Unfortunately due to COVID’19, the club is suspending the summer season and all remaining races are now cancelled. Junior sailing is also suspended.
Things are changing rapidly and we will resume sailing with a shortened Winter series as soon as it is considered safe to be having public gatherings again.
Results from the summer season will still be tabulated and winners will be announced and hopefully we can have a presentation dinner at a later date.
I will miss seeing everybody down at Fingal and hope everybody can keep safe and well and look forward to the time we can recommence sailing. The Up coming 2020-2021 Sailing season will be our tenth summer season so lets look forward to a big sailing season next summer.
Kindest regards to all and I look forward to seeing everybody again soon. Bill Fenelon Commodore TVSC
Last weekend five Corsair yachts and 15 members of the Tweed Valley Sailing Club headed south to the NSW Central Coast to compete amongst 18 Corsairs entered in the 44th Australian National Championships. Held at Budgewoi Sailing Club, this would be their final “Calling All Skippers”, with the club having now unfortunately shut down. Sixty boats attended the Regatta, making for a great final farewell.
Corsair is a 16-foot (4.8 metre) fibreglass sailing dinghy, fully rigged with
jib and spinnaker, which offers excellent close, one design racing, with a crew
of three and in addition is a comfortable cruising boat. Designed by Alan
Payne (who also designed 3 America’s Cup yachts including Gretel and G2), the
Corsair is an all-round performance centre boarder ideal for Australian
conditions. First sailed in 1966, the class has spread across the nation with
approximately 500 boats being built.
has adopted this class as it is ideally suited to conditions on the Tweed River. The Club has regular racing with up to 15
boats. As the boat requires a 3-person crew, there is ample room for beginners
to join in without needing to own a boat.
Conditions on the first day of the competition were tough, with winds gusting to 25 knots with a short steep chop, but all boats made it through the 4 races without serious incident. Day two was a little more relaxed and everybody enjoyed a pleasant morning sailing on the lake.
Current champions, Aaron Hunt, Ryan Arkinstall and Liam Buckley, sailing “Tenacious”, took the title, getting the bullet in four of the six races proving their dominance of the fleet. 2nd place went to Budgewoi local and previous Australian Champion, Geoff Beauchamp, daughter Ruby Beauchamp and Dorren Vandersteen on “Bayonet”. Third place went to Tweed Corsair “Charlotte” sailed by Justin Johnson, daughter Emily Johnson and Hollingsword Wolul (all the way from Vanuatu!).
Holen is in Australia, due to recently being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. If you’re interested in reading more about his situation and perhaps giving a donation, then please see here.
Aaron has sailed Corsairs since the ‘70s and has won 8 Corsair National Titles. His recent arrival at TVSC has lifted the local fleet. He is a major sponsor and supporter of the club through his chandlery business Boating and RV.
boats placed 1st “Tenacious”, 3rd “Charlotte”, 6th “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds,
Craig Foley and Harriette Raleigh), 7th Swell Lady (Monique Smith, Matt Andrews
and Deborah Flannery), 8th “Minnow” (Bill Fenelon, Courtney Tiller and Alicia
was a great weekend of sailing and close competition with the entire fleet
finishing each race only minutes apart. It was a fantastic result for Tweed
Valley Sailing Club, for the first time since its foundation in 2011, winning
an Australian Championship. TVSC teams supported each other and enjoying their
sport. To compete in the Corsair
Nationals was a great way to start 2020 for our club.
The next sailing event on the Tweed River will be on the 16th of February, Race 4 of the NS14 and Laser Class Championship. The next Corsair Class Championship race will be Heat 4 on the 1st of March. Racing is on the Fingal Reach and can be viewed at close range from anywhere along the riverbank.
The Tweed Valley Sailing Club always welcomes new members and no experience (or boat) is needed.
The scheduled Corsair Class Champ / Pointscore race this Sunday has been postponed. There will be no racing at Fingal. The proposed rescheduled Corsair Class Champ/Pointscore race date is Sunday 29 March (which was the Chindy Challenge Race date).
44th Corsair National Titles
The reason for the change is that have 4 Corsairs and 12 members heading down to Budgewoi for the National Titles this weekend! We wish them all the best – expecting lots of tales to tell on their return and maybe even a trophy!
Farewell to a piece of TVSC History – 46 Fingal rd
The Corsair convoy will be departing this Thursday at 3pm NSW from “Bill’s Place” 46 Fingal Rd which is also the farewell moment to what has been the TVSC “Annex” since 2011. In the early years, this is where the after race BBQs were held and where many of us came to get our boats repaired or rigging explained or just for a general chat about boats; all the club equipment was stored in Bill’s sunroom until we got our first “club house” (an enclosed box trailer, also stored at No 46), the back yard has also been home to the club safety boats and then a sabot fleet took over the shed which kick started our juniors squad; followed by untold numbers of Corsairs and other boats made easily available for members to use.
Without this storage and work/meeting space the club would not be what it is today. The Commodore closes the door for the last time this Thursday join him and the Corsair convoy at 3 pm to raise a glass to the end of a TVSC chapter .. and the start of the next one… a real club house? and to give the Corsairs a big send off.
Valley Sailing club hosted the first race of the year on Sunday at Fingal Head,
with a very competitive fleet turning up, and some crew shortening their
holidays to compete.
event today was the 3rd heat of the NS14 class championship with 5
top boats competing, and the series wide open; while a reduced fleet of 3
Lasers contested the single handers yardstick championship, and 2 Corsairs
joined the fleet for heat 6 of the summer handicap point score.
championship tied after 2 races, the top boats were keen to score good results.
conditions were good, but challenging with some big wind shifts and a strong
Flooding tide lining up with a Northerly breeze forcing crews to work hard to
get up the 3 x one mile long windward legs. It was a very hot day and the occasional
splash from the Tweed River was very welcomed.
bullet in the Summer Pointscore Handicap series, Kate Yeomans in her Laser
“Bluey” sailed very well, as she usually does, and took full advantage of the
wind & tide situation.
Championship Series, making sure of it and getting the bullet, NS14 “Impulsive
Max”, sailed by a determined Matt Andrews and Igor Prada, easily outpaced the fleet finishing 3 minutes
ahead of 2nd Placed “Flight 24”(Adam Hurt & Tom Busbridge),
while 3rd placed ”On & Off” (Dave Robinson & Hugh Robinson)
getting home 1 minute ahead of Pura Vida (Robert Preston & Kynan Luescher).
remain in the Class Championship and Impulsive Max now leads the series with
Flight 24 moving back to second.
in the Single Handers race, Laser Sailor, Kate Yeomans on “Bluey”, was initially
challenged by Laser Grand Master Gary McCrohan until Gary decided it was too
hot and headed for a Bar somewhere; anywhere that had cold beer. Kate finished first
in this division and only a minute behind the first NS14.
Also in a
single hander today was Corsair Class Champion Monique Smith, scoring 2nd
place in a Laser, and she probably really enjoyed beating all the Corsairs.
Corsair Fleet were sailing today finalizing preparations and team work to
compete in the Corsair Class Australia Championships, being held in Budgeowoi
on the 1st and 2nd of February.
conditions on the Tweed were very pleasant and all crews enjoyed the afternoon
Race at Fingal Head will be on the 16th of February. This will be
heat 4 of the NS14 Championship and Single Handers Yardstick Championship.
Adults and Juniors are welcome to come down and
crew on a boat. No experience is necessary and you will learn to sail for free!!
Last Sunday the Tweed Valley
Sailing Club hosted its penultimate race for the year, Race 5 of the summer
Pointscore Series and heat 3 of the Corsair Class Championship.
11 boats competed including five
“3 handed” Corsairs, joined by a mixed fleet , an NS14, a Laser, a Int.470 a
Hobie 16 and 2 X3’s
Conditions were variable; wind
SE 16 to 24 knots, and an ebbing tide combined made for long beats to windward,
favouring the NS14s but hard work for the Corsairs.
Fastest by a long way, Dave
Chester and Sid Willis on Hobie 16 “Sledder”, lapped most of the fleet,
redeeming Dave for the day he was beaten by a Corsair.
First mono hull to finish
today, 20 minutes behind the Hobie, NS14 “On & Off”, sailed by father/son
team Dave and Cooper Robinson. These
guys won the start and established a strong early lead, getting home first and
beating the first Corsair by nine minutes.
Second to finish, one minute
astern was Laser “Siesta” sailed by “Great Grand Master” Gary McCrohan. Gary
always sails well in these conditions and was 7 minutes ahead of the first
The big race today was the 3rd
heat of the Northern Rivers Corsair Championship, contested by 5 boats and 15
Current champion crew “Team Swell Lady” Monique Smith, Matt Andrews & Deb Flannery, had to win today, to retain their title, but needed to enlist a “ring in” boat and 3rd crew, as Monique was away and her boat is still being repaired from damage suffered while sailing on the Clarence River. Matt Andrews took the helm of “Fine Cotton” with Courtney Tiller taking the 3rd seat. All went to plan; Team Swell Lady got the points for 1st place, wrapping up the championship for the 4th year in a row! (Aren’t there two more races yet to go and results are tied between Keenas and Swell Lady? – ed)
Second place was hard fought out by “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds, Marg Walgers & Harriet Raleigh) and “Nimbis” (Scott Jones, Deb Jones & Lex Branch). In the end “Nimbis” got the points, getting home 4 minutes behind Swell Lady and 6 minutes ahead of Keenas.
Racing was close throughout
the fleet up until the final lap, and the battle to avoid last place was also
hard fought; positions at the rear changed continually throughout the afternoon
but in the end, Team “Fairlight” (Alison Blatcher, Rachael O’Hagan & Manisha Siriwardena) got home 2 minutes ahead of Team
“Minnow”(Bill Fenelon, Ali Szwalski & Sophie Todd).
A stand out performance on the
river today came from the clubs International 470 “La Spina”. Sailed by Gunner
Scholtz, Leyla Scholtz and Tom Busbridge. Team 470 finished just behind the 2nd
Corsair, scoring its’ best result with the club.
This season, Murwillumbah
Student doctors discovered sailing and just can’t stay away. We love having
them as part of the club and we couldn’t get more enthusiastic sailors. This
week they brought more fellow students to join the sailing ranks – travelling
from Mudgee to have a break from the drought.
4 of the 5 Corsairs
competing in the class championship this week had doctors on board. Courtney Tiller from Murwillumbah hospital
was thrilled to be on the winning boat. Alicia Szwalski and Sophie Todd sailed
with Commodore Bill Fenelon, Harriet Raleigh based in Grafton sailed on 3rd
placed Corsair Keenas and Manisha Siriwardena had
her taste of dinghy sailing with Alison Blatcher on Corsair Fairlight.
We look forward to
welcoming them all back after their summer break for another 6 months of fun on
Next Sunday the sailing club will conduct its
last event of the year, 3 short course sprint races, starting early at 10am
from Fingal Head
Strong gusty conditions
challenged sailors contesting heat 4 of the Tweed Sailing Clubs’ Summer
Pointscore Series. Winds increased rapidly after the start with a strong ebbing
tide raising choppy conditions. Many boats capsized or had an early retirement.
Today’s fleet of 11 boats
included 5 single handers, 6 two handers, & 3 Corsairs sailing 4 handed. Two
juniors’ teams competed, both sailing Flying Ants.
Carnage began early with many
capsizes. Corsair Capers was capsized and filled with water and struggled to
return to the Harbour. Both Flying Ants retired early, but the remainder continued
and completed the course.
3 NS ‘s contested heat 2 of
the Tweed River NS14 Class Championship in conditions that favoured boat handling
skills, old hand Adam; last year’s class champions, Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge,
had the skills, getting home a solid 4 minutes ahead of Current class leaders Matt
Andrews & Igor Prada.
These two teams are now placed
equal first in the 2019-2020 summer championship series with 2 races remaining.
The single handers contested
their class Yardstick series. First finisher today was Great Grand Master Gary McCrohan
who showed true grit to stay on the course and finish, getting a rare win ahead
of Kate Yeomans who finished closed behind.
Many sailors were backing up
from last weekends’ “Clarence River
Bridge to Breakers” Race. Conditions on the Clarence were as rough as usual, with
winds reaching 30 knots against a strong running ebb tide. Tweed River had 5 boats competing in the
Standard Mono-hulls division. Local sailor Kate Yeomans won the division in her
Laser, against very strong competition, and “Team Swell Lady”, with an all-male crew, Matt
Andrews, Craig Foley And Mark Reynolds scored an impressive 3rd
place, well ahead of the rest of the fleet.
Sailing is on again this
Sunday at Fingal Head, with racing starting at 1pm.
A big fleet is expected for the 3rd
heat of the Corsair Class Championship.
sailed with the Tweed Valley Sailing Club, on Sunday, as the club conducted
Race 10 of its Summer Series.
It was a
very pleasant afternoon on the river with a falling tide and North Easterly
breeze, sailing was easy and fast. The racing was very close, and many boats
today was Kate Yeomans; Laser “Bluey”; Kate dominated today, in what’s becoming
a regular pattern, she excelled in the conditions, leaving 2nd place
3 minutes behind.
finisher was Laser “Silent Partner” “(John Heywood) and 3rd, Laser,
Siesta (Gary McCrohan).
event today was the 2nd Heat of the Northern Rivers Corsair Class
contested heat 2, the teams being slightly mixed this week; “gun” sheet hand
Matt Andrews, joining “Team Blatcher” on Alisons hot new boat “Fairlight”. Matt
seems to gravitate towards the fastest boat so this could be a sign for Alison,
trialing her new boat today for the first time.
North Coast Champion, Swell Lady sailed with an all-female crew this week, and were
definitely out to stun. And did !
on “Keena as” Mark had his regular crew, Craig Foley as sheet hand, & Marg
Walgers up front, these guys were meaning business and would to be very hard to
points today in the Corsairs was “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds, Craig Foley and Marg
Walgers). This win puts Keenas in first place after two races, for the Corsair
got away very quickly from the start and built a strong early lead, they had to
fight for it, with second placed “Fairlight” (Blatcher, Andrews & Bernet)
only a minute back and closing with a determined effort.
The next 3
Corsairs finished within 30 seconds after a very close race, 3rd
went to “Nimbis”, 4th “Swell Lady, and 5th Epic.
finish in Melita 3 was commodore Bill Fenelon, destroying any chance in this
year’s championship, came in 20 minutes behind the first finisher. Obviously
enjoying the view from a sailing dinghy.
sailing is becoming established on the tweed, and this afternoon we had 3
junior crews racing their own boats. These sailors are becoming skilled at the
sport and are now using spinnaker’s
The club is
supporting a Juniors team at the “Manly Junior” National Championships this
summer. We also have several good racing Manly Juniors available to interested
be no organized sailing at Fingal next Sunday, as the club heads south to visit
“Big River Sailing Club” at Harwood, to enjoy 2 days sailing on the Clarence.
event in Fingal Head will be on Sunday the 1st of December.
18 hopeful skippers came early to the boat ramp last Sunday morning, sniffing around for any sign of wind . The fishing community were out at sparrows fart making the most of the calm weather and the boat ramp at Fingal was overflowing.
The race start was delayed an hour and patience was rewarded – the forecast was proved wrong. An unusually steady 12-16 knot breeze came up and the fishing boats started to head back in while the river started to fill with sails.
It was the Laser & NS14 Championships week. The NS14 fleet was missing Commodore Bill Fenelon on Tornado so just 4 boats competed in this class. Last years champs Adam Hurt & Tom Busbridge on Flight XXIV fought hard to keep up with Matthew Andrews & Igor Prado on Impulsive Matt but Matt & Igor took this one with a 4 minute lead. Dave & son Hugh Robinson on On & Off took 3rd with Robert Preston and Kynan Luescher Pura Vida not far behind.
Only Deborah Flannery was missing from the Laser fleet this week – after a full day on the water the day before for the inaugural event in our She Sails program, a day spectating from the timekeepers tent was a good option. The Lasers did have a new competitor – Andrew Chillingman Jaggers was back this week to give the club Laser a go making 6 boats competing. Kate Cant catch me Yeomans was ahead of the whole TVSC fleet at the finish line – 5 minutes in front of the next Laser – John Hayward, with Gary Macca McCrohon seconds behind. Macca was obviously missing his Murwillumbah cheer squad this week.
Craig Foley on Woodcraft was the winner of the Impulse class champ – he just needs some other Impulses to compete against to make it a more impressive title!
Two juniors boats also sailed today – Morgan & Miles Bushnell on Manly Junior M&M are looking really good. They’ve been training hard for the MJ Nationals in Sydney next month. Sidney Willis did well despite missing his crew and completed the 2 laps on his Flying Ant. A really fun day for everyone involved.
Goodbye to 470 La Siala… Over the last 8 years generous people have donated boats to the club. One of the best ones was the Olympic class 470 La Siala donated by Bill Foley. This class of boat is sailed by both female and male crews in the Olympics and La Siala has provided many a wild ride on trapeze for TVSC members. We’re losing our storage area so all our non-essential club boats are being sold and sadly this one has to go too. We also have a more stable design 16ft Corsair for sale call 0434 982 922 if interested.
On Saturday 9 November, TVSC held their first SheSails sailing day, the Sisterhood of Sailing. It was a very casual day, with two lasers and one corsair sailing the beautiful waters of Tweed River.
When we set sail it was over 16 knots, sailing up the river towards Chinderah, returning for a bite to eat at the Sheoak Cafe, where the girls sat and chatted in a more relaxed atmosphere. After lunch, the girls went out again, with dolphins following the boats – it was magical!
The day’s participants were Kate, Deborah, Alison, Rachael, Karen and Monique. The day was a huge success, with Alison saying she hadn’t enjoyed sailing so much for a long time.
Another sailing day will be held in the new year and we encourage our other club members to come and going the sisterhood of sailing.
If you have any ideas or enquiries for future events, please contact Monique via the club website.