Final Race of the Summer Season

Last Sunday the sailing club conducted its last race for the summer season. 14 boats competed, and fortunately, the breeze picked up and it turned into a pleasant afternoon on the river.

Fastest boat was visitor Jason Purcell, from Big River Sailing Club, sailing a high-tech Carbon Fibre single handed RS Aero, one minute back 2nd finisher, NS14 “Zazen 2” (Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge). The ultra-light weight RS Aero was always going to be hard to beat in the light wind conditions. Third finisher, one minute back, was Laser “Siesta” (Gary McCrohan) who got in only 5 seconds ahead of Laser “Bluey” (Kate Yeomans).

Five Single Handers competed in their Yardstick based championship series. 1st Finisher was Siesta, Second Bluey, 3rd Impulse “Woodcraft” (Matt Andrews) and 4th “Flying Dragon” (Monique Smith).

The big event today was the final heat of the 4-race, NS14 Class Championship series. This is a scratch series for 14ft two handed boats. Getting the bullet today in a sparse field of only 3 boats was Fingal Team Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge in their new boat, “Zazen 2” getting home 6 minutes ahead of 2nd placed Impulsive Max (Robert Preston & Rachael O’Hara). The NS14 fleet was decimated 2 months ago after two top boats were severely damaged by Waves created by Wake Surfing boats and these two boats have been unable to return to compete this season. One of these was last years Champion NS14 Tornado.

As usual the 3 handed 16ft spinnaker Corsair Class raced for the summer point score in strong numbers. Four boats competed with first home being “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds & all female ring in crew, Marg Walgers & Deb Flannery) while one minute behind was “Minnow” sailing four handed (Bill Fenelon, Laura Leimola, Kynan Luescher & Taj Krasna).

Meanwhile Tweed Sailors are preparing for State Championships at other clubs. Dave Chester and Deb Flannery competed with 13 Hobie 16’s, raced on Waterloo Bay from Manly boat harbour in a trial race for the state championships. After a 2-race series, Dave and Deb scored a respectable 4th place. Meanwhile Robert Preston with crew Miles will be competing in the next Heron class Australian Championship.

The sailing club would like to extend they’re thanks to the NSW Maritime Authorities “Boating Safety Officer” who patrolled the Fingal Reach on Sunday. Using a Jet Ski, the Officer was un-noticed and kept the river safe for sailing and passive river users.

Next Sunday at Fingal there will be social sailing and Juniors sailing, but no racing now till the Winter series starts in May.

Anybody wishing to get involved in Sailing on the Tweed should contact Club Commodore, Bill Fenelon on 0411 123 4052.

Dave and Deb’s Excellent Adventure!

With the QLD Hobie State Championships just around the corner TVSC’s favourite multihull team headed up to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly, Brisbane for some excellent racing against the hot local Hobie 16 fleet. Team Sledder’s usual crew’s weren’t available so in stepped Super Crew Deb Flannery for her second time on the Mighty Sledder! This was serious racing so Deb had to leave her dinghy hiking habit behind and step out (literally) to the next level, trapezing!

We were greeted with a beautiful sunny day in Brisbane but the winds were looking very light from the North East as the mast’s went up and the colourfull sails were raised. But not to worry, the local’s promised the afternoon sea breeze would be blowing by the time of the first start at 1:30pm.

The 13 Hobie 16’s slowly tacked their way out of the Manly boat harbour (10 tacks on Sledder!) out onto Moreton Bay where we were greeted with a glorious 12-14 knot North Easter. The locals were right! Deb apprehensively hooked onto the trapeze wire and out she went. There was nothing to worry about as Super Crew nailed it!
We were absolutely thrilled to hear the General Recall signal after the first start as ours was horrendous, bogged down in traffic going nowhere!

We had a much better restart, getting right into the mix. Not far into the first windward beat I made a stupid error and dropped the mainsheet which gave Deb and I a dunking as the windward hull dropped into the water. We quickly recovered and tacked with only a few boats still behind us. Not easy to play comeback in a feet with World Champion sailors in it! Luckily our early tack paid off big time as the wind seemed better out on the right side of the course. We pushed hard and fought our was back through the fleet to finish in a very respectable 7th, only a couple of minutes behind first place. I was particulary pleased with Deb’s jib trimming skills down wind and how quickly she picked up trapezing, nearly getting out on the wire as quick as me a number of times!

Race 2 was another screamer with an awesome battle at the start between the hardcore Hobie sailors. We battled our way around the course and only had one minor whoopsy when we tried to cross Hobie legend Rob Branch on port but had to bail into a crash tack at the last minute when we decided we couldn’t cross and we were too close to bear away without ending up pitchpoling! We recovered quickly and set off after Branchy and made good gains on the next downwind leg before fighting back past him on the next windward leg.

This was amazing as throughout this whole windward leg Deb’s trapeze harness was slowly coming apart to the point that with a few hundred metres to go to the windward mark Deb was literally holding herself out on trapeze by her strength alone! If she let go she was in the drink, but Super Crew Deb held on, put the team first and made it to the windward mark! Our tack wasn’t the best and Branchy managed to pass us, but with one downwind leg to the finish team Sledder wasn’t giving up!
We chased hard and made big gains but in the end Branchy’s decades of experience paid off and held us off by 1 second. 1 second! We were still stoked to finish the race in 4th in a very tough fleet.

After both races Team Sledder was 4th overall out of the 13 Hobies. I can’t thank Deb enough for coming up to Brisbane and giving it everything she had, including putting her body on the line! Bring on the State Championships!

Fantastic Conditions for 17 Boats on Sunday’s Race

What a fantastic day of racing yesterday! The wind started light at 10 knots, but by the finish, gusts were reaching 20 knots with wind against tide for exciting and wet conditions.

Connor at the helm.

The juniors were out in the morning too.

The juniors setting off in the morning.
Briefing time…
Dave and Isaac
John and Saffron
Lex ahead of Scott and Debbie.

See you all next weekend at Harwood for their weekend Regatta.

Beginners and experienced alike are always welcome.

Chindy Challenge Proves a Challenge

14 boats competed last Sunday the Tweed Valley sailing clubs twice yearly Chinderah Challenge, racing from Fingal Head to Chinderah and return. A strong and gusty Sou-Easterly breeze tested the crews and several boats were capsized.

First finisher today was Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge sailing Adams new NS14. Things didn’t all go Adams way, as Corsair “Swell Lady” (Monique Smith, Matt Andrews and Deb Flannery) pushed them hard all the way and finished close behind in 2nd place. Third was Laser “Bluey” sailed by Kate yeoman and 4th was Corsair “Minnow” (Bill Fenelon, Igor Prada and Laura Leimua).

It was a very pleasant afternoon on the river, sailing upstream as far as Oxley Cove into the magnificent view of Wollumbin in the distance. Todays race was completed in record time of 1hours and 50 mins, thanks to the tide assisting boats in both directions.

Next week the club takes a break from sailing and the next Race at Fingal will be on the 24th of February.

Sailing On Sunday

18 boats competed in Race 5 of the Tweed Valley Sailing Club summer point score series.

It was a long hot afternoon on the river, racing in a strong ebbing tide with a light and fluky easterly breeze.

Starting first today was a Division 1 fleet which included 4 boats. Getting home first in this division was Rainer Glasker in an “Access 303” and second place went to Leyla Scholtz in Flying Ant “Flippant” and third was Tom Busbridge & Darcy Busbridge in a Club X3.

In Division 2, first finisher this week was perennial winner, Dave Chester with crew Isaac Poulsen on a Hobie 16, sailing the only cat in the fleet.

First mono hull was Maurie Meyer sailing a Laser.

This week’s main race was the 3rd heat of the Corsair Class Championship with 7 boats competing in this 3 handed 16ft. spinnaker boat.  

First place was “Swell Lady” (Monique Smith Matt Andrews & Deb Flannery), second was club boat “Neil Armstrong” (Andrew Jaggers, Tara Gough & Gary McCrohan) and Third “Minnow” (Bill Fenelon, Igor Prada and Laura Leimua) and close behind in 4th was “Nimbis” (Scott Jones, Debbie Jones & Zac Riding) . The top four Corsairs raced closely all afternoon and, in the end, only 2mins 30sec separated all four boats.

It was a great result for Andrew and his team on “Neil Armstrong” getting his best result to date and aided greatly by having the experience of Laser runner up, world champion Gary McCrohan as tactician. Also having a good day on the water, another club boat “Capers” (Nicholas Taylor & Craig Foley) got home first but was heavily sanctioned for sailing shorthanded and scored 5th place.

Also putting in a commendable performance was Corsair “Capers” (Nicholas Taylor & Craig Foley) getting its best result ever, actually finishing in front of the Corsair fleet but dropping back to 5th place due to sailing without a third crew.

The 4-race series for Corsairs is now virtually wrapped up with one race to go, “Swell Lady” now being in an unbeatable position with 3 first places. Next Sunday the club will hold its Chinderah Race, starting at 1pm from Fingal to Chinderah and back. This is a great race to watch from the shore as boats will sail very close to the roadway along the Chinderah reach.

Sailing on the Tweed, Heat 3 of Sprint Series

A reduced fleet set sail at Fingal on Sunday, due to many boats and crews being away competing at Lake Cootharaba, north of Noosa.

16 ft 3 handed Corsairs, were represented with 2 boats, and 3 single handers. Our club performed very well with Corsair “Swell Lady” (Monique Smith, Matt Andrews and Deb Flannery) winning ahead of another Tweed Corsair “Odin” (Daniel Sieders Adrian Dokter Matt) getting second. Racing was very intense between these 2 boats, with Swell Lady winning 5 of the 6 races. The Tweed crew of “Swell Lady” are now hot prospects of winning the Australian Corsair Championships!

Back on theTweed, 10 boats and 21 crew contested the 3rd and final races of the Summer sprint series, consisting of 3 short course races.

Conditions were testing on the river with a hot gusty northerly blowing, which challenged thecrews.

Todays fleet consisted of 4 16ft Corsairs, and a 16ft Harpoon in the 3 handed heavyweight division, 2 NS14’s in the two-handed division and 2 single handed Olympicclass Lasers.

At the front it was a 3-boat race, between 2 Lasers, and 1 Aussie designed NS14.(Northbridge Senior)

Top boat today was Laser “Siesta” Gary McCrohan getting 2 firsts and a second. Pushing Gary very hard all day was second placed Laser “Vickie 2“(Maurie Meyer) scoring 1st, 2nd & 2nd. While third went to NS14 “On& Off “(Dave Robinson and son Hugh) 3rd, 2nd & 3rd.

Maurie might have managed 2 wins today but for a spectacular capsize in the second race, while Dave and Hugh in the NS14 also had their share of misfortune,hooking up a rounding mark and towing it 100 metres up the river, as well as several capsizes, Hugh said it’s was a tough, bruising day!

Mean while in the Corsairs, a very close battle was being fought, but surprise top boat today was new comers Michael & Liz Grace sailing their new boat, “One too Many” with ring in crew Nicholas Taylor. Obviously, Nicholas is a very good sailor as he led the team to score 1st, DNF (did not finish) &1st, a disastrous capsize ended their second race. Next fastest in the Corsairswas “Melita 3” (Alison Blatcher, Christine Martin and Igor Prado) 2nd,1st & 3rd, and third place went to “Capers” (Andrew Jaggers, David Berg and Tara Beth) 3rd, 2nd & 3rd

It was a tough day for top Corsair “Keenas”, with skipper Mark Reynolds missing his gun sheet hand Craig Foley who was away sailing at Southport. Mark seemed to have his mind on compliance issues and not on sailing, and took an unusual 4thplace.

New boat in the fleet a Harpoon 5.2M sailed very close to the Corsairs and was only beaten in one race by 2 seconds.

Next Race is on the 16th of December and is the last of the year. The sailing club is expecting a big and highly competitive fleet to contest the 2ndHeat of the North Coast Corsair Championship. Racing is expected to be intense.With a flooding spring tide forecast, crews will be hoping for a stiff Southerly.

All are welcome to come down to Fingal and enjoy the race and the ambiance on the riverbank.

Sandy Steals The Show

The Corsairs were out in force again this weekend – this time back on their home ground at Fingal but venturing further afield than the usual Fingal reach. And for a change the aim wasn’t first across the line, it was first to the Chinderah Tavern to get our orders in for an excellent lunch. Eight boats sailed from Fingal and with the big tide were tied up at the pontoon only 45 minutes later. It was the maiden voyage for Corsair “One Too Many” with new owners Michael & Liz Grace taking advantage of a fun sail with other members to support them as they learn the ropes. Michael and Liz are new to sailing but were instantly keen enough to look for their own boat and sons Charlie and Oliver regularly attend Juniors sailing squad sessions. Some of the Juniors were also out sailing today – Kooper Wheeler getting some more practice on the Corsairs & Taj Krasna on an X3. Keep a look out for the bright pink Flying Ant “Flippant”, a donated boat newly restored by dad & daughter team Gunnar & Layla Scholz. These are a great class of boat to be crewed by two 10 to 13 year olds. With a spinnaker and trapeze they’re a big step up and just what the club needs for those who like a bit of excitement.

Gunnar and Layla on Flippant

There are of course many exceptional people amongst the Tweed community and we’re glad it turns out that lots of them love to sail! This week’s shout out has to go to Sandy Sorenson who has been a member of TVSC since 2013 being involved in many different ways from our first women’s learn to sail course, crewing on Corsairs, helping out with timekeeping and now in training on the safety boat. This is all when she wasn’t busy with grand-kids or caring for her partner Jim in his last years. Jim was another great character in the sailing world and helped Sandy restore her beautiful Heron sailing dinghy. It was an auspicious day, 25 November, she chose to relaunch “The Good Ship Lollipop” and surprise us all by sailing solo to meet us at the Chindy. She kept it quiet, but sailing club records do not lie, so a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sandy – you’ve now reached “level 70” in the game of life. Long may you continue to be part of our sailing community and may “Lollipop” take you on many more adventures.

Daniel on the club Laser.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to pitch in, we’d love to see you. Come and have a go at sailing or safety boat driving, timekeeping, restoring and repairing boats and trailers or putting together fabulous post sailing spreads of food… there is always something creative to do – or just chill out on the bank and watch the boats.

Liz and Michael’s new Corsair, One Too Many

We sail next Sunday 2 Dec from Fingal boat ramp – 3 short Sprint Races round the buoys kicking off at 1pm. Contact the club for more info.  Our next social sail Sunday 9 Dec.

TVSC Competes on the Mighty Clarence – record Corsair numbers


Last weekend nearly 40 TVSC members, friends and family headed south to Big River Sailng Club’s Bridge to Breakers Regatta at Harwood on the Clarence River. The 10 TVSC boats, including 7 three handed Corsairs, competed in the marathon race on Saturday starting in a moderate breeze and sunny blue skies. An hour later, up the other end of the course, the tide was raging and the swell and wind gusts had picked up. One of TVSC’s best sailors, Peter Skinner from Terranora, on Corsair Epic went for a couple of swims with his crew Mark Storrier & Greg Martin from Uki – they were up and sailing again quickly though. Greg was completely new to the sport of dinghy sailing and loved his wild adventure as did wife Christine and son Konnor also sailing on Corsairs.  As they came to the finish line 3 hours later, the sky had turned a threatening black and thunder rumbled close by.  Most of the boats made it to the finish as the rain started to pelt down but two of the TVSC Corsairs, Adrift & Nimbus, had to pull in to the safety of the bank and were welcomed by local prawn fishermen to shelter in their shed until the storm passed… stories of eating freshly cooked prawns and sipping champagne may have been scurrilous rumour.

Ominous clouds in the distance…

TVSC Commodore Bill Fenelon, with junior crew Kynan Luescher from Fingal and Konnor Wheeler from Uki on Corsair 199 Minnow, were the first Corsair to cross the line in the marathon race. Corsair Swell Lady still managed to finish, and in 2nd place, despite their jib sail ripping off the wire. Deborah Flannery was the hero of the day fixing the sail as they continued to race!

Bill with Kynan and Konnor on Minnow

Sunday saw clear skies again and racing started early getting 2 short sprints in before lunch and finishing up the regatta with another longer race in the afternoon.  TVSC’s Dave Chester on Hobie 16 Sledder flew round the multihulls course beating everyone home on Saturday and did well against the Nacra’s on Sunday too until a freak wind shift stole his lead and left him in last place on the final race. He still took 2nd place in the multihulls. Monique Smith won 1st place in the Corsair Class on Swell Lady with Matt Andrews & Deb Flannery with Bill Fenelon’s Minnow coming 2nd. Peter Skinner, Mark and Greg on Corsair Epic took a hard earned 3rdprize – well done everyone.

Mark with Reet and Craig on Keen as.

As always, the weekend provided many stories to entertain us all at the evenings BBQ and memories to last as we look forward to the next Big River regatta next March. Nothing beats a weekend of camping and sailing adventures with friends to clear the cobwebs before we hit the silly season. The kids had a ball too – lots of space to run around together when they weren’t sailing. It was too hard to leave for some of us so we stayed an extra night but it still felt like the weekend was over in a flash. Come and join us for the next one!

Some of the SYC boys camping setup…buy one get five free???

There’s a lot more photos on our Facebook Page.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to pitch in we’d love to see you. Come and have a go at sailing or safety boat driving, timekeeping, restoring and repairing boats and trailers or putting together fabulous post sailing spreads of food… there is always something creative to do. TVSC sails next Sunday from Fingal – fun sail down to the Chinderah Tavern for lunch and back again.  Start approx. 10.30am.  Email or call 0434 982 922 for more info.

Next racing at Fingal on Sunday 2 Dec – Sprint Series first race starts 1pm.

NS14 Class going strong, race ends in disaster for Tornado

A total of 18  Boats raced on the Fingal Reach in Pointscore Race two.  Five boats competed in the NS14 Class Championship, two in the Lasers and three in the Impulses. Another stunning day on the Tweed River enjoyed by 30 crew.

Epic with only big grown up people on board???

The only downside was a group of jetskis and wake boats driving at speed through the sailing fleet!  The huge wave from one wake boat caused the dismasting of classic timber NS14 “Tornado”.

As a courtesy to other river users, the sailing club advises all sailors to stay out of the channel on the east side of the river so that power boats have a clear passage through and only uses a small section of the river so there is plenty of room for everyone. TVSC sails under a council permit and NSW Maritime has notice of all events (permit not required).

Based on the sail number, how old is this Laser Mauri?

Well done to 1st placed Impulse Tim Brown, 1st placed NS14 Dave Robinson & son Cooper who had a lucky break when the 2 NS’s ahead both had equipment failure and then showed great boat speed to beat previous club NS14 champion Adam Hurt to the line.

Mike often needs a massage after getting all ‘hippocampus’ on his Taser.

1st placed Laser Gary “Macca” McCrohon. Novice Junior skipper Konnor Wheeler from Uki also put in another good effort on his Sabot but the strong tide got the better of him.

Sammy on her Sabre, ‘Yeah Buoy’, getting close to the buoy…yeah!

Thanks to Val Skinner and Suzanne Blatcher in the timekeeping tent and Adrian Colnan, Bryan Townsend and Jude Allen safety boat driving.

Scott and Debbie going the distance…on ‘Nimbus’!

Our next home event is a lunch cruise to the Chinderah Tavern on the 25th of November.  Please get in touch for more information.  We’ll be at the Big River sailing club’s Bridge to Breakers regatta next weekend.

by Alison Blatcher

Big fleet contests sprint races in hot conditions

20 boats with 37 crew raced on Sunday in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s 2nd sprint race series, comprising 3 short races of one lap each. Joining the regular fleet were three “Division One” Juniors boats competing in their own race this year for the first time in the club’s history.

Mauri enjoying the heat on Vickie II

It was a hot afternoon on the river, with only a light breeze and a strong tide running, plus the small sailing boats had to contend with numerous Jet skis being driven through the fleet at high speed.

Just after the start of Race 1 (Division 2)

The racing was extremely close with the first finishers separated by only seconds, and several dead heats which are very rare in sailing.

Highlight of the day was the Juniors races. With Race 1 being won by Manly Junior team, Kynan Luescher (Fingal head) and Aron Colwill (Uki). Then Race two saw a determined effort from Uki youngster, Konner Wheeler sailing a club Sabot, coming from behind and won this race by a respectable margin. This was only the second time a junior’s fleet has competed with the club, and with this group learning the skills over the past years racing in the senior boats and morning training sessions, we look forward to some intense competition in this division.

Kynan and Aron on the MJ.

In the Senior class, all 3 races came down to a very close tussle between Laser “Siesta” sailed by Great grand Master, Gary McCrohan, and NS14 “Mantana,” sailed by semi- professional sailor, Matt Andrews with junior Rigby Andrews (NOT Related!) Gary is always a top competitor and, in the past, scored 2nd in the World Championships in Rio, in this highly competitive Olympic Class, while Matt Andrews was sailing an NS14 for the first time, with crew Rigby Andrews, also a first timer in this class. Club NS14 “Mantana”, showed it had boat speed to burn, and Matt is likely to be a very strong competitor in this class this season. Between the two boats, Siesta scored 1st, 1st & 2nd, while Mantana scored 2nd, 2nd & 1st.

Gary finishes just in front of Matt and Rigby.

The remaining fleet competed strongly with all 20 boats finishing within 5 minutes of the first boat.

Six boats competed in the 3 handed 16ft Corsair Class today; fastest was “Minnow” (Gunnar Scholz & Layla Scholz), 1st, 3rd & 2nd;  second “Capers” (Geoff Colwill & Anderson Sanders) 3rd, 1st & 3rd  ;  third Keenas”(Mark Reynolds, Craig Foley & Tara Gough)  4th, 2nd & 1st while fourth placed was “Melita 3” (Alison Blatcher Marg Walgers & Marcela Willis) Melita looked set to win race 2 but stalled just short of the line and dropped to 4th place as all boats finished within 10seconds.

Siesta in the Lead

Seven single handed boats competed, split between 2 Lasers, 3 Impulses 1 Sabre and 1 “X3”. Fastest was Laser “Siesta” (Gary McCrohan) with 3 bullets, second Laser “Vickie 3” (Maurie Meyer) , and 3rd was Impulse Itchy Coo (Tim Brown)

A 4-boat fleet in the Two Handed 14ft monohulls; NS14’s MG14’s Tasers and 125’s, was won by NS14 Mantana (Matt Andrews & Rigby Andrews) scoring 3 bullets, second went to MG 14 “On & Off” (David Robinson & Hugh Robinson) and third to Taser “Hippocampus” (Mike Mansted & Imogene Mansted)

Gunnar and Layla at the finish line.

There were several family teams racing; Gunnar Scholz and daughter Layla sailed Corsair “Minnow” and were fastest in this class; Scott Jones lead his team with partner, Debbie Jones and daughters Caitlyn and Sahara sailing Corsair “Nimbus”; sailing 4 up, placed Scott & family back in the fleet, but Scott is a serious sailor and Nimbus is a good boat. We will see Scott win races with the club this year. Mike Mansted sailed with daughter Imogene in 14ft Taser “Hippocampus”, and David Robinson sailed with son Hugh is MG14 “On & Off”.

Next Sunday the club gets back to long course racing with the first heat of the 14ft Division, NS14 Class Championship, as well as the Single Handers Class championship, the club is expecting to see a large and competitive fleet.

Oh Look!  It’s Gary again!

New sailors are always very welcome at our club and no experience is necessary to crew. Volunteers to drive or crew the club’s rescue boats are also very welcome.  Spectators are welcome to enjoy the racing in our official tent on the river bank.  Contact us.

Sid’s Mum, Marcela racing for the first time on Melita III

Bill Fenelon