them and a fun weekend for all the families too.
Back on the Tweed, we’ve had our AGM and the committee welcomes new Club Secretary Garry Bargh from Ocean Shores.
Our “She Sails” Rep Monique Smith would also like to hear from you if you’re keen to join some women’s sailing events this season – there’s always room for more!
The Race day morning saw a chilly start, the Condong Sugar Mill chimney showed there was a good breeze but this was all to change. The crowd started to roll up at Clarrie Purnell Park before 7am and soon there were eggs and bacon sizzling and the kettle boiling, the catering team kept the sailors well fed and ready for what started to look like being a truly marathon race. The TVSC Safety boat crew – Reg Court, Garry Bargh and Richard Roberts had an early start at Fingal – launching the RIBS and heading off upstream to Condong. Roland Schwertner and Rick from Richmond River SC arrived early too and the Murwillumbah Rowing club boat was also ready to go. We welcomed visitors from Oxley SC, Brisbane Sailing Squadron, RQYS (Manly) and the largest contingent from TSS (The Southport School) bringing 6 Pacers. All boats 27 boats were on the water, the starters at the ready ….and the breeze died to nothing. So as the start horn sounded a burst of laughter went around the boats as they sat in the water not moving! This soon changed and the fleet moved off with the wind behind them, brightly coloured spinnakers were hauled up and they disappeared around the bend towards Tumbulgum.
Spectators waved along the river bank and the wind started to pick up as the fleet arrived at Tumbulgum and navigated under the bridge and on towards rainforested Stotts Island.
Three classes of boat were well represented this year – the 3 handed Corsairs (8 boats), 2 handed Pacers (6) and singlehanded Impulses (5). There were also 4 Lasers. In the Corsairs Alison Blatcher, skippering 683 Fairlight with crew Karen Vidler and Imogen Potts had an impressive lead for nearly half of the race but a couple of lulls in wind and river currents spinning them in a full circle at one point saw them start to lose the lead. Corsair 490 Keenas (Mark Reynolds, Marg Walgers & Craig Foley) crept up and flew past through the Stotts Island narrows never to be caught again. In the very last stretch of the race at Chinderah Corsair 396 Nimbus (Scott Jones and daughter Caitlyn) also over took Fairlight and they fought to the finish line ending just 6 seconds in front of the early leader.
The Pacers sailing without spinnakers were the slowest boats in the fleet but were still only a minute behind the last Corsair at the finish line. After 3 and a half hours of sailing, 3 of the 6 Pacers still managed to finish only 1 second apart. Xavier Doer and Keely Whitaker from TSS took out 1st with TVSC members Igor Prado and junior Kynan Luecher, sailing a Pacer for the first time, coming in 2nd followed by TSS crew Monet Mooney and Jess Sabin. TVSC juniors Isaac Poulsen with Layla Scholz also sailed a Pacer for the first time. This was Isaac’s first time skippering in the Tumbulgum race – he was up with the 1st placed Pacer for much of the race and so should be very pleased. The flukey breeze that this race is known for caught them out and left the other 3 Pacers 10 minutes behind the others by the finish.
In huge contrast to the becalmed start the sailors faced 15-23 knot gusts as they came to the Chinderah reach with the wind coming from all and any directions. They had to be on their toes not to end up going for a swim which made for an exciting last leg. The smiles as they crossed the line may have had a tinge of relief to them!
An unusual boat sailed by Mark Harper, a Devoti D zero, led the fleet for most of the way. Laser sailor John Pring on “Fig Jam” put in a heroic effort to keep up with him and hung on to be second across the line just over 3 hours after the start. The Lasers and the Impulses played cat and mouse all the way to the finish line – all of them excellent and very experienced sailors so after John crossed the next 3 were only seconds apart – Peter Fell (Impulse Mr Plow) then Mike Robinson (Impulse Plymouth) and TVSC’s Kate Yeomans (Laser Radial Bluey). TVSC’s Adam Hurt from Fingal took the 3rd place in the Impulses on Rosie, by far the oldest Impulse in the fleet.
Commendations also go to the Dads celebrating early for Fathers Day. Jan Trueman and daughter Ruby from Chillingham sailing their Tasar for the very first time; Matthew Plummer and son Finley sailed one of TSS’s Pacers and David Robinson with son Hugh sailed their NS14. It was a cold race after the Tasar and the Pacer both went for a swim but they made it to the finish line and Ruby, Finley and Hugh will have many stories to tell their friends at school this week.
Once the finish times were adjusted for the different boat speeds Peter Fell from Oxley SC in Brisbane came out this year’s Tumbulgum Passage Champion and took home a voucher for a Husk Distillery Tour for two. Other great prizes donated by local businesses included Red Box Gym and Gold Coast Yoga monthly passes, vouchers for Cubby Bakehouse, Tyalgum Gelato, Watersports Guru and Tweed River seafoods so everyone went home happy.
We look forward to doing it all again next year – with maybe a few practice sails up to Tumbulgum for lunch and back to Fingal before the next marathon race comes round. If you would like to be part of this great event next year – come and join us for the start of our summer season. Get involved in sailing or as part of our enthusiastic support team – we’d love to have you on board.
Several TVSC members were away for Hamilton Island
Race week so a smaller than usual fleet of 9 boats competed in the final day of
the Winter Series last Sunday.
Three 1 lap races were contested in a blustery Northerly wind reaching 21knots breeze, which was gusty and unpredictable making conditions difficult for the sailors on the river, so the sailors really earned their post-race sausages!
Joining the Tweed River fleet for the first time today were locals Steve and Tai Grimes, sailing an International 420. These guys had an enjoyable first afternoon and easily beat the Corsair fleet. The top boat today was a visitor to the Tweed. Single Hander, Impulse “Sapphire” sailed by Oxley Sailing Club Commodore Keith Briers. Keith was fastest in two of the three races and only dropped to second, missing first place by only 7 seconds to Laser “Siesta” sailed by Gary McCrohan from Tyalgum. Also sailing a Laser, Maurie Meyer was only a few seconds back who took third place.
Four boats competed in the Three Handed one design Corsair division, fastest today was “Nimbus” (Scott, Debbie, and Sahara Jones), winning all 3 races, and second was “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds, Marg Walgers and Garry Bargh).
Next Saturday 31st, the club hosts its premiere event,
the long-distance Tumbulgum Passage race, starting from Clarrie Purnell Park in
Condong at 10.30am and finishing at Fingal – when they get there. The sailing
boats really brighten up the river and are a great spectacle to enjoy from
various places along the River foreshores. It’s taken between 3 and 6 hours in the past
so it can be a long day on the river – cheers from the river bank at Tumbulgum
and Chinderah really help the crews so come down and follow the race. This will
be the 6th annual running of this event which attracts sailors from
Brisbane and all the Northern Rivers with around 30 boats entering.
The Club asks that other river users are aware they may encounter sailing boats at any place along the river this Saturday. TVSC acknowledges the support of local businesses sponsoring this Saturdays race: Hakka Hire, Red Box Gym, The Water Sports Guru, Cubby Bakehouse Café, Tweed River Seafoods and Body Connection Pilates.
Despite the cold weather the “Try Sailing” session on Sunday 23 June was fully booked. Three Corsairs were kept busy racing up and down the river with keen new crews getting an exciting first sail in 18 knot gusty winds. All are keen to come back for more action to crew in the remaining 3 winter races at Fingal on 14 July, 11 & 25 Aug.
The big Winter event is the Tumbulgum Passage Condong to Fingal Race which finishes off the season on Saturday 31 August starting at 10.30am at Clarrie Purnell Park in Condong – it’s a fun day for spectators to follow with great viewing from Tumbulgum, Chinderah and Fingal.
Juniors & Teens Sailing will continue in July and then take a break in August. There are big plans for the 2019-20 season for our young sailors with Australian Sailing qualified instructors coming on board and a fleet of six Manly Juniors soon to be arriving at the club ready for race training sessions with an option of attending the MJ National titles in Sydney in January. These boats have been fully funded by the MJ Association – thanks to their generosity and to the determination of our soon to be competition coach, Nicole Bushnell, for making this happen.
We’d also like to welcome out 100th member for the 2018-19 season, Dan Watts and family from Burleigh Waters. With a growing membership, 8 year old Tweed Valley SC has been impressing the sailing community far and wide – famous for our friendly and fun spirit. TVSC is really proving that sailing isn’t an exclusive sport – it’s available for anyone who wants to have a go.
Congratulations to members Alison Blatcher and Robert Preston who have both made it to the shortlist of finalists in Australian Sailing’s annual awards; Alison for volunteer of the year award and Robert for Sport promotion award, the only regional club to be represented at the NSW awards.