Wild weather and a raging tide greeted the fleet as the Tweed Valley sailing Club got back to sailing after the Christmas break.

This week’s big event was heat 3 of the NS14 Class Championship. Other classes competed in the summer handicap Pointscore.

Conditions were very testing and many boats capsized in the gusty Sou-easterly breeze which reached 22 knots. Adding to the problems, the recent rains created a strong current which aligned with the wind, causing the fleet to sail against the wind and the strong tide.

It turned out to be a lovely afternoon on the river. The windy and rainy conditions meant sailors had the river all to themselves. Sailors love windy and rainy!

Two races were held today. Pointscore results are based on handicap. In the Pointscore fleet, there was 4 Lasers and 3 Corsairs & 3 NS14’s. It was hard work for the single-handed Lasers and there were many capsizes

Pointscore Race 1 was won by NS14 “Flight 24” (Adam Hurt & Kate Yeomans) 2nd was NS14 “Impulsive Matt” (Matt Andrews & Melissa La Roux) & 3rd was Laser “Dreadnaught (Peter Fell).

Race 2 was won by Laser “Dreadnaught, 2nd was “Impulsive Matt”, and 3rd was NS14 “On & Off” (Dave Robinson & Kynan Luescher)

The NS14 Class championship was very closely contested. Class Championship races are based on scratch results (no handicap)

 Race one of the NS14’s got off to a bad start for top contender “Impulsive Matt” when they mis-read the start signals and got off to a flying start, although one minute early. They were forced to return, finally to start 30 seconds behind the fleet. This cost them the race as “Flight 24” stayed ahead for the remainder and got home for first place.

Race two was a very different story and a 3-way race.  “Flight 24” lost time in a capsize and “Impulsive Matt” got the bullet with “On & Off” getting points for second.

The 3 handed Corsairs managed the tough conditions well, and stayed close to the front. Racing was very close fought between the 2 top boats with Corsair “Monopoly” (Andy Lamont, Maddie & John Morgan) getting the bullet in both races only seconds ahead of second Corsair Gidget (Craig Foley, Ella Ekstrom & Patricio Moreno)

Sailing is on again next Sunday (the 17th of Jan) and will feature heat 4 of the NS14 Class Championship.

Sailing is a very enjoyable spectator sport and the club welcomes visitors to watch. Racing can be viewed close up from anywhere along the lower Fingal Reach of the Tweed River.

The club is current in need of a rescue boat driver. Must hold boat license

Perfect weekend for Bridge to Breakers

Tweed sailors travelled to the Clarence River last weekend for the bi-annual sailing regatta at the Big River Sailing Club, Harwood. The BRSC hosted the Bridge to Breakers 2020 Regatta with record numbers in attendance. The 70 strong fleet of mixed classes also enjoyed near perfect sailing conditions with dry warm weather and north east winds. Whilst the incoming tide made for demanding upwind work, the flat water and fresh but manageable wind strength enabled most competitors to complete all four races that made up the series.

Igor with his recently done up Hobie 14. Just needs water!

Tweed sailors were represented in 3 divisions, Cats, Fast Mono hulls, and standard monohulls. Best in the Cats was Hobie 16 “Sledder” (Dave Chester & Isaac Poulsen), scoring 6th place out of 20 boats in the long distance “Bridge to Breakers”

Dave and Isaac trying to be a like a monohull on Sledder.

Fast mono hulls were dominated by Tweed sailors Adam Hurt & Kate Yeomans, teamed up in NS14 “Flight 24”, they scored 3 firsts and one second to easily win this division.

Kate and Adam showing how to keep Flight 24 flat, upwind.

In the standard monohull division, 6 Corsairs from TVSC competed in a mixed fleet of 30 boats, with the TVSC’s best result, 10th place going to Corsair “Monopoly” (Andy Lamont, Maddie Lyons & Amber Bdec) second placed Corsair was “Gidget” (Craig Foley John Morgan & Melissa Le Roux) and 3rd Corsair was “Nimbis (Andy Locke, Brandon Locke, & Dan Broad). Peter Fell placed 3rd in the Lasers on Dreadnought.

Maddie, Ambre and Andy on Monopoly…Andy was looking for his wallet.

It was another very strong turn out from the Tweed Valley sailing club at this regatta. Our sailors love the wide-open waters and stiff breezes of the Clarence river, and have attended every Bridge to Breakers regatta since the Tweed clubs’ beginnings ten years ago. Full results are here.

Waiting for a start.

Next fortnights neap tide will see sailing return to the Lower Tweed as the fleet sets sail at Fingal boat harbour on Sunday the 6th of December. Visitors and spectators are very welcome. Races start at 1pm (NSW)  

Peter Fell on Dreadnought

Volunteers to help with rescue boats are always welcome.

Contact Bill Fenelon TVSC Commodore 0411 123 405

SheSails Brushing up Skills

Mother Nature brought great winds on for SheSails Saturday- brushing up on the skills learnt recently – fabulous day out with bonus of Dave Chester giving us each a sail on his Hobie – exhilarating in up to 20 knot winds!

Thanks to Bryan and Maddie in safety boat and to Lex for volunteering his time once again to give great instruction.

Love sailing on the tweed river!

Racing on the Richmond River on Saturday and Championship Race at home on Sunday

The Tweed Valley Sailing Club conducted Race 8 of the Summer series on Sunday, with a strong wind forecast, 12 boats turned up to race. The weather kept other river users at home, and the sailors enjoyed a fun and windy afternoon sailing.

(Title photo is from the Saturday Start at Ballina.)

Racing was held over 3 laps of the long course which features “one mile” windward legs. It was hard work in the 20 knot Sou-Sou-Easterly breeze but boats were assisted to windward by a flooding tide.

It was a close 3-way battle for fastest today between 3 different classes, with the win going to Adam Hurt, sailing Impulse dinghy “Rosie”, completing the long course in 1 hour 12 minutes, getting home 1 min 30sec ahead of Kate Yeomans in a Laser and third was NS14 “On & Off” sailed by Dave Robinson & Joe D’Ambrosia a further 1 min 30 sec back.

Summer Handicap series top points today went to Kate Yeomans (Laser), 2nd went to Adam Hurt (Impulse), 3rd went to Craig Foley (Laser) and 4th went to Justin Johnson, Emily Johnson and Eden Johnson in a Corsair.

Class Championships were conducted for the Corsair Class (scratch race) and Single Handers competed in their Yardstick championship.

Winning Corsair, “None the Wiser” sailed by family affair, Justin, Eden and Emily Johnson.

Getting points for 1st place in the Corsairs, “None the Wiser”  (Justine Johnson, Emily Johnson & Eden Johnson), getting home 5 minutes before 2nd placed “Keenas”( Mark Reynolds, Vicky Von Bernard & Igor Prado)  & 3rd placed, a further minute behind,  “Minnow” (Frank Bolfava, Andy Locke & Lachlan McMillan) while 4th was “One too many” (Michael Grace, James Hay & Eoin Whatley).

It was a disappointing day for Corsair Class favourite “Monopoly”, after a very quick start and an apparent dominance of the fleet the yacht suffered damage in the rigging and was forced to withdraw without completing its 1st lap.

In the single handers yardstick championship, top points went to Kate Yeomans (Laser) 2nd was Adam Hurt (Impulse), and 3rd was Craig Foley (Laser)

On Saturday, four crews from the Tweed travelled to Ballina to compete in the River marathon race hosted by the Richmond River Sailing Club. Tweed boats performed very well; Corsair “Monopoly” (Andrew Lamont, Maddy Lyons & Clare Southwell) winning fastest corrected time in the mono-hulled Dinghy division, and Laser “Bluey” (Kate Yeomans) getting second place with Mark on Keenas in fourth. (Justin finished…eventually)

TVSC Sailors at Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club 2020 Ivan Bathgate Memorial up river Marathon.

Next fortnight, TVSC will travel to Harwood to compete in the Big River “Bridge to Breakers” regatta. The next sailing event on the Tweed will be on Sunday the 6th of December at Fingal Head.

The Club currently needs Rescue Boat drivers. People with boat licenses are encourage to enquire and all training is provided. Contact club Commodore Bill Fenelon 0411 123 405

A Long Race Start to the Championship Series

Last Sunday the Tweed valley Sailing Club hosted its first race of the Summer series. 18 boats raced on the Fingal Reach on the long Olympic course (3 laps with 1-n.mile windward legs) in lovely clear and sunny weather with a light SSE’ly breeze.

Monique Smith in her Laser “Rolling Stone” wisely  opted to avoid the crowded boat end start line and sailed a fast windward leg  to be first boat around the top mark.  The lead changed a couple of times with eventual winners on scratch being 1st  Impulse “Splitter”( Lex Branch), 2nd Laser “Bluey” (Kate Yeomans) and 3rd Corsair “Monopoly”  (Andy Lamont, Melissa Le Roux and John Morgan).  Lex’s morning training session paid off!

This race was the first heat of 5 for the Laser and Corsair Class Championships.

Fastest today in the  Laser Class Championship race was “Bluey” (Kate Yeomans), beating 2nd finisher,  “Rolling Stone” (Monique Smith) by 1 minute 30 secs  & 3rd was ” Dreadnought” (Peter Fell) only 30 secs  behind. This was a great result for Monique and her best ever in a Laser since switching from her Corsair.

In the Corsair Class Championship 8 boats were hustling for a good position on the crowded starting line. In the end, “Monopoly”(Andy Lamont, Melissa Le Roux, and John Morgan) lead all the way, and took the bullet for a convincing win, finishing 3min 30secs ahead of 2nd placed “None the Wiser” (Justin Johnson, Eden Johnson & Emily Johnson) and very close behind, only 15 seconds later, “Nimbis (Debbie Jones, Scott Jones & Renee Cohan). 4th was “Minnow” (Frank Bolfava, Andrew Locke & Brandon Locke) and 5th was “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds, Marg Walgers & Joe D’Ambrosia.)

The club today welcomed a new Corsair team  sailing “Polly” (Greg Edds, Ulana Edds & Tom Edds) who travelled from Brisbane to race with us on the tweed.

The other race was the clubs’ summer Pointscore series, where every race counts, and is based on handicap.

Top points today went to Impulse class “Splitter” (Lex Branch), 2nd was Laser, “Rolling Stone” (Monique Smith) and 3rd was Impulse, “Rosie” (Adam hurt)

Junior sailors were well represented today with 3 teams sailing NS14’s. Todays top junior team was NS14 “Zazen” sailed by Tom Busbridge and Layla Schultz, just edging out on handicap, NS14 “On & Off”(Dave Robinson & Hugh Robinson.) while on NS14 Mantana, Tristen and Isabelle Pofandt, are still working out the rigging of these complexed boats and unfortunately missed the start.

Thanks to our support team who make racing possible; Race Officer Craig Foley,  Geoff Colwill on our rescue boat and Time keeper Suzanne Blatcher, who was helped by Jack Tarrent who came down and volunteered for the day.

The clubs next event will be 3 short course races held on the Fingal reach on the 25th of October starting at 13:00 NSW time. The big race this day will be our premier contempory development class, the Australian NS14, racing the first 3 heats of their Club championship and concurrently the 4th heat of the summer point score. Crew positions are often available but this is on spec. Licensed and competent boat drivers are welcome to help by driving our rescue boats. Spectators can view racing close up from the river bank along the Fingal reach.  All visitors are very welcome.

Day 1 of the 2020 Summer Series

Tweed Valley Sailing club kicked of its 10th Summer Sailing series on Sunday with 14 boats sailed by 22 crew, in a perfect sunny afternoon on the Fingal reach of the Tweed River with a gentle 10 knot breeze.

This season represents a milestone and a big occasion for the club; conceived by a small group of totally inexperienced enthusiasts, with the dream of creating a sailing club on a River where the sport had been inactive for nearly 20 years since the demise of the very popular Tweed Aquatic club in the early 90’s.

Re-starting local sailing in humble circumstances, 3 boats competed in the first race at the end of 2010, and we didn’t know if it would survive a second year, but the sailing club prospered and flourished to become a vibrant and active sport alternative for the local community, conducting regular racing all year round in an unbroken run through to this Sundays Race. Of the people who founded the club and sailed that day back in 2010, 4 were sailing this Sunday, and many have stayed with the club throughout its years.

The TVSC has a unique racing fleet of mostly Australian designed, multi crewed single hulled sailing dinghies. The 3 handed Corsair class is a sixteen-foot, three handed sailing dinghy. The boat was designed by Australian designer Alan Payne who is famous for designing Sir Frank Packer’s America’s Cup challenge yachts Gretel and Gretel II. Some of these boats are now over 50 years old, but are ideally suited to the shallow Tweed River. They have flourished in our club since being introduced by original club member, Alison Blatcher, in our first year. Local sailors recognised its merits and our club adopted the class. We now have the largest fleet of Corsairs in Australia, we also have the top 3 Corsair sailors in the country including current Australian Champion Arron Hunt.

Another class raced is the Australian NS14 (Northbridge Senior); 14 feet in length, the class was designed in 1960, older than Corsairs, but being a development class, it has evolved into a modern contemporary racing skiff, raced by some of Australia’s best sailors. These are a very popular and nationwide class, with development in the early years happening right here in the Tweed, the class is raced in all the Northern Rivers. But TVSC has the largest fleet in country NSW.

Some members like to sail single handed, and the club also has a very competitive fleet of the Olympic Class Laser.

For a little club, existing only in a shipping container, we have been very successful and can boast some of our countries top racing sailors. We recently had a visit from Olympic 470 Gold Medallists’ Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan, accompanied by sailing legend Ian Murray. These guys normally hang out in the biggest European Yacht clubs, but they loved our little container in the bushes beside the Fingal boat Harbour and the crystal-clear waters of the Lower Tweed.

Race One of the 2020 Summer series included three short races. The fleet included 5 Lasers, 4 Corsairs and 3 NS14’s.

Making their senior sailing debut on NS14 Zazen, junior team, Tom Busbridge and Layla Shultz, raced as a team for the first time, and put in a great performance completing the races, but found the step up into adult racing a challenge, however they will only get better very quickly.  Tom was ecstatic about getting over the line in front of Capers in race 2, beating fellow Junior Kynan Leuscher.

Full Results

The next race will be Sunday the 11th of October. Briefing is at 12 noon and the race starts at 13:00 There may be several crew positions available, phone Commodore Bill Fenelon for details

The 7th annual Tweed River Passage Race.

Last Sunday, 14 boats with 28 crew sailed the longest course on the Tweed River, starting at Condong and finishing at Fingal Head. Traffic travelling along Tweed Valley Way would have been surprised to see a sailing race right beside the highway.

It was a perfect spring day, early light rain developing into a sunny day, but the fleet had to sail against a contrary wind.

Starting at 11am at Condong in 10knots of breeze, Kate Yeomans, sailing a Laser, quickly moved to the front and would lead the entire passage, arriving at Fingal Head in 3hours and 33 minutes. It was a dominant display from Kate, sailing with perfect power to weight ratio, beating 2nd place by 19 minutes.

The main group followed in a tight bunch, initially headed by Monique Smith, also in a Laser. Monique held a strong grip on 2nd until the Tumbulgum bridge. Winds swirling around the bridge pylons held her back, and in short time, three Corsairs slipped in front. Difficult winds are always a feature of this race, and although this year the wind was generally steady, there are sections of the river that have zero wind.

By the time the fleet arrived on the Fingal reach, six boats were closely bunched and finished within 8 minutes of each other after beating straight into the wind all the way from Condong.


Scratch; 1st Laser 179414 “Bluey” (Kate Yeomans), 2nd Corsair 848 “Monopoly” (Andrew Lamont, Craig Foley & John Morgan) & 3rd Corsair 396 “Nimbis” (Debbie Jones & Scott Jones), 4th Laser 207817 “Rolling” Stone (Monique Smith)

Yardstick (Corrected) ; 1st Laser 179414 “Bluey” (Kate Yeomans), 2nd Corsair 848 “Monopoly” (Andrew Lamont, Craig Foley & John Morgan)   3rd 125 class “Paper Plane” (Matt Andrews & Melissa Le Roux) 4th Corsair 396 “Nimbis” (Debbie Jones & Scott Jones), 

Many other crews sailed this race for the first time. All deserve congratulations to mange to finish this difficult race.

The TVSC is commencing its Summer series next Sunday. All races start with a briefing at 12 noon. Race start is at 1pm (NSW Time).

Sailing Two Sunday’s in a Row

Tweed Valley Sailing Club will host its annual Tweed River Passage Race next Sunday

Another big fleet of 15 boats raced on the Fingal reach of the Tweed River on Sunday as teams prepared for the clubs biggest single event, the annual Tweed River Passage Race, starting at Condong and finishing at Fingal Head.

Fastest around the buoys was Maurie Meyer in a Laser, putting in an outstanding effort, 2nd place was taken by Igor Prado from Brazil, racing his NS14 Blu Tack. It was Igor’s best performance with the club and the best result ever for Blu Tack.

Full results are here.

Next Sunday, expect to see the Tweed River light up as sailing boats race the entire length of the river, (not blocked by low bridges.)  It is an awesome spectator event and the Tweed Sailing club hopes locals and tourist will come down and watch the fleet sail. The race will start at Condong boat Ramp at 11:00 and will probably finish at Fingal at about 3pm.

The River passage race was developed by long time club stalwart Alison Blatcher 8 years ago and has become an immensely popular annual event.

The race can be viewed from anywhere along the Tweed River bank, and even as you drive along Tweed Valley Highway you will see the fleet proceeding downstream, but we recommend you should watch where you are driving and not the action on the river. Stop any where and take in the action of this spectacular event.

Sailing on Sunday

Sailing returned to the Tweed River last Sunday as the Tweed Valley sailing club hosted a group of members and visitors to a pleasant afternoon of racing on the lower river.
This is the first race the club has conducted since easing of Covid restrictions earlier this month.

Impulsive Matt being closely followed by Casper

A 15-boat mixed fleet, consisting 2 Corsairs, 4 Lasers, 2 NS14’s, 5 X3’s, an RS100 and an Int. 420, sailing in a light to moderate Northerly breeze, competed in 3 short races.

Matt and Igor on Impulsive Matt

The fastest boat was NS14 “Impulsive Matt” expertly sailed by top crew Matt Andrews and Igor Prada, finishing first in two races, While RS100 “Casper” sailed by Duncan Dey scored 1st place in the final race.

Scott and Debbie on Nimbus

Close racing was experienced in the Corsairs, now sailing 2 handed to allow social distancing, with Corsair “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds and Marg Walgers), winning 2 races and Corsair “Nimbus” (Scott Jones and Debbie Jones) winning the third.

Mark and Marg on Keenas

In the single-handed Lasers, the finishing positions were unchanged for all 3 races, with 1st place going to Peter Fell, 2nd Kate Yeomans, 3rd Craig Foley and 4th Tristan Pofandt. This was Tristen’s first race in a Laser and at 14 years of age he has stepped into this highly competitive Olympic Class.

Craig on Condition Zulu.

Also sailing a single Hander, and visiting the Tweed from the Richmond River Sailing Club, we welcomed former Byron Shire Councillor Duncan Dey, from Main Arm. Duncan sailed his high performance RS100, a difficult but fast single-handed boat which features a spinnaker.

Duncan rounding the bottom mark.

Duncan is a very competitive sailor and pushed the front of the fleet to score a win in the final race.

In the X3’s, TVSC Junior Sailor, Kynan Luescher from Fingal Head won all 3 races.

John and Melissa having a quick chat?

Earlier this week a number of TVSC members travelled to Brisbane and sailed on the Tallship, Sail Training Schooner, “South Passage”.

The Sail training association vessel has been forced to abandon its regular annual program travelling North for the winter, and is giving local people an opportunity to enjoy sailing on this magnificent tall ship on Morton Bay.

The Tweed Valley Sailing Club is now open and conducted casual racing.

Our next sailing day will be Sunday the 26th of July.

We are observing the NSW public Health Order (COVID19). Attendance at events must be registered and we request intending participants to book.

Tweed Sailors Win Corsair National Titles

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.

Runners up, Bayonet.

The 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.

Waiting for the breeze to come in on Sunday.

TVSC 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.

Everyone’s relaxed before the start of racing…or are they?

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, Emily and a Big Banana in front of a bigger banana.

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

Monohulls on the upwind leg, multihulls sailing the angles down.

Tweed 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 Szlawski).

Keenas at the Bottom Mark, turning for a quick run to the finish.

It 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.

Commodore Bill with the Traveller’s Trophy, awarded to TVSC for the distance travelled.

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.

There’s no need to rush down to Budgewoi!

The Tweed Valley Sailing Club always welcomes new members and no experience (or boat) is needed.