The Mighty Tweed River, Where Sailors Become Legends (In their own mind – ed)

A  classic summer day 25-30c and average 10kts NE, gust and shifty welcomed back all the members for the first race of the Summer Championship 2022.  

The fleet of 11 boats with 21 sailors managed to sail out the busy boat ramp and head to the start line. The wind direction swing from NE to E back and forth made the start line set up a hard challenge for Bryan in the safety boat. (Thank you heaps for your help Bryan). 

Some of the fleet heading off in the smooth water.

The race started!  Shouts of STARBOARD!! WATER !!! Oh, how I’ve missed this lovely place and the TVSC family. Unlike Covid, most of the fleet did not spread out and both races were very close.  Leading the fleet were the two Hobie 14 Cat Rigged (without Jib), Naked Again (Yours Truly) followed by Lion from Southport Yacht Club with only a 0.52sec difference across the line. Not too far behind were Laser’s Splatter (Lex Branch) ahead Monique on `Rolling Stone`, then the 2 NS14 only 15 seconds apart Impulsive Matt (Melissa Le Roux, Craig Foley) and No Sweat (Adam Andrewartha and his son.) The first corsair across the line was Cyanara skipped by Doug Haig. If this first race was tight, hang on for what comes next… but before I have to mention how graceful it was to see Craig setting on leeward (opposite side to where the wind is coming from) while Melissa tries to bear away and they almost capsize. Nothing like sailing with someone for the first time.

Is that Igor sailing the wrong way?

BANG !!! The second race started. STARBOARD!!! the start line looks even worse when the wind swings more to the North, however, the gusts coming from the East were stronger and more constant. Once again the Hobie cats reach the top mark first as it should be but with a change in the lead. Now Lion had a great start ahead of Naked Again, some people argue that he had a false start, but no protest had been made to the race committee. Lion kept the lead for the whole race finishing it in 31:11 minutes. Change in the lead also happened in all the other classes. Now focused, No Sweat was 28 seconds ahead of Melissa because Craig was tired of hiking.  While on the lasers Rolling Stone was warm and ready to take the lead of Splatter. John Morgan using the laser ConditionZulu for his first time was under 2 minutes behind the other lasers. Well done!  Now in the Corsairs Squirtie (Guy Forrester, Erik Naumann and Tom Arnette) took the lead of Cyanara by 29 seconds with Keennas (Mark Reynolds) a few minutes behind.

John’s first time on a Laser and first time sailing in over a year!

Wow! What a great start to the short championship season, smooth sailing, beautiful day, close races, cold beers and annoying powerboats…heaps of them. We also have the results on yardstick thanks to Kate. 

View the results here.

See You next race on the 24/01.  

Ps: Please volunteer to help on the next races as I gotta keep racing to keep my lead. 🙂 

Thanks, Dave for volunteering to do the Time Keeping!

Igor Prado and NakedAgain (Hobie 14)

Photos by Ben Jarvis.

TVSC Represents at the LCSC 2021 Monomasters

On the 4 / 5 December, 5 Corsairs, 15 sailors and various support crew/family/sailing fans threw tents, guitars, keyboards, ukuleles, sailing gloves, zinc and suncream into the back of the vans and trekked north 260 km to Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club for the 2021 Monomasters.

The kids grow up so fast these days! (You should have kept the L on for the racing, Justin!)
Yawn…white vans…again.

Due to border restrictions, only the Queensland based sailors/boats could make the trip.

Monopoly leads Epic and Keenas around the wing mark, with some other miscellaneous traffic getting in the way.

Saturday’s two races were held in 8-12 knots and tested who could play the shifts the best and find a clear track through the 81 boat fleet.

Heading out to the wing mark, again, there seems to be other traffic in the way!?!

Sunday, the wind was a lot stronger. Race three was gusting 16knots, and race four was missed by all the tweed sailors who missed the bit on the sailing instructions about when to break for lunch (or more importantly, when NOT to….)

Jason demonstrates alternatives to wearing your hat on your head.
Hollen isn’t looking that keen…

Race 5 was proper blowy, perhaps gusting to 22knots at times; it was a case of who could hold on and not tip (hint, not Monopoly).

Monopoly was back with a new mast…well the “new” mast’s still older than 2/3rds of the crew.

The top 3 Corsairs were the reverse order from last year; Justin, Emily & Eden Johnson took home the chocolates in None The Wiser (802). Andy, Maddie and Kanisha on Monopoly slipped (tipped) to 3rd, and Craig with Scotty and Kate, always the bridesmaid, never the bride got 2nd for the 2nd year in a row.

The very attractive bridesmaid with crew Scotty and Kate, setting up for the bear away.

The big surprise from the regatta was the vast improvement of the new skipper, Jason who with crew Dasha and Alex, was leading races and just proved that time on water = better performances. He will undoubtedly be pushing for a podium finish next year.

Justin finally lets his kids do something on the boat…
The attractive bridesmaid versus the (much) less attractive bride.

Of course, the end of racing didn’t mean the end of the day’s events with group dinners at the pub and a sing-along after…Friday, Saturday and even Sunday night.

Pick the crew member who went to bed shortly after this photo was taken?
We present…”The Beatles” How it’s meant to be played.

With the Queensland Border set to open early, it will be great for all TVSC Sailors from the North and South of the border to be reunited for the start of racing next year. From the looks of the performances of the Queenslanders at the Monomasters, the southerners will have their work cut out for them!

Most on-water photos are credited to Russell Witt. More photos from the weekend are on his website here.

Happy Holidays!

Words by Justin Johnson. Captions by the very attractive bridesmaid.

No Racing or Juniors this Sunday

Due to the Big River Bridge to Breakers Regatta this weekend, we won’t be running any Juniors or Sunday Afternoon racing at Fingal. We wish those attending the Bridge to Breakers all the best. (Make sure to let them know that the Queensland boats will be there in February!)

Peter Fell represented TVSC at the NSW Impulse State Champs on the weekend at Lake Macquarie.

There is a committee meeting on Saturday at 11 am NSW time. All members are welcome to attend; the meeting location will probably be at the Jack Evans boat harbour.

Some of the Queensland boats, again, will be sailing at Oxenford on Sunday. If you’d like to join in, then please get in touch with Craig on 0413 052 898.

Queensland Sailors on Sunday at Lake Orr, Varsity

Mooloolaba Women’s Regatta

Last weekend members Maddie Lyons, Monique Smith, Kate Ausburn, and Mooloolaba YC member Suzie Harte entered the rescheduled Mooloolaba Women’s Keelboat Regatta. The event was held over three days in Elliot 6’s on the river outside Mooloolaba Yacht Club with eight teams entered.

Friday consisted of a morning training session, where the Tweedledums team met and sailed together for the first time, followed by a series of four practice races in the afternoon for “The Battle of the Bubbles”. The course was set for a windward/leeward configuration with a downwind start, although the ever-shifting conditions of the Mooloolaba River made for downwind, upwind, and reaching starts and finishes. With very close racing, Tweedledums came in 4th, 2nd, 2nd, and 3rd place. The bubbles went to team NQ gals from Townsville Sailing Club. Tweed finished in equal 4th overall.

Saturday was the first official day of the regatta with a breeze of 10-15 knots NE. The round-robin format consisted of ten windward/leeward races. Each team would sail five times with a rotating fleet of four boats. Tweedledums came in 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, and 4th place. The teams were then split into gold and silver fleets for a final afternoon race, which was abandoned due to a storm rolling in. Mon did a great job as timekeeper wearing her two watches.

Sunday was forecast with a strong weather warning, meaning the next day of racing was unlikely to go ahead. At Sunday morning briefing when the breeze was around 16-18 knots SE, race officer Glen Taylor made the final call that racing would go ahead using smaller mainsails to withstand the building breeze. By the time all teams rigged and left the dock, the breeze increased to 28 knots and racing was abandoned for the day. Tweedledums finished in 7th overall.

The team is looking forward to the next annual Women’s Keelboat Regatta.

Great Juniors Racing on Sunday

Two Sabots, a Manly Junior, an X3 and a Laser raced off the beach at Fingal into a light fluctuating, at times frustrating, breeze. However, all sailors sailed well against an adverse tide and were still bunched at the windward mark.

One of our new members, Tarquin, surprised all by rounding first in his first time in a Sabot.

However, on the reach to the beach, Kynan in the Laser overhauled him to touch in first.

We all cooled off for a swim before sailing back to Fingal, for another swim. It was a warm day!

Next week Juniors will start earlier at 8.30 to finish before the afternoon race. Make sure you register for Juniors on the club website.

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

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😊

Exciting Conditions for Sunday’s Race

TVSC held the third of their Winter Series pursuit races on Sunday the 11th of July. The promise of a strong wintery southerly brought out the best and sometimes the worst in a fleet of 18 boats that made the start. The added challenge of a beach start made for some creative methods of exiting the harbour. Igor Prado made his intentions clear early in the race by hopping off the back of his Hobie 14 “Naked” and propelling it out of the harbour like an oversized kickboard.

Igor demonstrates how to sail a Hobie 14.

In our sport, there is no substitute for preparation. Several breakages including a broken out-haul on “Rolling Stone” (Monique Smith), a snapped jib halyard on “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds) and most spectacularly, a broken mast on “Monopoly” (Andy Lamont) reminded us all of this. Monique, Mark and crew managed to limp back to the club to render repairs and continue in the race. However, Andy, Maddie Lyons and Gail were gallantly towed back to the harbour by the rescue boat team. 

Mark decides to come back in and work on his knots.

First-timers to the club Bob Krojs and Tony Marsh on their Windsurfer LT’s proved to all that it can be done standing up.

There’s not a lot of space to sit down on those things!

Race favourites, Jason Hogan, Alister Greenwood and Ben Jarvis in the Corsair “Epic” sailed well and were early leaders. Craig Foley, Guy Fitter and Alexander Arase in “Gidget”, also a Corsair were hot on his transom and were one of the only crews to set a spinnaker in the blustery conditions.

Neil Armstrong put in a practice penalty turn…just in case!

Our competitors rely on the dedicated race committee volunteers to keep accurate results. They had their work cut out for them on Sunday with a busy and crowded finish line.

Is this the five minute start, the fifteen or the twenty? Trish and Suzanne got everyone away smoothly.

Let the records show that Igor Prado claimed first place, Craig Foley and crew grabbed second and the beautifully presented Corsair “Cyanara” sailed by Doug Haig, Allan Tolley and dedicated TVSC member John Hayward came in third. Full results here. John had already spent his morning sharing his knowledge of the wind and waves with the junior members of the club.

Race Winner Igor, coming back in, still not sure how to position himself on the Hobie…

Thanks to everyone that braved the conditions. With sailors ranging in ages from 8 to 80 sailing is truly a sport for everyone.

Peter and crew elect to get some water into the boat to cool off.

In away news, Peter Fell attended the Qld Laser Association’s Winter All Ages Regatta on the weekend at RQ.  Racing on Saturday was cancelled due to 30-knot winds…. and he had this to say about Sunday.  “This laser person did not sail particularly well and came 15th out of 18 in the Radials. But it was a good day out, 4 races of 40 minutes in 8 to 15 knots of very shifty southerly. A few shifts of 30 or 40 degrees made it hard if you happened to be on the wrong side of it. 49 lasers out on the water, gotta be happy with that!”

How it started…
How it went…

On Saturday Maddie, Monique and Melissa had a team training day at Mooloolaba to practice on the Elliott 6’s in the lead up to the Winter Regatta Match Racing weekend that they’ll be attending there soon.

Dave demonstrates how to finish.

Our regular working bee is this Thursday morning.  Saturday is a committee meeting at the Sheaoak Café at 10 am, all are welcome to attend. SheSails is also on Saturday from midday.  Please register via the website.

Who’s not going the right way???

For more photos, please check our our Facebook Album from the day.

Byron gets into the boat from the correct windward side…10 points! (Zoom in if you dare…)

See you in two weeks!

Matt Andrews

Thanks for the 340 photos Kate! It only took half a day to go through them all. – Craig.

24 Boats for Sunday’s Race!

Forty-eight people took to the water in twenty-four boats at Fingal head on Sunday for the second of the pursuit (handicap) start winter series races on Sunday the 27th of June. Clear skies and 10 knots of southerly breeze made for great racing and some new names to the club and on the winner’s list.

Just before the start..

Kate Ausburn and her children Charlie and Flynn after completing a sailing course up at Southport took on one of the Tweed Valley Sailing Clubs Pacers and impressed all by completing the three-lap racecourse on the Tweed River. Mellisa Le Roux and Amber Benoit raced an NS14 together for the first time and also made their way around the course with some style.

After a little confusion around the starting time, the early starters were away. Epic (Jason Hogan), One Too Many (Michael Grace), Impulsive Matt (Mellisa Le Roux) and the two Pacers all came to the top mark within a stone’s throw of each other. It became clear on the first downwind leg back towards Fingal head that the two corsairs, One Too Many and Epic were in for a battle that would last the whole race with the lead changing constantly. There could be no doubt that they would both need to sail well to fend off the fast-moving Lasers of Wayne Culph in Flight V,  Peter Fell in Dread Nought and Lex Branch in Splatter, not to mention the ever-present Andy Lamont and his crew in Monoply (Corsair).

Gidget sailing under spinnaker…with no troubles yet to come…

Not all went as planned for some of the chasing boats as they pushed hard to make up some distance. Craig Foley on the corsair Gidget had some spinnaker problems at the gybe mark and John Hayward and his crew felt the cold of the river when they capsized their Corsair Capers towards the end of the race giving the armchair admirals something to shake their heads about from the shore. Club regular Dave Chester in his Hobie 16 was the fastest boat on course, Igor Prado and Anthony Butler in their Hobie 14’s also provided some colour and spectacle in the way that catamarans  can.

Wayne and Byron talk Lasers…

The low tide just after start time provided another obstacle for the sailors which often came into play when approaching the western shore with the ever-moving sands of the Tweed River coming into play on more than one occasion.

Kate Ausburn and family demonstrate how not to round the top mark…

 Within sight of the finish line Michael Grace was passed by Wayne Culph to win by just a few seconds with Peter Fell crossing for third less than a minute later. Epic, Monopoly and Kate Yeomans in Bluey (laser) rounded out the top six.

Kate Yeomans working out the results and who she needs to punish with the handicap stick for doing too well.

Another fun and active day was had by all and we will do it all again in two weeks time. Anyone is welcome to join and perhaps get a spot to crew.

Our Juniors program will begin again during the September school holidays. If you’re interested in joining us for that, then please join the mailing list on our website, to be notified of updates.

See you next time Mauri and thanks for the photos Trish!

by Matt Andrews