Did you see the 20 sails out on the river at Fingal last Sunday? That was your local sailing club putting on a great show in their first regatta of 2019. They also ran a Try Sailing event for adults keen to learn or get back on the water, some after a 20 year break!
Byron Bay family Suzanna, Michael & Lucy Murray drove up to Fingal to take Lucy for her first sail. It may have been over 20 years since Suzanna had sailed but as she said “it’s like riding a bike” and they spent the morning exploring the river on one of the club Corsairs.
In the afternoon 36 crew enjoyed the racing with some complete beginners getting their first taste of how much fun sailing can be. There were 3 class championships running too.
Firstly The NS14’s who were missing a few key players, so there only 3 boats competing. Just back from competing in the NS14 Nationals Robert Preston took out beginner crew Igor Prado and was only 18 seconds behind 2nd placed Dave Robinson with son, Hugh. First place went to Adam Hurt and junior crew Thomas Busbridge.
The single handed Impulses, with 4 competitors, had Peter Fell visiting from Brisbane up the front also taking line honours in the monohulls in 74 mins. Tim Brown on Itchy Coo was over 3 minutes ahead of new kid on the Impulse block, Craig Foley on “Woodcraft” and Lex Branch on “Splitter” bringing up the rear.
Most of the Laser fleet were missing today – which gave some first timers a chance. Monique Smith, racing in this class for the first time, on Flying Dragon put up a good fight against hard to beat Kate Yeomans on Bluey. Both finishing middle of the fleet. Dave Condor from Byangum was sailing his laser for only the 2nd time did well in the first 2 laps but slipped a few places in the final lap.
Only 1 multihull raced – Hobie 16 Sledder. Dave Chester is keen to get more multihulls to race against – in the meantime they entertain the rest of the fleet!
The 3 handed Corsairs had a break from their class champ series but still had 6 boats racing. Karen Vidler skippering Club Corsair 107 with Rob Shaddock and Marg Walgers, led the Corsairs for the first leg and had a close race with Scott and Debbie Jones on “Nimbus” with ring in crew & sail maker Matthew Andrews from Ocean Shores who eventually beat Karen to the line by only 35 seconds. Karen will be one to watch for the rest of the series.
Karen’s 11 year old son Kynan Luescher also impressed everyone today – stepping up to take the helm of Corsair “One Too Many” with owners Liz and Michael Grace who are still learning the ropes of their new boat.
Corsair Melita III somehow managed to scrape in at third place. This was despite bringing up the rear of the fleet for the first 2 laps and making so many mistakes, missing course marks and a going back to correct, that they nearly decided to just head to the beach for a swim – the river was so clear and inviting. Skipper Alison Blatcher and new crew Camille Lettieri and Wren Mclean got it together for the last lap and just pipped Peter Ross, Christine Martin and Mark Storrier on “Adrift” at the line, so they swapped the swim for the only close finish of the day.
Our next race is on the 3rd of February, with social sails this Friday the 18th and the following Wednesday the 23rd. All are Welcome!