First Race of the Year

The Tweed 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.

The main 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.

With the championship tied after 2 races, the top boats were keen to score good results.

Sailing 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.

Taking the 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.

Matt looks back…at the rest of the fleet.

In the 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).

Two races remain in the Class Championship and Impulsive Max now leads the series with Flight 24 moving back to second.

Robert and Kynan on Pura Vida

Meanwhile 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.

Keenas crew

TVSC’s 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.

Sailing conditions on the Tweed were very pleasant and all crews enjoyed the afternoon sailing.

The Next 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!!

Sailing on Sunday

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.

NS14 On & Off Dave & Cooper Robinson , first mono hull finishers

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 Corsair.

The big race today was the 3rd heat of the Northern Rivers Corsair Championship, contested by 5 boats and 15 crew.

Student Doctors, Alicia Szwalski and Sophie Todd sailed with Commodore Bill Fenelon on Corsair “Minnow”

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.

Student Doctors filling the ranks in the Corsairs! L to R Courtney Tiller, Sophie Todd, Manisha Siriwardena, & Alicia Szwalski

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. 

Student Doctor Manisha Siriwardena & Rachael O’Hagan on Corsair “Fairlight”

We look forward to welcoming them all back after their summer break for another 6 months of fun on the river. 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

11 Boats at the Start

11 boats 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 used spinnakers.

Fastest 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.

Second finisher was Laser “Silent Partner” “(John Heywood) and 3rd, Laser, Siesta (Gary McCrohan).

The premier event today was the 2nd Heat of the Northern Rivers Corsair Class Championship.  

6 crews 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.

Current North Coast Champion, Swell Lady sailed with an all-female crew this week, and were definitely out to stun. And did !

Meanwhile 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 beat.

Getting top 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 Class Championship.

Although Keenas 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.

Last to 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.  

Juniors 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 junior sailors.  

There will 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.

Our next event in Fingal Head will be on Sunday the 1st of December.

Last Race of the Season

At the Helm with Bill Fenelon.

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.