Sailors celebrate successful season
Sailors at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club (WLBC) celebrated their success at the club’s end of season presentation. As well as the prizes were awarded for various categories, the club celebrated the friendly competition they had enjoyed, and the beauty of Wallagoot Lake.
“We all feel very fortunate to have such a great place to sail,” confirmed WLBC Secretary Tony Hastings. “We love the natural beauty, tranquillity, flat water and moderate winds that we have here.”
The WLBC awarded prizes in the Pointscore series, which is based on yardstick corrected time. Yardsticks correct for differences between types of boat. Winning this series requires skilful sailing of a competitive boat. 26 different skippers contested the monohull division, and there 9 different catamaran skippers.
Winners of the Monohull Division were Rob and Sian Morton, on their MG14 “Wizard of Oz”. They won every race they entered, often by a substantial margin both across the line and on corrected time.
A well-deserved 2nd place went to Terry Kirby on Sabre “Frodo”. Terry was very consistent throughout the season, scoring some wins, many 2nd palces, and a worst race of 4th place.
3rd place was very closely contested, and not decided until the last of the 24 races. Matt Sochacki on Impulse “Bunyip” won the prize, ahead of Greg Thorton on Laser Radial “Ariel.” Greg was awarded the ?Rising Star? prize.
Winner of the catamaran division was Tony Hastings, on Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”. Tony won every race contested, and attended often enough to win. He also raced in regattas around the region, State Titles in Laser Radial & Paper Tiger classes, plus Paper Tiger National and International Titles.
2nd catamaran was Arild Helland, on Windrush “Slippery When Wet”. Arild had a win or 2nd place in every race he entered.
3rd place was incredibly close; after 24 races there were 5 boats separated by only 1 point. The prize went to Warren Page, on Hobie 14 “Puff”.
The WLBC also run a handicap-start series, in which slower boats are given a head start. Handicaps are revised after each race, with the intention that anyone could win and all the boats should finish together.
Winner by a huge margin was Morrie Lynch, on Sabre “Warungarea”. Morrie won 8 of the 20 races, and quipped, “I’d like to thank the handicapper for this victory!”
2nd place went to Rodger Ubrihien, on Sabre “Salty Dog”. Rodger’s consistency and light air skills produced excellent results in this series. 3rd place was won by Matt Sochacki, on Impulse “Bunyip”.
Prizes were also awarded to Wendy Miller, as Best Woman Skipper, and Brian Wright, as Best Trailer-Sailor. All sailors were awarded with a special glass, to reward and encourage their participation.
Wizard wins on magic day
10 boats enjoyed a beautiful day for sailing on Wallagoot Lake last Saturday. 2 pointscore races were held, which counted towards the season pointscore.
The “Wizard of Oz”, sailed by Rob and Sian Morton won both races in the monohull division. Rob commented that there was an “exciting close start, which led to great racing.”
Rob praised the Officers of the Day, Jeff Hope and Matt Sochacki, for the excellent courses set and their handling of events.
The Laser Radials of Tony Hastings and Greg Thornton were closely matched and enjoyed side-by-side racing. They finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in both races.
The Sabre dinghies of Rodger Ubrihien, Wendy Miller and Morrie Lynch also raced closely. Wendy was especially pleased to keep up with the fleet, considering this a demonstration of her improved form.
Catamarans were raced by Warren Page, Alan Holbrook and Ian Wood, with Warren and Ian claiming victories.
The club will host the final handicap-start races of the season next Saturday, and the final pointscore races a week later. Trophies will be awarded at a special presentation barbeque lunch, to be held at the club on Saturday 11th May.
Julie’s Kahlua now a big shot
Two handicap start races were held by the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club (WLBC) last Saturday. The handicaps are based on previous race times, so someone who improves and sails better than usual ought to win the race. The races were held in light, southerly winds, which increased a little at the start of race 2, before fading again. Luckily for the sailors, the predicted rain held off.
Race 1 was won by Terry Kirby and Neil Fisher, on “Mo”, a Hartley 16 trailer-sailor that they have been developing their skills on this season. Hot on their heels was Richard Barcham, who sailed through the fleet on his Laser. Third was Julie Slater, on her Sabre “Kahlua II”.
Most of the boats racing were Sabre dinghies, which were all closely matched. The sailors enjoyed the tactical battles, and friendly chats back on shore after each race.
After winning race 2, Julie said, “it was thanks to the tips Rodger Ubrihien gave me between races.” The tuition helped her cut 25 minutes off her race time, which made her uncatchable. All of the sailors were delighted to see Julie claim her first win. It was significant as she only recently completed the club’s sailing school.
Second was Bob Harris, on club-owned Sabre “Splice”. In 3rd were Terry & Neil on “Mo”.
“The weather made us very grateful for the sun and wind we enjoyed last week, during the regatta,” commented WLBC Secretary Tony Hastings. “Our review of the regatta also made us very grateful to major sponsor Merimbula RSL. It was thanks to them that the event was a financial success.”
Next Saturday the club hosts 2 pointscore races, in which all the boats start together and the winner is determined from yardstick corrected times. For more photos of the day’s races, please click here
Bunyip flies across Wallagoot Lake
Sailors at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club enjoyed some great racing in moderate winds last Saturday. Winner across the line was Greg Thornton, on Laser Radial “Ariel”, while winners on yardstick corrected time was Terry Kirby, on Sabre “Frodo”, and Matt Sochacki on Impulse “Bunyip”. Terry Ubrihien was the only catamaran to enter the race.
The fleet blasted across the start-line of Race 1 with the spray flying, as the wind gusted to 20knots. Greg and Matt had a great battle. Just when it looked like Greg had a clear lead, he capsized gybing and Matt caught up. Terry was close behind them all race to claim the yardstick win.
The wind eased and swung east before the start of Race 2. The lighter wind enabled Bob Harris and Julie Slater to enter the race, on Sabre dinghies. They enjoyed their own battles, against the elements and against each other.
Greg looked to be in better control than previous race. He hiked harder and put more effort in to build a lead over Matt, but it was not enough to win on corrected time.
Morrie Lynch’s Sabre raced closely against the much larger Austral 20 of Alan Holbrook and Ian Wood. Morrie held a slight lead for half the race, then “got lost” on a windward leg to concede the place.
The club is all set for next weekend’s regatta, which promises to be spectacular. A great variety of boats are expected, with monohulls ranging from small Sabre dinghies to large Castle trailer-sailors, and various types of catamarans. Spectactors may enjoy viewing the race from the club’s balcony, and stay for dinner with the sailors on Saturday night.
Race 1, Monohulls: 1st Terry Kirby, Sabre “Frodo”. 2nd Matt Sochacki, Impulse “Bunyip”. 3rd Greg Thornton, Laser radial “Ariel”.
Race 2, Monohulls: 1st Matt Sochacki, Impulse “Bunyip”. 2nd Greg Thornton, Laser radial “Ariel”. 3rd Terry Kirby, Sabre “Frodo”.
Multihulls, both races: 1st Terry Ubrihien, Maricat.
Morrie cleans up in preparation for Regatta
A light to moderate easterly breeze provided excellent racing at Wallagoot Lake last Saturday. Morrie Lynch won both of the handicap start races, by about a minute each time.
The day featured several members learning new skills and developing as sailors. Greg Thornton had his first turn as Officer of the Day, under the guidance of veteran Rodger Ubrihien. Together they did a great job of running the races and maintaining an atmosphere of good will.
Sailing School graduate Julie Slater completed both races. Some rigging advice between races enabled her to slash 10 minutes of her race time, and finish mid-fleet.
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club (WLBC) also welcomed Julie Baker, who tried her hand at sailing a Sabre and steering Brian Wright’s Caribou.
The WLBC will run two Pointscore races next Saturday, and hosts its annual Regatta on March 9-10. Regatta sponsors include Bendigo Bank (Pambula Community Branch), Merimbula Outboards, and Zhik. The sponsors have generously offered prizes for division winners and a raffle.
The WLBC welcomes all off-the beach sailing boats and trailer-sailors to its regatta. Entrants are known to be travelling from as far as Tumut, Canberra, Bowral and Wollongong, to race locals from Eden, Merimbula, Candelo, Tathra and Bega in the event.
Sabre duel ends with flash of lightning
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder and dark storm clouds brought an early end to racing at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club on Saturday. Officers of the Day Wendy & Glyn Miller wisely decided to abandon Race 2, about 20 minutes after it started. Some skippers had already taken the precaution of not leaving the shore.
Winners of Race 1′s monohull division were Rob & Sian Morton, on MG14 “Wizard of Oz”, and in the multihull division, Tony Hastings on Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”. Both skippers are undefeated in their divisions this season, and look forward to racing each other on Laser dinghies at next weekend’s Twofold Bay Regatta.
After a north-east course had been set for Race 1, the wind swung to the east. This meant that instead of the usual tacking to windwards, the fleet set off in a drag race for the 1st buoy. This enabled the MG14 and Paper Tiger to show their speed and quickly break from the fleet. The second leg of the course was a fast reach, so they promptly sped away from the chasing boats and were not challenged again.
There was a close battle for second place, lead on the water by Greg Thornton’s Laser radial. Behind him 5 Sabre dinghies did their best to keep their speed up and find patches of breeze in the variable conditions. They stayed close enough to Greg to beat him on yardstick corrected time. At the end of an hour’s racing, Neil Fisher’s Sabre “Windsong” crossed just 16 seconds ahead of Terry Kirby’s Sabre “Frodo”, who was just another 26 seconds ahead of Rodger Ubrihien’s Sabre “Salty Dog”.
The Windrush catamarans of Arild Helland and Jeff Hope also had a close battle for second. Arild took onboard a young student from last week’s sailing school as crew. Although Jeff crossed the line ahead, sailing 2-up gave Arild a higher yardstick and second place.
No official races will be held on Wallagoot Lake next week, as the Club encourages all to support our neighbours at Twofold Bay Yacht Club. Handicap start races will be held at Wallagoot Lake in 2 week’s time.
Wallagoot Sailing School a success
Last weekend 16 locals were taught the basics of sailing by a team of 12 instructors at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club.
“The sailing school was a real success,” said Event Coordinator Rob Morton. “The students all enjoyed their weekend of sailing and all seemed to learn quite a lot. It was a pleasure seeing the students become quite adept at sailing the boats around the course by Sunday afternoon.”
The sailing school included tuition in safety, rigging boats, sailing at various angles to the wind, turning the boat around, rules and other concepts. Students were able to learn techniques in a controlled environment on land, before being provided with one-on-one tuition on the water.
“The Club would like to thank all the participants and instructors,” continued Mr Morton. “We also thank Tony Hastings and Terry Kirby for the work they both put into the planning of the weekend.”
The Club now looks forward to including the new members in the races held most Saturdays. Club-owned boats are available, so they do not need to buy a boat to begin sailing. Additional coaching is available by appointment via firstname.lastname@example.org
Perfect day on Wallagoot Lake
The cool, overcast day and light, steady winds provided a perfect start to the year’s sailing at Wallagoot Lake.
“It was perfect,” enthused Sian Morton, crew on MG14 ‘Wizard of Oz’. “Days like this remind me of how much fun sailing can be.”
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club held two handicap start races, in which the slower boats get a head start. Handicaps are calculated so that the whole fleet should finish together. The system gives everyone a chance of winning, and the boats that are usually tail-enders get a chance to lead the race.
The role reversal proved Brian Wright’s undoing. On his Caribou trailer-sailor “Dear One”, he led from start to finish in the first race, and had a huge lead on the last lap in the second race. Then he became confused, and sailed towards the wrong mark of the course. This gave the chasing boats the break they needed to catch and pass him.
Greg Thornton on Laser radial ‘Ariel’ won race 2. After a mid-fleet start he sailed well to catch the boats ahead and just held off the fast finishing boats behind. It was thanks to teamwork from the club that he made the race, supplying parts and tools to quickly repair part of his boat that broke at the end of race one.
Rodger Ubrihien’s Sabre “Salty Dog” sailed consistently to claim second in race one, and third in race two.
Third in race one was Richard Barcham, on a Laser standard. The pressure of having boats close behind spurred his efforts. He hiked out and pushed himself harder to achieve good upwind speed and the food result. Once the adrenalin wore off, he thought it best to go home and relax instead of contesting race two.
The Maricat of Terry Ubrihien gave the dinghies a substantial headstart, he made up ground by sailing especially fast on the reaches. Within sight of the finish line, he sailed fast, minimised tacks and passed four boats to finish second in race two.
The Club will hold two pointscore races next Saturday, then a Sailing School on February 2nd and 3rd. The School aims to teach basic skills, so that anyone may join the club and learn to sail. For more details, please contact Event Coordinator Rob Morton, on 0428246903
Sailing popular at school camp
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week, the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club (WLBC) was proud to provide a sailing experience for about school children. The sailing was part of a peer support camp at Hobart Beach, which brought primary school leavers from rural schools together, prior to their enrolment at Bega High School.
“Sailing was again the standout as most popular activity”, enthused Rick MacFetters Principal Tanja Public School and camp coordinator.
The sailing experience varied greatly, from peacefully cruising aboard a trailer-sailor, to hands-on sailing a dinghy, to a wet, wild rodeo ride over waves aboard a catamaran. The children were able to swap boats, so everyone had a turn aboard the boat of their choice.
Saturday’s pointscore race was held in highly variable winds between rain showers. The fluky winds and increasing rain deterred the fleet from sailing a second race.
Rob and Sian Morton on MG14 “Wizard of Oz”, and Tony Hastings on Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”, both started well and flew around the course. Their wins extend their leads in the Monohull and Multihull Championships respectively. The WLBC wishes them both luck as they head off to race in the class?s National Championships.
The wind eased after these lead boats finished, causing the remaining fleet to bunch up. As they rounded the final buoy before the finish, they were all side-by-side. Sailing into clear air and finding a puff of breeze would prove crucial.
Brian Wright on Caribou “Dear One” used perfect covering tactics to finish second, his best result ever in a pointscore race.
Mike Stove’s made a bold move on his Sabre dinghy, heading out to the left of the fleet. This paid off well enough for him to finish 3rd.
The next sailing event at Wallagoot Lake will be a Sailing School, on January 19 and 20. Participants will learn basic skills, enabling them to safely handle a sailing boat. A few vacancies remain open for anyone who wants to learn to sail, can swim at least 20m and entry is free after joining the club. To enrol, and for further information, please contact the club.
Seabreeze cranks up the challenge
Sailing at Wallagoot Lake last Saturday began in perfect conditions. The warm sunny day had light winds in the morning which gradually increased throughout the day. The first race began in fun 10 to 15 knot winds, which became more stronger and more gusty. By the end of the race it was very challenging, with powerful, shifting gusts knocking the boats around.
In the Handicap start race, the slower boats start first, with others starting up to 28 minutes later. The handicaps are based on previous race results, and adjusted each week. Theoretically this means anyone could win the race.
Terry Kirby and Neil Fisher sailed the Hartley16 trailer-sailor “Mo” off a 5 minute handicap, powered to the lead during the first lap, and went on to win the race. Terry & Neil appear to sail the boat as team, both involved turns at steering, trimming sails and determining their strategy.
Morrie Lynch maintained excellent control and boat speed on his Sabre “Warungarae” to finish second. His consistency in all conditions has him leading the Handicap series.
Matt Sochacki continues to improve on his Impulse “Bunyip”, and claimed third. There can be 5 minutes difference in race times between a fully adjustable sail and one that is just tied off tight. Some of Matt’s improvement has come from reconfiguring his rig controls, and using a different sail which he found easier to adjust. He has also improved his boat handling skills.
From shore the whitecaps, black gusts and tall chop indicated that the wind had increased to 15 to 20knots by the start of Race 2. A few skippers decided to stay on shore, rather than over-exert themselves or risk damage to their boats.
The first boats to start were seen heeling well over, sails luffing and flapping in the strong gusts. Others approaching downwind for their start flew over the lake at top speed, with spray flying.
Not long after their start, Terry & Neil on “Mo” got into trouble, when their jib cleat jammed. This meant that they couldn’t to let the sail out, or turn the boat into the wind, and as a result it was blown onto its side. Once the water flowed into the cockpit, things went from bad to worse.
Sailors who were yet to start sailed over to offer assistance, but there was little they could do. The Rescue Boat was required to abandon its starting procedures and lend assistance. The following rescue took about 2 hours. The rescue was complicated by Mo taking on a lot of water, and the strong winds blowing both it and the powerboats around. This made it difficult to tow the boat upright at the required angle.
Eventually Mo was righted and towed back to shore, after involving almost every sailor and the help of some water-skiers. The club is grateful for the assistance, and pleased with the teamwork and friendly cooperation that occurs at Wallagoot Lake. At the end of the day there was no damage done to any boats, no-one was injured and we had stories to tell.
Next Saturday, 15th December, will be the last race of the year. A 2-day Sailing School will be the first event of 2013, on January 19 and 20. The Sailing School will teach basic skills, enabling participants to safely handle a sailing boat. A few vacancies remain open for anyone who wants to learn to sail, can swim at least 20m and is free after joining the club. To enroll, please contact the club.
Time goes by at Wallagoot
The usual suspects rounded up the fleet to steal wins in both races at Wallagoot Lake on Saturday. Rob Morton won both races in the Monohull Division, on his Laser “Coriolis Effect”, and Tony Hastings’ Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic” remains unbeaten in the multihulls.
The pair did not have it all their own way, and the light, fluky winds meant that strategy played a bigger role in the race than outright boat-speed. A single tack could make the difference between zooming ahead in good breeze, or sitting idle in a calm patch.
Greg Thornton’s Laser “Ariel” led early in Race 1, demonstrating winning speed and good skills. The Lasers separated on one leg of the course, then a single gust of wind proved critical, as it powered Rob Morton to the lead and left Greg behind.
During a windward leg, the Windrush’s of Jeff Hope and Arild Helland both tacked in an attempt to gain favourable wind, while Tony Hastings continued straight ahead. Making that one tack meant that the Windies then had to tack twice more to get around the windward buoy, and those tacks cost the pair a significant amount of ground.
Once clear ahead, the same gust of wind that put Rob’s Laser ahead also enabled Tony to extend his lead a significant distance. When asked why he was so lucky, Tony explained, “the fundamental things apply. You need to maintain speed, avoid unnecessary moves, keep watching and trimming the sail.”
After a break on shore, Officer of the Day Terry Kirby asked the skippers if they wanted another race. They replied; “if you can stand it, we can. Play it again!” To shorten the race, the course was changed from the usual “lap-hotdog-lap” course, to a “vegetarian course” with no hotdog.
Arild Helland’s Windrush also put up a great contest, maintaining good speed to finish second in both races. He might have won Race 2, but was caught out by the change in diet and lost valuable time by sailing in the wrong direction.
Jeff Hope’s Windrush catamaran pulled great starts in both races. He led the first lap of Race 2, but then suffered gear failure. With no traveler and a jammed tiller extension, the catamaran lost power and was left on the runway as the others took off.
Neil Fisher’s Sabre was close behind in Race 2; making him a contender on Yardstick corrected time. Unfortunately for him, the wind died out at the race end, which gave advantage to the faster, leading boats.
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club would like to thank David Buckley, Project Engineer at Bega Valley Shire Council, for providing a valuable information session about their boat ramp. The Club is taking all reasonable measures to ensure public safety, as the law requires. David presented a range of possible options for the ramp’s upgrade, so the Club may now begin discussions with stakeholders. The substantial costs involved in a ramp upgrade are far beyond the Club’s finances, so they need the wit and luck of Rick in “Casablanca” to negotiate a successful outcome.
Strong winds flatten fleet
Morrie Lynch won the handicap-start race at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club last Saturday. He has now won 5 of the 7 races held in the series this season. The race was held in beautiful conditions, with strong, gusty 15 to 25 knot winds.
The challenging conditions saw 5 of the 12 entrants drop out of the race prior to the finish and at least a couple of others capsize during the race.
In the Handicap Start races, the slower boats get a headstart, with handicaps calculated so that the fleet should all finish together. A skipper that continues to improve ought to win the series.
Morrie started first, looked great, and went on to win comfortably. Arild Helland’s Windrush catamaran flew in the strong winds. He started last, flew past the others on the way to the finish to claim 2nd.
The Sabres of Rodger Ubrihien and Neil Fisher had a great race-long battle. Unfortunately Rodger had a swim just before the finish, which let Neil finish the race 3rd.
Meanwhile the far-south coast was represented in the NSW /ACT Laser State Titles, by Tony Hastings on Laser Radial “Firefly”. The ancient red boat stood out in the fleet of shiny new white ones, and surprised a few by finishing 20th overall with a best race of 6th place.
Over 100 boats entered, with fleets divided by the different sized sails they used. Cam Hooper, of Middle Harbour Amateur Sailing Club won the Laser Radial fleet. Shaun Connor, of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, won the Laser 4.7 division, and Bruce Paine of Canberra Yacht Club won Standard division.
Next Saturday the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club invites all sailors to make a special effort to attend, and celebrate the start of summer together. 2 Pointscore races are scheduled.
Salty Dog tastes victory
Rodger Ubrihien sailed his Sabre “Salty Dog” to victory in both races, last Saturday at Wallagoot Lake. While Greg Thornton on Laser Radial “Ariel” crossed the line first, he dropped to third in both races on yardstick corrected time. Both Matt Sochacki’s Impulse “Bunyip” and Mark Jarvis on the club?s Leader hotly contested the races, and each scored a second place for their efforts.
The races were held in light-moderate easterly winds, which oscillated a little in direction and also shifted to north-east a few times. The shifts meant that timing and strategy played a key role in determining the results, as well as maintaining good boat speed.
There was some point-scoring strategy at work on the powerboat, as Officers of the Day Terry Kirby and Morrie Lynch scored the equivalent of 2nd place for doing their duties. With “the Wizard of Oz” absent, this moved Terry into 1st place of the Pointscore series.
The fleet of boats included 5 dinghies, a trailer-sailor and 2 catamarans, all of different classes. As each class had different parts of the course where it performed better, such as pointing higher, tacking more quickly, or being faster downwind, it meant that there were lots of passing moves throughout the race.
Ian Wood on NS14 “Carina” enjoyed some great battles with the lead sailors, but because the yardstick rating of his class is for the sleek, new versions of NS14s, he had no real chance of scoring a podium finish.
Chris Malcolm brought a spectacular Formula 16 catamaran for testing and tuning, which is possibly the fastest sailing boat to ever appear on Wallagoot Lake. The boat has a tall, efficient mainsail, trapeze and spinnaker, and can be sailed 1-up cat-rigged or 2-up sloop rigged.
Chris and Tony Hastings on Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic” enjoyed a great battle, with the lead changing every lap. The F16 would gain the lead with bursts of speed, then hand it back during stops to sort out rigging. By the end of the race the F16 was well sorted, and Chris sailed it flawlessly to cross the line several minutes ahead. On yardstick corrected time, Tony won both races to take the lead in the multihull division of the Pointscore series.
Next weekend may see a small fleet contest handicap start races, as keen sailors will be away at both the Kembla Klassic regatta and Laser State Titles. The following week, 1st December, is shaping up to be the biggest race of the season so far, with the full fleet expected to contest more Pointscore races.
Try Sailing Day a success
Last weekend the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club (WLBC) held 2 Pointscore races on Saturday, and hosted Try Sailing Day on Sunday. The warm, sunny weather was ideal, and began with a perfect, moderate steady breeze, which increased to challenging, strong gusty winds. This produced spectacular action during the races, and some thrilling rides for people’s first experience of sailing.
“The weekend was a great success,” said Club Secretary Tony Hastings. “Try Sailing Day provided a great opportunity for people to be taken out on the boats and experience sailing. The Club was also very pleased to make contact with water skiers & power-boaters, and welcome them as Boat Club members.”
The WLBC operates within Bournda National Park, and offers use of its boat ramp, clubhouse and parking fee exemption stickers for Boat Members. Sailing membership also includes personal accident insurance. Membership is vital to the Club, and help ensure it’s ongoing viability.
13 boats crossed the start-line of Race 1, with 9 in the monohull fleet mixing it with the 4 catamarans. Rob & Sian Morton lead from the start and went on to win the race by a huge margin. Behind them, the Sabres of Neil Fisher and Terry Kirby dueled in a great race-long battle, all the while contested line honours with Mark Jarvis on a Leader, and Matt Sochacki’s Impulse. Powering out ahead of this group was Greg Thornton?s Laser, putting on an impressive display in his first race at the club.
The Windrush catamarans demonstrated the variety of rig configurations available, with Paul Leaudais using a trapeze on a “Super Sloop”, Arild Helland using both sails of “Sloop” rig, and Jeff Hope using just the mainsail with “Cat” rig. They finished in that order, but as each configuration has a different yardstick, Paul’s lead was cut to just 30 seconds on corrected time.
As the wind increased in strength, it became more gusty and shifty, which increased the challenge for the sailors. A few skippers decided to stay on shore and watch, avoiding the stress and damage that racing in strong winds can cause.
Rob & Sian Morton sailed conservatively by not using their spinnaker on some of the reaches, but still won the race easily. Terry Kirby and Neil Fisher fought another close battle, which ended with Terry covering Neil on the last leg and crossing just ahead at the line.
Arild made a terrific start and was the leading catamaran for the first half of the race. Paul Leaudais made a terrific chase, passed and had claimed the lead before his halyard snapped, which ended his race.
25 participants registered for Try Sailing Day, and were provided a range of boats to experience sailing on. Some club members also took the opportunity to try each other’s boats. The WLBC was able to cater to all ages, with those too young to go out in the blustery conditions given towed rides along the shore.
Tricky winds handicap racing
Two handicap start races were held at Wallagoot Lake last Saturday. Winners were Rob Morton, sailing Laser “Coriolis Effect”, and Morrie Lynch, sailing Sabre “Warangarae”.
The conditions looked intimidating from shore, with strong, gusty South-westerly winds forming dark patches and white caps across the lake. It turned out that the sailors need not have been worried, as they enjoyed great racing without incident.
Morrie Lynch?s Sabre led the fleet away, followed 6 minutes later by Terry Kirby and Neil Fisher on “Mo”, a Hartley 16 trailer-sailor. Matt Sochacki started just after them, on his Impulse “Bunyip”.
Starting next was the pairing of Mark Jarvis and Andrew Turnbull on his old timber NS14, which made a striking contrast to modern carbon-fibre Cherub of Ed Molony & James Hagan. It was Ed & James first race of the season, as they took a rare break from their school studies. Understandably, they prioritised fun over serious racing, and put on a spectacular show of flying across the lake under spinnaker.
The wind shifted as it gusted, giving advantage to the later starting Laser Radial of Tony Hastings & Laser standard rig of Rob Morton. Although the radial is a fraction slower, it was Rob?s better decisions and boat handling skills that provided his competitive advantage. The pair quickly caught and passed the boats ahead, and Rob went on to win the race.
The catamarans of Terry Ubrihien and Paul Leaudais enjoyed their own battle, after starting last. They chased down and passed the rest of the fleet to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Officers of the Day Chris Malcolm and Rodger Ubrihien shortened the course for Race 2, which produced a much closer finish. The wind shifted to the South, which reduced the amount of tacking required, and provided some advantage to the catamarans.
“That second leg was just perfect for the Windy,” Paul Leaudais enthused about his Windrush catamaran. “I stood out on trap with the hull flying, and she just trucked!”
Morrie Lynch showed great stamina to maintain his lead and win the race. The gusty winds required great effort from all the sailors, who talked of sailing fitness and training after the races. Matt Sochacki sailed well to finish second. Jeff Hope?s Windrush powered through the fleet to claim third.
Neil Fisher & Terry Kirby held on to finish just 5 seconds ahead of the fast closing Paul Leaudais. Behind them the Lasers of Rob Morton & Tony Hastings dueled right to the end, finishing 3 seconds apart after a half hour of racing.
The Club will host Pointscore races next Saturday, and Try Sailing Day on Sunday 4th November. Try Sailing Day is an opportunity for any member of the public to be taken out for joyrides on a range of boats by club volunteers. Entry is free. To participate, bring lunch, water and clothes you are prepared to get wet in, to the clubhouse on Wallagoot Lake Road between 10am and 4pm.
Wizard’s magic start to season
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club held its first Pointscore races of the season on Saturday, 20th October. Defending champions Rob & Sian Morton on MG14 “Wizard of Oz” began their season in the best possible way, winning both races. In the multihull division, Terry Ubrihien was the sole entrant in race 1, but broke a stay wire which prevented his entry in race 2. Tony Hastings represented the club at the ACT Multihull Championships, where he finished 3rd in the Paper Tiger division.
The races were held in ideal conditions; warm and sunny with moderate winds. Some stronger gusts made it challenging for the sailors, and resulted in a few capsizes and breakages. Officers of the Day were Morrie Lynch and Mike Stove.
Rob & Sian Morton’s MG14 is a fast, skiff style boat, with a spinnaker, bowsprit and crew hanging off trapeze wire. Rob commented, “Sian was very brave, putting the spinnaker up and going out on wire in a wind that was a little too much for her liking.”
Terry Kirby sailed consistently well to take second place in both races, on his Sabre “Frodo”.
Third place in race 1 was taken by Dave Taylor, using a club-owned Sabre. The club has Sabre, Pacer and Leader dinghies available, which means that people can participate in sailing without needing to buy a boat.
The pairing of experienced sailors Chris Malcolm and Mark Jarvis saw them take third place in race 2, on Tasar “Gin & Freckles”. Unfortunately a late start in race 1 and some gear failure in race 2 prevented them from achieving a better result.
The club will host Handicap start races next weekend. The following weekend will feature Pointscore races on Saturday, and Try Sailing Day on Sunday 4th November. Try Sailing Day is an opportunity for any member of the public to be taken out for joyrides on a range of boats by club volunteers. Entry is free. To participate, bring lunch, water and clothes you are prepared to get wet in, to the clubhouse on Wallagoot Lake Road.
Sailors get lucky at Wallagoot
Saturday 13th October proved to be lucky for the sailors at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club. Throughout the course of the day, the weather provided something for everyone, from light to strong winds, east to westerly directions, warm sunshine and light rain. The club held 2 handicap start races in the fluky conditions, which meant that luck more than anything else determined the race winners.
In the handicap races, the slower boats get a headstart, so the faster boats must try and catch them before the race ends. Morrie Lynch on his Sabre, Warungarae, was first away. He started in a nice puff of wind, giving him a great lead that he maintained to win the race.
“It wasn’t easy,” Morrie explained afterwards, “the top of my centerboard came off, so I was trying to sail with one foot against it, holding it in place.”
Rob and Sian Morton on MG14, “the Wizard of Oz” won race 2. They started on a handicap of 32 minutes, yet easily caught and passed the fleet in front of them. They were helped by good breeze at their start, after the boats ahead drifted away in calmer winds. Sian joked, “we turned the wind on when we started, and turned it off again after we finished.”
After the race the sailors enjoyed telling each other of their race highlights. We heard how some boats raced at full speed in a great gust of wind, and passed boats nearby who sat becalmed on glassy waters. We heard how some boats battled into a westerly wind, then how the boats behind set spinnaker and raced downwind towards them when the wind swung east. Mostly, we heard how much everyone enjoyed their day’s racing.
White horses trample season opener
Strong winds obliged the WLBC to cancel racing at the season opening weekend, 29th September 2012. Wind gusts were recorded at over 25 knots on the end of the boat ramp, and looked to be much stronger on the lake.
“You could see a great herd of white horses galloping past Rocky Point,” explained Secretary Tony Hastings. “This meant it was probably over 30 knots out there. Our policy is to cancel racing in winds over 20 knots. We do this as there is a high risk of capsize and gear breakage, requiring boats to be rescued. As we only have 1 rescue boat, it would be unsafe for us to sail in those conditions.”
“We hope to buy a 2nd rescue boat, a rigid inflatable boat, which would both help the club ensure safety and also provide opportunity for beginning coaching,” Tony continued. “We thank the Bendigo Bank for their sponsorship towards this boat, and seek additional support. We would be delighted to provide publicity and advertising opportunities to any sponsor.”
Club lays foundations for future
On Saturday, 22nd September, the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club completed works which will assist the enjoyment of boating at Wallagoot Lake long into the future. The works included construction of a picnic table, adopting a new Constitution and passing other resolutions.
In laying these foundations, the Club was obliged to take into account events, artefacts and policies of the past. Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer Graham Moore met with the club, and explained that there is a long history of people coming to Wallagoot Lake to camp, trade and share stories. This is evidenced by a huge number of artefacts and sites around the lake.
Dr Sandie Jones, Acting Manager Landscape and Aboriginal Heritage Protection for the Office of Environment and Heritage, also met the Club to ensure that “due diligence” procedures were followed when undertaking any construction works. This involves consulting with the Office of Environment and Heritage, checking a database of known sites, and following other procedures to ensure the protection of cultural heritage.
The Club also considered the more recent history and use of the lake, in deciding not to charge fees for non-members to use its boat ramp. New signs will be installed to warn people that the ramp is hazardous, as it has a very slippery surface. These signs will also request donations towards fees and expenses that the club incurs in having the ramp.
The Club’s new Constitution preserves the objectives of conducting, encouraging, promoting and advancing water sports throughout the local area.
“The new Constitution will help the Club achieve those objectives, by providing clear prescriptions on how to conduct business in compliance with current laws,” claimed Secretary Tony Hastings. “We offer memberships for sailors, boat operators, and associates such as our art group members. The benefits of membership include access to all club facilities and helps ensure the viability of the Club. Sailing membership also includes personal accident insurance.”
Rodger Ubrihien was awarded Life Membership, in recognition of the many years of support he has provided the Club.
“In laying foundations for our future, the Club is very proud to acknowledge and recognise its past,” said Mr Hastings. “We are very pleased to accord this Honour to Rodger. We also wish to recognise, protect and carry on cultural heritage traditions.”
Club gears up for sailing season
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club has begun gearing up for the new season. Former Club Commodore, Keith Underhill, has generously donated his Leader dinghy to the club.
“We are very grateful to Keith, for this boat and for the many years he sailed and officiated at the club,” acknowledged Secretary Tony Hastings. “This is now the fastest club-owned sailing boat. The Leader creates an opportunity for skippers to step up from the Club’s Pacer dinghies, to learn more advanced skills such as roll-tacking.”
Tony contributed over $200 in new parts to restore and upgrade the Leader. “I first learned to sail on an identical Leader when I was 12,” Tony explained. “I am happy to fix up this boat in the hope it will similarly provide others with a fun introduction to sailing.”
The Club now has 5 sailing boats available for members to borrow, which means that people beginning sailing do not have to buy a boat in order to participate.
Try Sailing Day will be held on Sunday November 4th. Anyone may come and try sailing for free, as club volunteers will be providing rides on their boats.
The Club will be running its annual Sailing School in January, which teaches the skills required to sail safely.
It is also possible that anyone interested may arrange try sailing and receive private tuition on any Saturday morning, by contacting the club.