School Holiday Learn to Sail Course

On Monday eight new youngsters glanced apprehensively at the whitecaps on the river as they were shown how to rig the X3s. They were soon out on the water, without sails, practising steering behind the rescue boats.

Then with the help of our ‘experienced’ Juniors Kynan, Ari and Zac and his dad Adam, they were out reaching back and forth across the river in a 15 knot northerly with no capsizes.

After wrapping up with capsize drill in “the pond” (just in case), they were all smiles and were ready for more the second day.

On Tuesday they were keen to get out there again, but with a southerly gusting up to twenty, they were restricted to the calmer “Pond”. This proved popular with all kids getting the hang of steering, trimming, tacking and gybing in close quarters. Then we noticed the wind had eased, so let them loose on the “big River”, with the guidance of our assistant instructors.

Two kids did find it all a bit too much and hopefully will try again later. However, the rest were steering their boats to windward against the outgoing tide and were ready to go again tomorrow.

I was extremely pleased with their progress after just two half days! Then we came ashore to learn that the Tweed Shire would be in Lockdown for a week!! (Come on people! Do the right thing so that kids can enjoy their School Hols!)

Anyhow, we decided to continue the Course, after the week of Lockdown. Hopefully Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings of next week. In case of a further lockdown, I will make up the lost days on Saturday Mornings.

Hopefully, this group will soon join the rest of our Juniors, racing in our fleet of Juniors classes.

A huge thank you to Bryan, Adam, Gail, Karen, Kynan, Zac and Ari for their invaluable help as always.

Cheers, John

New Season, Registrations and AGM

Hello Everyone,

The new sailing season is upon us, so all memberships need renewing and we need to hold an AGM, including voting on committee positions.  We also need to get sailing!  (Which new juniors are already doing this week.)

We haven’t yet organised a sailing calendar as we’re not too sure when we can sail as a full club, without border crossing issues.  But at this time, our plan is to have a racing day every second Sunday with class championships starting once the border restrictions are removed.  (It looks like the first sailing day will be the 3rd of October.)

To renew your membership for this new season, please use the online system here.
At this time, our AGM will be held on the 3rd of October, probably over Zoom, rather than in person – again.  If you’re interested in taking on a committee position, then please nominate or have someone nominate you.  Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM and participate.
The minutes from last year’s AGM are available here.

We would also like to organise a roster for duty officers and safety boat duty for each day.  A survey will be sent out asking about available dates soon.
We never did hold an end of the sailing year event to celebrate our summer and winter season winners along with our ten year anniversary.  Hopefully, we can organise something soon, once the border is open.

Juniors Holiday School Program

Our volunteers will be holding a two week school holiday learn to sail program for juniors with no sailing experience.  This program will be for Monday to Wednesday of both weeks of the NSW school holidays from 9 am until 12:30 pm.

We appreciate that covid restrictions may mean that this event has to be cancelled or that your child personally may not be able to attend when the time comes.  In that event, we’ll offer a full refund.

This program will only be for juniors who are new to sailing.  Existing sailors are encouraged to continue attending our Sunday morning juniors sessions instead.  (Experienced juniors might like to contact John about helping with coaching on the day.)

The course is suitable for juniors aged between 9 and 17 years and who can swim 25m.

The package is $100 and includes Juniors Membership for the 21/22 season.

Please call John Hayward on 0431 025 497 if you have any questions or would like to volunteer to help out.

Event registration is here.

20 Knots and Restrictions Make for a Small Turnout

The release from lockdown in SE QLD came too late for the racing at TVSC today. Combined with a strong southerly of about 20 knots, only a hardy few new south welsh men (and women) braved the elements (and followed the rules) to go for a sail at Fingal on Sunday 8th.

If only the 125 had a trapeze…

Matt and Kat on the 125 Dinghy were first to exit the boat harbour and did some spectacular reaches across the river to test out the new Flow Sails mainsail. Opting to come in rather than pushing the envelope, they put the boat and sails away for another day.

Three people on Neil Armstrong…how many were on board by the time they left the harbour? cough

Two corsairs skippered by Peter and Ben went out and had a blast reaching, tacking and running in the blustery conditions while the safety boat crew of John and Peter had an Interlude on a moored yacht with Rudi and Monique, sipping coffee and keeping a weather eye on the capering Corsairs.

Look at that sky!?! is this even the same day?

All ended well with both Corsairs handling the conditions well, no unscheduled swims were observed and all the crews were better for the experience of setting sail when the weather might have caused fainter hearts to falter on the launching ramp.

With the SE QLD lockdown ending, we hope to have a bumper crowd for our next sailing adventure on the 22nd of August

Hey…is that Matt? Local media personality, from at the helm with Matt???

Words and photos by Peter Fell and Gail Bernet

Sailing is on this Sunday

The formal race for this Sunday is postponed, due to the current restrictions, but there will still be sailing happening.  Briefing at midday.

Juniors are on in the morning, please register here.
Some kind of formal sailing will be taking place in the afternoon, with a briefing at midday.  Skippers, please register here.

Please do not attend if it’s not permitted for you to be there.

Stay safe.

Tweed by 3 at the Mooloolaba Women’s Keelboat Regatta

This past weekend 3 members (named Tweed By 3), – the 3 Ms – Maddie, Mel and Mon, representing Tweed Valley Sailing Club, headed to the Mooloolaba Women’s Keelboat Regatta (now in its 3rd year), sailing Elliott 6s.

Maddie, Mel and Mon participated in the Women’s Skills Development Program at Mooloolaba YC with coach Kristen Davidson to learn to sail the Elliott 6s.

Friday morning was a much-needed training session (we have only sailed altogether once before in a previous spinnaker lesson held by Mooloolaba YC), with 5 “practice” races with 4 teams that afternoon, for “The Battle of the Bubbles”. The wind was approx. 9 knots E. Our claim to fame was winning the 1st race! To obtain another point overall, any boat could turn their boat into the wind and reverse the Elliott over the finish line and complete it within 2 minutes. In one race we were coming last and pulled the reverse finish off well! Overall, we came 3rd. The other teams on Friday were from Mooloolaba YC (having the advantage of knowing the river so well), including Olympian for Canada, Danielle Kennedy. This is Maddie’s first time as skipper, with Mel on jib and Mon on the mainsail.

Tweed by 3 goes into reverse to back up over the line for an extra point.

On Saturday, with very little wind (and building for the afternoon), we spent 40 minutes on the water, waiting for the wind to come up and the first race to start. Minutes from the first warning signal “lockdown” was announced – THE END! We were advised to return to shore where we de-rigged, debriefed and were sent packing to beat the 4 pm lockdown.

The regatta has been rescheduled for the weekend of 30 October, so we are very keen to improve, especially our spinnaker work – does anyone have a spare Elliott we can train on?

Stay safe and Covid free!

By Mon and Maddie

Border Splits the Fleet

Our Sunday racing was split between Queensland boat meeting at Lake Orr in Varsity and the NSW Boats staying at Fingal. As a result, we’re lucky enough to have two write up’s from Sunday. The NSW team do need to work on their photos, though, as none were supplied!

NSW Report

With the Queensland members of the club deciding that caution was the better part of valour and choosing to stay north of the border, a reduced fleet gathered at Tweed Valley sailing club on Sunday the 23rd of July.  Twelve boats and crew from the southern side of the border sailed a race from the clubhouse (clubhouse???) at Fingal head to a mark just shy of the Chinderah pub and back again.

No one supplied photos from NSW, no photos are allowed across the border apparently, so here’s a photo of a big banana.

A beach start meant a very tight pack left the Harbour together.   The winter westerlies and a run-out tide quickly spread the fleet as only two boats managed to get through a big hole in the breeze adjacent to the wharf at the golf club. John Haywood, Gail Bernet and Deb Beard in Capers squeezed through the hole first, closely followed by Matt Andrews and Kat Barwick in Paper Plane while the rest of the fleet was left wondering what they had done wrong.

Paper Plane and Capers engaged in some close racing as they approached the M1 bridge. While holding a close eye on their competition, the crew of Paper Plane tried to see what would happen if they hit a red channel marker in a small timber boat. The water Police then decided to see how close they could get to a Corsair without ramming it.  We don’t know what “Old man of the sea” John Haywood said to them, but the cops certainly left in a hurry.

The rest of the fleet turned for home with the leaders, and together the fleet raced in a tight pack again.   The three lasers with Karen, Kynan and Doug all had a go at leading, and the Corsair “Nimbus” with spinnaker flying also challenged for the lead.  But it was a day for the thinking sailor, and John and his crew again made their way to the front just in time to sail into the harbour for a deserved win with Paper Plane second and Karen in her Laser coming in for a very close third place.

It wasn’t the same without the QLDers, and we sincerely hope they will be able to join us for more winter racing in two weeks.

Stay well and sail well.

Matt Andrews

Queensland Report

TVSC members living north of the border met up at Lake Orr for some informal racing in shifty westerlies.

There were 6 boats – three classic Corsairs, Igor on his Hobie 14, Andy with his Laser and a newcomer, Alfie, with a Spiral. There were also 6 vans – Andy’s very black Mercedes, Jason’s very big Renault, Igors very little Caddy, Craig’s lost in Transit and 2 wise women going with trusty Toyotas… and Mark still drives a Camry!?

Is that Igor standing up? Okay then! So…here’s a photo of Igor still trying to work out how to position himself on his Hobie.

Jason had Dasha crewing again on Epic and newcomer Kanisha Bruce. Great to see Debbie Jones back on the water crewing with Mark on Keenas and also Byron sporting a new pair of wetsuit pants and opting for a more conventional boat entry technique this week. I left my Laser at home and still managed to be late but in time to jump on Corsair Gidget with Craig and Kate Ausburn. It was rather confusing but we settled on Kate 1 and Kate 2, Kate 1 being the one closest to the bow as we changed positions a few times just because you can in a Corsair. 

Kate, Kate and someone not named Kate…

Zac and his son Finn kindly turned up with a tinny to be our start boat.  The big challenge was deciding which buoys to use. The lake has lots of them in long lines, mostly orange but the odd white one is thrown in. They are used by folk that choose to sit facing backwards in their boats, obviously, so they don’t hit each other.  A very wise decision was made to go port around the furthest buoy and return to keep it simple.

Relaying the course whilst on the water was also challenging in the blustery conditions. It wasn’t hard to spot the start boat as it was the only tinny on the lake although they were using fishing rods instead of flags. Andy was braving the conditions in the full rig but headed back to the beach just before the start with a sore back, later mentioning a Radial might be a good rig choice in those conditions.

Like a foiler, Corsairs benefit from a heel to windward…apparently.

The 3-minute call was shouted out and missed by most of the fleet but then Zac’s impersonation of a hooter left no doubt that the race had started although the fishing rods didn’t come down.

I don’t remember much of the race after that as Craig was giving lots of helpful instructions to Kate 1 and Kate 2 and I was getting very confused. I did know the question “What are you doing down there??” while we were going upwind in a decent breeze was clearly for me sitting in the bottom of the boat but I didn’t really have an answer for it.  It was good sailing and we all got up and around the last buoy and back to the line although the tinny was gone, perhaps in search of a better fishing spot.

It’s as if Andy knows that there’s a photo being taken…

We did a couple more races with one boat electing to park on the rocks for a rest, an Epic feat really, and some fast reaching legs too before calling it a day. It was a good training session and no one went swimming.

Jason, Dasha and Kanisha on…Epic…, in the background to Igor.

Drinkies entertainment was a singalong with Craig playing his new keyboard, raising the bar for the next Harwood regatta.

Oh, look, another van!

 Kate1..or 2😊

Changes for Sunday due to the Border Closure

As you would all be aware, the Qld government has closed the border with NSW, though a border zone still exists as per the last closure. While you could interpret that the rules permit our Qld members to sail on Sunday, the committee has decided to postpone Sunday’s race so that Qld members who do not want to cross the border won’t miss out on racing in the winter pursuit series.

Therefore, we’ll revert to a Corona Cup race again on Sunday for NSW residents, with Juniors still on in the morning. There will likely be people who need crew, especially now that the Queensland crew has pulled out, so please get in touch. There may not be any onshore timekeeping, depending on who volunteers on the day and whether it’s felt that it’s necessary.

For those in Queensland, we’ll be doing an informal race(s) at Lake Orr in Varsity Lakes. Meeting around midday with a series of short races on the lake from about 1pm. This is not an official TVSC event and you’ll need to bring your own equipment…but there are hot showers! There are also crewing spots available.

We’ll review the situation in time for the next scheduled event and will try to find a time to run the postponed race day before the season ends.