Wallagoot Lake Boat Club

Race Reports 2011-12

Happy ending to season

Sailors at enjoyed a social barbeque and end of season presentation at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club last Saturday. While some of the results were known well in advance, the surprise and delight on the faces of other winners was priceless.

1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Monohull Pointscore Series went to Rob and Sian Morton’s MG14 “Wizard of Oz,” Terry Kirby’s Sabre “Frodo” and Neil Fisher’s Sabre “Windsong” respectively. 24 boats contested the series, with the best 13 results of 18 races counted to the series points total. Incredibly, just 2 points separated Terry and Neil, which means that just one slight error or better decision in any one race could have affected the result.

“I’m lucky to have Neil to race against,” Terry commented. “It’s great that we race so closely; it’s fun and helps us improve.”

1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Multihull Pointscore Series went to Tony Hastings on Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”, Max Dogger on Paper Tiger “the Mystery Tiger” and Terry Ubrihien on Maricat 1816. Of the 12 catamarans, the top 3 were the only ones to contest more than half the races. The club hopes that the skippers will enjoy fuller participation next season.

Surprised winner of the Handicap Series was Brian Wright, on Caribou “Dear One.” In the handicap start races, the slowest boat starts first, with each boat starting successively later so that the fleet finishes together. While wind strength and course length sometimes affects the finish order, the season winner would be the boat who improved their race times the most throughout the season. Brian put the most effort in, going for a practice sail each morning before the races. He also put a lot of work in at home to improve his home-built boat, which appeared in immaculate condition every week.

2nd and 3rd in the Handicap Series went to Neil Fisher, and Maurie Lynch on Sabre “Warungarea.”

Best Female Skipper was won by Wendy Miller. Wendy learned to sail by attending the WLBC Sailing School a few years ago, loves her sailing, and has continued to improve over the past few seasons.

Best Youth Sailors were Ed Molony and James Hagan on Cherub “St Elmo.”

The Rising Star Award is given to the best performing skipper who has joined the club within the past 2 years. Matt Sochacki on Impulse “Bunyip” easily won this award, finishing ahead of his rivals in both Pointscore and Handicap Series.

The Club would like to thank all sailors who raced during the season, all powerboat, art group and associate members, and all others who contributed towards the club. Thanks also to National Parks, Merimbula office, for their cooperation and help, and Bendigo Bank for a generous grant offer. Full details about the club and the season’s results can be found on the Seasons Results page.

From left: Ian Wood, Peter Debney, Neil Fisher, Wendy Miller, Mike Stove, Glyn Miller, Matt Sochacki, Sian Morton, Rob Morton, Andrea Beck, Alan Holbrook, Morrie Lynch, Max Dogger, Brian Wright, Tony Hastings and Gregory Parsons

From left: Ian Wood, Peter Debney, Neil Fisher, Wendy Miller, Mike Stove, Glyn Miller, Matt Sochacki, Sian Morton, Rob Morton, Andrea Beck, Alan Holbrook, Morrie Lynch, Max Dogger, Brian Wright, Tony Hastings and Gregory Parsons

Wizard beats jam to toast victory

Rob and Sian Morton on MG14 “Wizard of Oz” won the final race of the season, and clichéd the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club’s Monohull Pointscore Series.

The race was held in a steady 5 knot breeze, in warm and sunny conditions. A lengthy Committee meeting delayed the start of the race, which in turn meant that the scheduled second race was cancelled.

An incident at the start determined most of the race results. The boat end was favoured, and all 10 entrants sought to be next to it as the starting horn sounded. Experienced skippers pinched up to windwards to move into position, while inexperienced skippers broke the rules and barged into place. The resulting jam of boats left some to do penalty turns, and others were simply blocked by the boats ahead.

The Wizard of Oz made a clean start, accelerated away and established a good lead by the first mark. After hoisting spinnaker, they established a huge gap over the rest of the field and finished over 10 minutes ahead of the next boat. On yardstick corrected time, this was still a win of over 4 minutes.

The battle between the Sabres of Terry Kirby on “Frodo” and Neil Fisher on “Windsong” was crucial to their season’s result. Frodo started well and extended the gap between them throughout the race to finish 3rd. Terry explained, “it’s usually the case that Neil does well in the windier races at the start of the season, then I catch up in the light winds at the season?s end.”

The race also featured a great contest between the Impulse “Bunyip” of Matt Sochacki, NS14 “Carina” of Ian Wood, Laser of Richard Barcham and Laser Radial ?Firefly? of Tony Hastings. Firefly avoided the start-line jam and picked some shore-line lifts to stay ahead, finishing 2nd. Although Bunyip was beaten to the finish line, it jumped to 4th on corrected time.

Max Dogger on Paper Tiger “the Mystery Tiger” was the sole catamaran entrant. The division win consolidates his 2nd place in the Multihull Pointscore Series.

All are invited to attend the Club’s presentation ceremony, from 12 noon at the Clubhouse on Saturday 12th May. The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 12noon, Saturday 14th July at the Clubhouse. This will include review of the WLBC Constitution, fees and operation.


the Wizard of Oz sparkles at Wallagoot Lake (photo Max Dogger)

the Wizard of Oz sparkles at Wallagoot Lake (photo Max Dogger)

Mateship the winner at Wallagoot

Matt Sochacki on his Impulse dinghy “Bunyip” won both of the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club’s races on Saturday, 21st April. The handicap-start races were held in very light easterly winds, which required both races to be shortened.

Sailing Laser “Coriolis Effect”, Rob Morton explained that the boats moved so slowly that ?it was a matter of watching the jellyfish to see if the boat was going forwards.?

In the absence of speed thrills, it was mateship and good humour that the sailors enjoyed as the drifted around the lake.

The first race included a very exciting finish between 3 Sabres, as Neil Fisher on “Windsong” sneaking through as Rodger Ubrihien on “Salty Dog” made his own passing move on Morris Lynch on “Warungarea”. They were heard laughing as they chatted after the finish. Their finish positions were reversed in race 2.

While husband Glynn Miller acted as Officer of the Day, Wendy Miller jumped at the chance to sail on Alan Holbrook’s Austral 20 trailer-sailor. Although it was difficult to get the large boat moving, she had a smile on her face all day.

Terry Ubrihien and Sian Morton also acted as Officers of the Day. They did a great job in difficult conditions to produce usable results for the series. The series winner is being kept secret until the club’s presentation ceremony, which will be held at the club on May 12th.

Photo by Sian Morton: Neil Fisher, Rodger Ubrihien and Morris Lynch have a laugh at the finish of race 1.

Photo by Sian Morton: Neil Fisher, Rodger Ubrihien and Morris Lynch have a laugh at the finish of race 1.

Windsong falls silent on Wallagoot Lake

Racing at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club on Saturday, 14th April, was the penultimate round of the Pointscore series. Three boats remain contention to be crowned monohull Champion; Rob and Sian Morton’s MG14 “Wizard of Oz”, Neil Fisher’s Sabre “Windsong”, and Terry Kirby’s Sabre “Frodo”. Other competitors brought the fleet to 9 boats.

A gentle 2 knot easterly breeze provided the absolute minimum wind required to start the race. At the port end of the start-line, Frodo might as well have been trying to scale the cliffs of Mount Doom as it inched forwards, barely drifting towards the race course.

The Wizard of Oz saw a yellow brick road of breeze tickling the water on the starboard side of the course, and set off in that direction. They set their spinnaker flying and caught a nice breeze on the reach, which put them well ahead of the fleet.

Windsong played merrily upwind. She made a fine pitter-patter tune of timber on water and looked in contention to be the first Sabre home. However, the breeze faded, the song ended and calm silence fell over the lake.

Race Officers Tony Hastings and Gregory Parsons shortened the course so that the boats should be able to finish about an hour after the start. Then saw that most of the fleet were becalmed and could not continue sailing, so they declared the race abandoned.

On Wizard of Oz, Sian clicked her heels together 3 times and they sailed off for home. Most of the other boats were towed home by the Rescue Boat.

Next weekend the final Handicap-start Races are scheduled at Wallagoot Lake. The last day of the season, 28th April, will feature the final pointscore races and determine who has the brains, the courage, the heart and the boatspeed to win the series.

The Wizard of Oz starts off to the starboard side of the course

The Wizard of Oz starts off to the starboard side of the course

Photo by Alan Hobrook: Rodger Ubrihien takes the win in Race 1

Photo by Alan Hobrook: Rodger Ubrihien takes the win in Race 1

Salty Dog licks the competition

Calm Autumn conditions greeted the sailors as they rigged up at Wallagoot Lake on Saturday. A gentle north-westerly breeze faded, before a south-easterly tickled the lake.

A handicap-start race began, with the slower boats given upto 30minutes headstart in a race of hare versus tortoise. The wind faded, swung to the west, south-west, and other directions while the boats attempted to drift just 20metres from the beach across the start line.

There was mayhem as Ian and Aimee Curtis’ large trailer-sailor “Mercury” lost steerage and bumped into Brian Wright’s “Dear One”. Other boats were caught up, before a skipper waded out and shoved the boats across the line.

The wind continued to change directions, appearing and disappearing as puffs on the water while many of the boats sat becalmed. The skipper’s challenge was to try and keep their boat moving, preferably from puff to puff and around the triangular course.

Rodger Ubrihien on Sabre “Salty Dog” started mid-fleet on 14minutes, and soon passed the boats ahead. He kept his boat moving and tell-tales flowing to make good time around the course.

After an hour, Rodger had a 10minute lead over the next boat as he approached the end of the first lap. The race was declared shortened, so all boats could finish at the beach for a lunch break. Afterwards all the skippers agreed that shortening the race made the results a little unfair, so the race was abandoned and will not count towards the series.

Race2 was completed in a delightful 10 to 15knot sea-breeze. The steady wind formed a channel of stronger breeze near Rocky Point, and fanned across the lake. This offered skippers a tactical challenge of finding the pressure and lifts to provide the fastest path to windward.

Wendy and Glyn Miller won the race on their Pacer “Argus”. They started on 5minutes, passed “Mercury” who started on 1, and both kept ahead of all the chasing boats.

There was a spectacular finish of the next 4 boats, as the Sabres of Neil Fisher and Rodger Ubrihien were caught by the Impulse of Matt Sochacki. As they raced side-by-side and tacked for the line, the Paper Tiger of Tony Hastings came in fast, after starting on 30minutes. The finishing order was; Rodger, Tony, Neil, then Matt.

After an Easter break, the club will hold a pointscore race on 14th April.

Wallagoot Pointscore wrap-up

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club holds a season-long pointscore series, for monohull and multihull divisions. 17 races have been held so far. There are 4 races remaining, and each boat may drop their worst 5 scores. Each boat is awarded the number of points that they finish, for example the winner gets 1 point. Failing to start a race scores the most points; the number of starters plus 2 points. The boat finishing the series with lowest point tally wins.

The system is further complicated, as the different classes of boats have a yardstick, which is used to calculate a corrected time in each race. A faster boat needs to finish a certain percentage ahead of the others in order to win on corrected time.

Tony Hastings on Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic” has won the multihull division, by winning every race this season and only missing one weekend while away at a regatta. This Easter, Tony will be entering the Paper Tiger Internationals Titles at McCrae, on Port Phillip Bay. The series will include the top 50 Paper Tigers, from Australia and New Zealand.

Max Dogger’s Paper Tiger “the Mystery Tiger” is in 2nd place in Wallagoot’s multihull pointscore series. He consolidated this position with a win and a 2nd on Saturday. Also in contention are the Maricats of Terry Ubrihien and Alan Holbrook, and the Windrush’s of Jeff Hope and Arild Helland.

3 boats out of the fleet of 20 are in contention to win the monohull division this season; Rob and Sian Morton on MG14 “Wizard of Oz”, Neil Fisher on Sabre “Windsong”, and Terry Kirby on Sabre “Frodo”.

Rob and Sian won both races on Saturday, and have won almost every race this season. They have also missed 5 races, so the pressure is now on them to enter the remaining races, and finish far enough ahead to win on corrected time.

Terry and Neil’s Sabres are very evenly matched, both on the water and in the season pointscore. Neil did not start on Saturday, which has given Terry an advantage. Their challenge is now to race each other to the finish line, and be close enough to Rob and Sian to win on corrected time.

The other top-ten boats could all change order depending on the upcoming races, while the places further down the fleet have been mostly determined by how many races were entered.

Tony Hastings and "Tigerdelic" have their eyes on the prize (photo Rachael Leatham, 2010 Paper Tiger Internationals at Napier, New Zealand).

Tony Hastings and “Tigerdelic” have their eyes on the prize (photo Rachael Leatham, 2010 Paper Tiger Internationals at Napier, New Zealand).

Wallagoot prepares for regatta

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club will host its annual regatta on the weekend, March 10th and 11th. The club has been busy clearing up the storm debris and getting the facilities ready for the entrants.

There were no sailing races last Saturday, as the lake was flooded. Although the road was opened on Saturday morning, the boat ramp remained under water. Now that the lake is open to the sea, the club is expecting a return to ?the good old days?. The lake level will be perfect, the water will be healthy and full of life, and there may even be a slight tide to consider during racing.

All off-the-beach sailing boats and trailer-sailors are welcome to enter the regatta. Between 30 and 50 boats are expected, and the locals will be challenged by entrants coming from Wollongong, Canberra, Tumut and Jindabyne. Entrants need to register at the Clubhouse on Wallagoot Lake Road before 10am, and be ready for an 11am race.

Wallagoot Lake flows out to the sea (T.Hastings 4th March 2012)

Wallagoot Lake flows out to the sea (T.Hastings 4th March 2012)

Testing winds prepare sailors for regatta

2 handicap-start races contested held on WallagootLake last Saturday, 25th February. The wind increased throughout the day, blowing a moderate 10-15 knots during the first race and a strong, gusty 15-22 knots during the second race.

Experienced sailing instructor Rodger Ubrihien commented, “those are the most difficult conditions you can sail in.” Because the wind drops just before the peak gust hits, it makes the boats fall to windward and then be blown over to leeward. The wind was also shifty, so that the tendency to tip boats over was exaggerated and good skills were required to keep the boats balanced.

A 16 boat fleet lined the shore to contest the racing, while water-skiers and powerboat operators also enjoyed the warm day. Many of the sailing boats capsized, so the speed the boat could be righted and sailed again became a factor in the races.

Although he started last, 26 minutes after the first boat, Arild Helland was victorious in Race 1. “Those were my conditions,” Arild explained. He was able to use the gusts to accelerate to top speed, as his catamaran was much more stable than the monohulls.

There was close racing throughout the field, as the boats sought to catch and pass the boats ahead. Neil Fisher and Tony Hastings started 4 minutes apart, and after an hour of sailing finished in a dead-heat, crossing the line together in equal 2nd place. “That was fantastic fun,” enthused Tony. “I especially loved getting the boat planing and flying down the reaches!”

4 boats were disqualified from the results, as they failed to sail the proper course. This highlighted the importance of paying close attention at the briefing, which is held before the start. The error of these boats was to sail towards the wrong buoy at the start of the race, which would have given them an unfair advantage.

Neil Fisher continued to demonstrate his sailing mastery by winning Race 2. Max Dogger reveled in the conditions to take 2nd place on his Paper Tiger catamaran. Morrie Lynch showed great stamina in the exhausting conditions to claim a well deserved by 3rd place.

Brian Chadwick, Robyn Malcolm and crew sailed the trailer-sailor “Tippytoes,” for valuable practice in anticipation of the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club Regatta. The regatta will be held on March 10-11, when it is likely that the rigging area, carpark and lake will be filled with sailing boats and gear. While sailors do not have exclusive use of the lake, the club asks powerboat operators to consider another venue that weekend.

Left to right: Derek was outstanding on his Contender. Max & Arild enjoy close racing. Tony lights up Firefly. Robyn and Brian on their Tippytoes.

Left to right: Derek was outstanding on his Contender. Max & Arild enjoy close racing. Tony lights up Firefly. Robyn and Brian on their Tippytoes.

Light winds sort out fleet

A light 4-knot Easterly wind provided very relaxing and enjoyable racing at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club, last Saturday 11th February. The fleet of 14 boats included 2 new skippers, who sailed their first ever race at the club.

Max Dogger’s Paper Tiger catamaran lead the fleet around the first mark. Mark and James Hagan lad the monohulls on the MG14. Terry Kirby was very close behind on his Sabre. As the finish times are corrected by each boat’s yardstick, it’s fair to say Terry was winning the race at this stage.

The light winds and slower boat speeds meant that there was a much greater speed difference between those who trimmed their sails well, and those who didn’t. Similarly, those who sat too far back went noticeably slower than the sailors who moved forwards to keep their boat?s nose in the water.

Arild Helland moved through the fleet in his Windrush catamaran, and caught up with Max just before the finish. After a close tactical battle, Max crossed the line first, but Arild was close enough to win on corrected time.

On the Cherub “St Elmo”, Edward Molony and James Hagan gave the fleet a 2 ½ minute headstart before using their superior speed to begin overtaking. They took the lead of the monohull fleet on the last lap, and then won by over a minute.

Neil Fisher sailed well to not only overtake Terry and the other Sabres, but also find and retrieve his hat which fell off early in the race. He crossed the line in a photo finish with Matt Sochacki’s Impulse, and won on corrected time.

A glassy hole of no wind settled in front of the beach as the sailors tried to head to the start of the 2nd race. 5 of the skippers gave up, leaving just 7 boats to contest the race. When the starting flag dropped, it was Neil Fisher’s Sabre and Tony Hastings’ Paper Tiger that were side by side on the line, and these two went on to win each division. Matt Sochacki did very well to lead the monohulls, but blew his race by sailing past the finish line and then having to return to it.

Next week the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club will host a friendly handicap start race, while the keen skippers attend the Twofold Bay Yacht Club’s regatta.

Photos: an album of 76 photos can be viewed at: photobucket.com/wlbc11feb12

The fleet sails away from the start line

The fleet sails away from the start line

Gregory Parsons and Jeni McMillan enjoyed sailing their 1st race at Wallagoot, on the club's Pacer

Gregory Parsons and Jeni McMillan enjoyed sailing their 1st race at Wallagoot, on the club’s Pacer

Beginners are winners at Wallagoot

The final day of the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club’s sailing school was held in perfect conditions, as steady light winds blew on the warm day. The steady wind made it easy for the new skippers to keep their boats balanced. Later in the afternoon, the wind direction became unsteady, providing a challenge for skippers during the racing.

After a theory session, sailing school students took to the water. With the assistance of an experienced sailor, each of them had a turn as skipper. By the end of the session, most of the students were capable of handling a boat on their own.

Roger Ubrihien filled in for the sailing school’s coordinator, Terry Kirby. Roger tipped his boat over just offshore, and explained how capsized boats are righted. Capsizing is an inevitable part of sailing, so it was good that students could overcome any apprehension about it, and know how to deal with the situation. On any sailing day, the boat club has a rescue boat on stand-by to assist with anyone who may get into difficulties.

The club and school students would like to thank Terry, Roger and all the volunteers who offered their boats and their time. The sailing school was a great success that empowered the students with the knowledge and skills to take sailing as a sport.

Two handicap-start race were held in the afternoon. In these races, the slowest boat gets a headstart and faster boats start progressively later. The idea is that all boats should reach the finish line at about the same time. Variable wind strength and course length makes handicapping difficult, but over the season it will be the sailor who improves the most that wins the series.

In race 1 Ian and Aimee Curtis’ big blue Denis trailer-sailor started first, with other boats starting upto half an hour later. The field closed up during the race, providing great boat-on-boat battles. Morrie Lynch, Neil Fisher and Roger Ubrihien closely raced each other’s Sabres. Matt Sochacki’s Impulse dinghy match-raced Alan Holbrook’s Mirror Miracle, while trying to catch the Sabres. Tony Hasting’s Laser Radial challenged the bigger Sharpie of Bob Harris and Derek Lewis’ Contender.

In the light winds, catamarans weren’t able to get up to full speed. They mostly followed behind the fleet. The exception was Rob Whymark’s new Windrush. It was Rob’s first race with this new acquisition, and he was delighted to charge through the fleet in both races.

With all the contests throughout the fleet, it was Ian and Aimee who were able to stay in clear air and clear ahead to win the race. Ian later said, “I think we went the right way, and kept our sails trimmed well. It felt really good; it was our best race ever!” It was a feel-good moment for the club too, seeing last year?s beginners now winning their first race.

Race 2 provided similar action. Derek’s Contender sailed through the fleet to take the win. It was no easy feat, as sailors blocked and covered throughout to make overtaking difficult. Derek enjoyed the race, saying to the other sailors, “you really kept me on my toes, and made me work for it!”

Some new members joined in the racing and gained great experience as crews. For example Jeni McMillan crewed on Paul Leaudais Windrush catamaran. She was seen was seen out on trapeze, standing out on the flying windward hull. It was great fun and she’d like to do that again. At Wallagoot Lake Boat Club, the emphasis is always about having fun.

Next week, two Pointscore races will be held.

Ian and Aimee Curtis on their Denis trailer-sailor

Ian and Aimee Curtis on their Denis trailer-sailor

Families enjoy sailing at Wallagoot Lake

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club enjoyed another perfect day last Saturday, 28th January. The fine, warm day began with a light 10knot breeze, which increased to 15 knots during the Sailing School. The wind continued to increase during the following race, gusting to a strong 20knots.

These winds made the day a lot of fun. Sailing School students had the opportunity to develop boat handling skills, and experience the speed thrills as boats had enough power to begin planing.

The School’s students includes individuals, couples and families. Some have already decided to stay with the slower, more stable dinghies, while others are trying out a range of boats to determine which they like the best.

After the school sesson, a pointscore race was held. Officers of the Day Jeff Hope and Alan Holbrook set a North-North East course. The racing was very challenging, as the gusty shifting winds demanded good skills to keep the boats upright.The fleet of nearly a dozen monohulls started first, with the catamarans starting 5 minutes later and sailing a longer course.

The MG14 of Mark and Chris Hagan led the fleet around the course. Behind them Terry Kirby and Neil Fisher began the race equal on points in the season’s championship, and raced side by side all race. At the finish the were still level. Terry positioned his boat to windward, which allowed him to cross the line a second ahead of Neil. As the times were corrected on yardstick, Terry won the race overall.

The catamarans fleet included a Hobie 16, Paper Tiger, Maricat and 3 Windrush. Arild Helland’s Windrush and Tony Hastings’ Paper Tiger traded places on the first leg, before Tony accelerated onto the first reach and increased his lead throughout the race.

Also on a Windrush was Arild’s son, Sven. He was evenly matched with his Dad, with no more than 50m separating them all race. As Dad’s old boat began taking on a bit of water, he was able to catch and pass him to finish the race 2nd.

Rather than contesting a second race, the skippers enjoyed socialising in the picnic shed. It was a great opportunity for the regular sailors and new members to get to know each other better.

The club looks forward to the final day of Sailing School next week. It is anticipated that at the end of the day, the students will be competent to sail a boat on their own. Club owned boats are available for them to continue sailing at Wallagoot for the remainder of the season.

The 2012 Wallagoot Lake Boat Club sailing school

The 2012 Wallagoot Lake Boat Club sailing school

Sailing School a success at Wallagoot Lake

Wallagoot Lake Boat Club’s sailing school began last Saturday, 21st January. It was a perfect warm day with steady light winds. The families and individuals enrolled learned the basics of what to wear, tying knots and understanding the wind. After the theory, each student learned to steer and trim sails while sailing with an experienced skipper.

The boats sailed included Pacer, Sabre and Mirror Miracle dinghies, Paper Tiger, Windrush and Hobie catamarans, plus a Caribou trailer-sailor. These were a combination of club-owned boats, club members boats, and the student’s own boats.

After the sailing lessons, a handicap start race was run. Some sailing school students stayed paired with their tutor in the race. This developed their knowledge in the Racing Rules of Sailing, racing strategies, and advanced sail trim.

In a handicap start race, the slower boats start first and the faster ones try and catch them by the end of the race. The lead changed several times, as faster boats caught those ahead, but were then also overtaken.

A short course and light winds favoured the early starting monohull boats. Ian Curtis’ Dennis trailer-sailor led for the first lap. Craig Seamer’s first time on a sailing boat included briefly leading the race, as crew a Pacer dinghy with Tony Hastings as skipper. They enjoyed a race-long contest with Brian Wright’s Caribou trailer-sailor.

Alan Holbrook sailed a perfect race to take the lead and hold it to the finish. Fastest boat around the course was Karen Buckland’s Hobie 16, which she sailed with Arild Helland.

The club looks forward to the sailing school continuing on Saturday. A pointscore race will follow the lesson.


1st A. Holbrook, Mirror Miracle. 2nd B. Wright, Caribou. 3rd T. Hastings & C. Seamer, Pacer.

Karen Buckland enjoyed personal tuition on a Hobie 16 with champion Arild Helland at the helm (photo: Richard Barcham).

Karen Buckland enjoyed personal tuition on a Hobie 16 with champion Arild Helland at the helm (photo: Richard Barcham).

Rob Morton wins a race on his Laser "Coriolis Effect"

Rob Morton wins a race on his Laser “Coriolis Effect”

Wallagoot Christmas Poem

Rob Morton wins a race on his Laser “Coriolis Effect”

By Tony Hastings, with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

Twas the race before Christmas, when all over the Lake
the wind blew hard, and the sailing was great.
Catamarans dominated the fleet lining the shore,
ready for 2 races in the Club’s pointscore.

Most of the fleet lined up for the start gun,
Except for 2, who just sailed around for fun.
The fleet was compact as the boats raced away to windward,
When they boats crossed paths there were calls of “starboard.”

The Paper Tigers were soon out in the lead,
Hulls flying and spray blasting out with the speed.
A good lead was established by Tony,
Followed by Windrush, Maricats and a Hobie.

Glyn and Wendy were Officers of the Day,
Comfy in the Rescue boat, out of the spray.
The business of starting and finishing didn’t phase her,
Recording the winners Tony and Rob Morton on his Laser.

Neil Fisher had kept his Sabre flat, driving hard and on the pace,
He picked the windshifts and worked hard to keep up the chase.
Although he finished a couples of minutes behind,
He took the win on corrected time.

A boat visiting the club spent a lot of time on its side,
So between races Tony took the skipper out for joy rides.
The start of Race 2 began before they got back to the beach,
So he started minutes late, despite flying back out on a fast reach.

Max Dogger was leading Race 2 on “the Mystery Tiger,”
Until he had to stop, and lash in place a dangling stay wire.
Arild Helland on his Windrush sailed a faultless race,
Taking over the lead by minimising tacks and maintaining great pace.

Tony’s Paper Tiger passed each cat one by one,
Catching some going to windward and one on the run.
On the last lap he tacked on windshifts to pass Arild Helland,
And on corrected time took the win by just 8 seconds.

Rob and Neil enjoyed another close tussle,
Testing their brains, fitness and muscles.
Terry Kirby’s Sabre went well, and was 3rd in race 1,
But in Race 2, a shifting gust capsized him and ended the fun.

Back on the beach the sailors enjoyed Christmas cheer,
Sharing stories, well wishes, thankyous and beer.
We’re looking forward to coming back, on January 21,
And hope you might come and join in our fun.


Race 11
Monohulls: 1st N. Fisher, Sabre. 2nd R. Morton, Laser. 3rd T. Kirby, Sabre.
Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger. 2nd T. Ubrihien, Maricat. 3rd S. Helland, Windrush.

Race 12
Monohulls: 1st R. Morton, Laser. 2nd N. Fisher, Sabre. 3rd B. Wright, Caribou.
Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger. 2nd A. Helland, Maricat. 3rd A. Holbrook, Maricat.

Wild winds at Wallagoot

Wild winds provided the season’s most dramatic race at WallagootLake on Saturday 10th December. The 15 to 20knot north-east wind included some sudden, powerful gusts of upto 25knots. Equally sudden were shifts in wind direction and lulls of lower wind strength, which made keeping the boats balanced very challenging.

A fleet of 15 boats lined the shore preparing to race, including Sabres, Lasers, Pacer, NS14, Caribou, Cherub, MG14s, Maricat, Windrush and A-class catamaran. The club welcomed Windrush sailors Paul Leaudias and Martin Chabrier as new members. Martin later commented, “Wallagoot is very different to the big clubs; it’s better. Much simpler.”

Officers of the Day Max Dogger and Mike Stove set a port triangle course, and started the boats on handicap. The handicaps are derived from each skipper?s typical race time, and calculated so that all the boats should finish together. The first boats away were the Sabres, Pacer and Caribou. These relatively stable and slower boats made good progress, rounded the top mark and the set the spray flying as they took off on the reach.

The NS14 and Lasers started next. With narrower, sleeker hulls, these faster boats are also more difficult to balance. They battled the conditions, hammering through the chop, sails loudly flapping as they depowered in the gusts, and hulls rolling as they struggled for balance.

The MGs, Cherub and catamarans started last. They watched the leading boats sail past at the end of their first lap before being allowed to begin their chase. You might think that there would be no way they could make up such a huge lead. Your mind would change as they took off with amazing speed once their sails were tight, crew standing out on trapeze and fully powered up. Similarly the catamarans started fast, flying their windward hull and slicing through the chop.

While the club’s power boat remained on station completing its starting sequence, it appeared that some boats were already getting into difficulties. The sight of the white-caps, dark gusts, and boats capsizing on the way to the start was enough to dissuade two entrants before the race even began. More than a few sails hit the water at the gybe mark, where boats must make a difficult, high-speed turn. The skippers persisted, righting their boats and getting back into the race.

As the race progressed, the wind strength increased. “I’d classify the racing as a little bit woolly,” joked Club Commodore Arild Helland. “There was a little bit of carnage out there today”. Some boats retired after deciding it was too difficult to sail. Others were obliged to retire due to mechanical problems with the boats. The strain proved too much for Ian Wood’s NS14 “Carina”, which cracked and took on water. Ian said, “I appreciate all the time the rescue boat spent with me, making sure I was OK. They did a sterling job.”

The final lap included 2 fast reaches, then a short upwind work to the finish. Neil Fisher’s Sabre “Windsong” was leading, chased by Tony Hastings on Laser Radial “Firefly.” Jeff Hope’s Hobie was in hot pursuit, and he overtook Tony on the 1st reach. Arild Helland with crew Wendy Miller caught Tony when he capsized on the gybe mark, but were immediately re-taken as they nosedived on the 2nd reach.

The battle went right to the finish line. Although the rescue boat was occupied elsewhere, the sailors were able to finish and record their own race times. Jeff Hope kept his speed up to win easily, with Arild 2nd. Tony crossed just ahead of Neil, after engaging in a tacking duel to the finish. Rob and Sian Morton sailed conservative to bring home their MG14 “Wizard of Oz” in 5th place. Brian Wright’s Caribou “Dear One” crossed 6th. Martin Chabrier did very well to finish his first race at the club, in 7th place. All other boats retired.

Back on shore after the race, the adrenaline stilled flowed as the skippers told their stories of highlights and mishaps from the race. Paul explained that when his Windrush nose-dived and cartwheeled, “it went in so quick, I didn’t even have time to slide down the trampoline!”

The 3-man crew of Sharpie “Goose” struggled with tangled ropes and some damage. Skipper Bob Harris proudly said, “but we did sail home under our own steam. We were valiant, and had good humour amongst the team.”

Next week the club will host a social barbeque, and the final pointscore races of the year. Sailing will resume on the 21st January, which will also be the first day of the club’s annual sailing school.


1st J. Hope, Hobie 14. 2nd A. Helland, Windrush. 3rd T. Hastings, Laser Radial.

Arild and Wendy prepare to start the race on a Windrush catamaran

Arild and Wendy prepare to start the race on a Windrush catamaran

Wallagoot fleet speeds into Summer

The first summer sailing day at WallagootLake was perfect. It was a warm 20 degrees, with a steady 10 to 15 knot wind. 9 monohulls and 6 catamarans contested 2 pointscore races. The results of these races count towards the club’s championship. Neil Fisher acted as Officer of the Day, assisted by Terry Kirby in Race 2.

After the fleet started together, they raced towards the windward mark. While the lead boats showed terrific speed, extracting maximum energy from the wind, back in the fleet more tactical battles developed. The challenge was to tack at the right moments, to gain maximum advantage of each wind shift, and to achieve right-of-way at critical times.

In the monohull division. Rob and Sian Morton remain undefeated on their MG14 “Wizard of Oz”. Leading Sabres were Terry Kirby on ?Frodo? and Roger Ubrihien on “Salty Dog”.

Rising stars Edward Moloney and James Hagan continued their run of success, finishing 5th, 4th then 3rd in the past 3 races. No doubt the next pointscore races in 2 week’s time will be hotly contested. “We just need to reduce the number of small mistakes, and we’ll go even better,” Edward said.

In the multihull division, Tony Hastings won both races on Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”, despite a great challenge from visitor Paul Leaudias on Windrush “Silver Fox”. Terry Ubrihien and Max Dogger continued their duel in the mid-field, finishing equal over the two races. There is now just 2 points separating them for 2nd place in the Championship.

A few boats suffered gear failure, as corroded old fittings gave way under the strain of competitive racing. These were all fixed on the spot and everyone was able to complete at least one race.

2 Handicap start races are planned for next week, in which the slower boats start first. The faster boats start later, with the challenge of trying to catch them before the fleet reaches the finish line.


Pointscore Race 9

Monohulls: 1st R. Morton, MG14 “the Wizard of Oz”. 2nd T. Kirby, Sabre “Frodo”. 3rd R. Ubrihien, Sabre “Salty Dog”.

Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”. 2nd T. Ubrihien, Maricat. 3rd M. Dogger, Paper Tiger “the Mystery Tiger”.

Pointscore Race 10

Monohulls: 1st R. Morton, MG14 “the Wizard of Oz”. 2nd R. Ubrihien, Sabre “Salty Dog”. 3rd E. Moloney, “St Elmo”.

Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”. 2nd P. Leaudias, Windrush “Silver Fox”. 3rd M. Dogger, Paper Tiger “the Mystery Tiger”.

Edward Moloney and James Hagan on their Cherub "St Elmo"

Edward Moloney and James Hagan on their Cherub “St Elmo”

Close Racing at Wallagoot Lake

A warm day with a gentle breeze attracted the largest fleet of the season so far to WallagootLake, on Saturday 19th November. The fleet of 16 boats included regular sailors, some making the first appearance of the season, and also some new members.

Two pointscore races were held, in which the whole fleet started together and many boats enjoyed close racing for place across the finish line. As each boat finished, their elapsed time was recorded. Back on shore each boat?s yardstick was used to calculate results based on corrected time.

In the catamaran division, Max Dogger’s Paper Tiger and Terry Ubrihien’s Maricat won a race each. The A-class of Chris Malcolm won line honours in both races, and was by far the fastest sailing boat on the water.

The Sabres were closely matched, with just seconds separating 4 boats at the finish. Roger Ubrihien and Terry Kirby each had the glory of being the first Sabre to finish. Neil Fisher raced very well on the Club’s boat “Splice”, but was caught out a Committee Boat’s timing error at the start.

A great moment was seeing the youngsters Ed Moloney and James Hagan on their Cherub leading Rob and Sian Morton’s MG14. While the Morton’s triumphed with wins in both races, Ed and James glory moment demonstrated great development of their boat and their sailing skills.

Somewhat too close was the battle between Ian Wood’s NS14 and Richard Barcham’s Laser, which resulted in one capsizing and the other sailing into them and ripping the sail. The rescue boat promptly arrived, offering both a tow back to the clubhouse and a free replacement sail from a spare available. This meant that despite the disaster, everyone left happy and looking forward to next week’s races.

Officers of the Day were Morris Lynch, Peter, and Tony Hastings.

Details of the club’s events, membership and sailing school can be found on the website www.thebegavalley.com.au/wlbc.html


WLBC Pointscore Race 7:

Monohulls: 1st R.Morton, MG14. 2nd R. Ubrihein, Sabre. 3rd N. Fisher, Sabre.

Multihulls: 1st M. Dogger, Paper Tiger. 2nd T. Ubrihien, Maricat. 3rd C. Malcolm, A-Class.

WLBC Pointscore Race 8:

Monohulls: 1st R.Morton, MG14. 2nd T. Kirby, Sabre. 3rd R. Ubrihein, Sabre.

Multihulls: 1st T. Ubrihien, Maricat. 2nd M. Dogger, Paper Tiger. 3rd C. Malcolm, A-Class.

The fleet sets off at the start of race 2

The fleet sets off at the start of race 2

Local sailors represent at Laser Masters

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club’s current Monohull Champion Rob Morton, and Multihull Champion, Tony Hastings, represented the club in the NSW State Laser Masters Championship, held at JervisBay, November 12 & 13. The event attracted 93 boats, including 4 Laser 4.7s, 42 Laser Radials, and 47 Laser Standard Rigged boats. The three different types of boat have the same hulls, but different sized sails and raced separately.

The entrants were further categorized by age; Apprentice division for 35-45 year olds, Masters Division for 45-55 year olds, Grand Master for 55 ? 65, and then Great Grand Masters for 65+. The eldest sailor was 80 years old.

Rob Morton finished 16th out of 22 in the Standard Rig Masters Division, and Tony Hastings finished 6th out of 7 in the Radial Apprentice Division. Racing was very close within both fleets, with almost a continuous overlap of boats from race leader to the last placed boat.

“It was great fun sailing in such a big, closely matched fleet,” Mr Hastings said. “At 43 years old, I was the youngest entrant. I also had the oldest boat, and the least amount of experience sailing Lasers. Although these factors may have been a disadvantage, it was relatively poor fitness more than anything that put me at the back of the fleet.”

“Hiking out to windward is a bit like doing sit-ups for 20 minutes,” Mr. Hastings explained. “There were 2 and ½ windward legs each race, and 3 consecutive races.”

After hearing Mr Hastings comment on how hard it was to keep hiking out on the windward legs, an elderly sailor replied, “you just have to think how great your abs will look tomorrow!”

The event was hosted by the Jervis Bay Sailing Club, at CallalaBay. An Official, Adam Fortier, remarked “it was one of the most fun regattas I’ve ever worked on, with everyone smiling.”

An official from the Laser Association, Kevin Phillip summarised the event as, “a great regatta. Fantastic conditions.” That sentiment was echoed by Rob Morton, who especially enjoyed the opportunity to race his brother John.

Two handicap start races were held at WallagootLake on Saturday, 12th November. The goal is for all boats to finish together, so the slowest boat starts first, with quicker boats starting progressively later. A fresh breeze favoured the faster catamarans, and it was the last starter who won. Despite starting over half an hour later in a 1 hour race, A-Class catamaran sailor Chris Malcolm flew around the course to overtake everybody and win.

The Laser Radial fleet starts a race at Callala Bay. Tony is in the thick of the action, with red hull and red sail numbers, above left of the white power boat.

The Laser Radial fleet starts a race at Callala Bay. Tony is in the thick of the action, with red hull and red sail numbers, above left of the white power boat.

76 People Try Sailing at Wallagoot

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club hosted Try Sailing Day, on Sunday 6th November. 76 people tried sailing, ranging from 3 to 60 years old. The club catered for the diverse group by making 9 different boats available, including Pacer dinghies, a variety of catamarans, and a Caribou trailer-sailor.

“Try Sailing Day was a huge success,” said Coordinator Tony Hastings. “We had a great variety of people, variety of boats available and even a variety of winds throughout the day. The common element was that everyone had a great time. Some gently cruised on the dinghies, others went full-tilt on the cats, and everyone came back smiling.”

Try Sailing Day provided some people with their first experience on a sailing boat, while others took advantage of the chance to re-kindle their flaming passion for sailing after a break. The Club is delighted that many wish to return for the Sailing Lessons in January, and may become regular sailors.

“I would like to thank the participants for being so patient and cooperative,” continued Mr Hastings. “Thanks also to the skippers who volunteered their time, and the use of their boats. Thanks to the Boating Industry Association and Yachting NSW for organizing the event. Special thanks to the Merimbula News Weekly, Bega District News, Eden Magnet and ABC Local Radio for helping promote the event. Your teamwork and community spirit has helped enrich people’s lives.”

Two pointscore races were held in light winds at the Club on Saturday, 5th November. 10 boats raced, with some great battles that raged from start to finish. The leading dinghies were all within a few boat lengths for most of the day, and finished just seconds apart.

As there are different types of boats racing, a yardstick system is used to calculate corrected times and determine the true race winner. The Club has started using a computer program to perform these calculations, in order to make it faster and easier to work out the results. They may be ready later this week.


Saturday November 5, Pointscore Race 1

Monohulls: 1st T. Kirby, Sabre. 2nd M. Dogger, Pacer. 3rd N. Fisher, Sabre.

Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger. 2nd J. Hope, Hobie14. 3rd C. Malcolm, A-Class.

Pointscore Race 2

Monohulls: 1st T. Kirby, Sabre. 2nd M. Dogger, Pacer. 3rd B. Wright, Caribou.

Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger. 2nd C. Malcolm, A-Class. 3rd J. Hope, Hobie14.

Strong winds provide spectacular action

A strong, gusty wind blew across WallagootLake on Saturday. Most of the boats reached top speed, with the spray flying and hulls out of the water. This was sometimes followed by spectacular wipeouts, as the catamaran cartwheeled, the Laser death-rolled, or the yacht broached.

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club catered for its very diverse fleet, by starting the slower boats first, and the faster boats given the task of catching them before they could reach the finish line. The conditions were intimidating in the first race, so some decided to head back to shore, while others adopted survival strategies, such as doing a granny tack instead of a risk gybe. The wipeouts separated the fleet more than the boat?s speed, with the winner likely to be the one who could handle their boat the best.

By race end it was Jeff Hope on a Hobie 14 catamaran that triumphed, as they he around the course and shot past the slow dinghys. In second Nev Cowgill on the Castle 650 “Tippytoes” lumbered through ahead of a fast closing Alan Holbrook on a Maricat.

The wind eased and steadied a little for Race 2. The skippers confidence grew a little, and while the boats still hit top speed, there were fewer wipeouts. Excitement built throughout the race, as the field became closer, for example with the club Sabre “Splice” being caught by the yacht “TippyToes”, who in turn had two catamarans closing in.

Maurie Lynch’s experience won the day, with is superb sailing skills making his Sabre “Warungarea’ uncatchable. In second Brian Wright on Caribou “Dear One”. Ed Molony made a welcome return to the club as his crew. In 3rd place, Arild Helland introduced a young crew to the thrills of high speed sailing. He declared, ‘these are my conditions! I love it when the boat just flies.”


Saturday October 16, Handicap Race 2:

1st J. Hope, Hobie 14, 2nd N. Cowgill, Castle 650, 3rd A. Holbrook, Maricat.

Handicap Race 3:

1st Maurie Lynch, Sabre, 2nd B. Wright, Caribou, 3rd A. Helland, Windrush.

Photos by Robyn Malcolm; the Morotn son 'Wizard of Oz' and Neil Fisher's Sabre get planing

Photos by Robyn Malcolm; the Morotn son ‘Wizard of Oz’ and Neil Fisher’s Sabre get planing

Light winds challenge sailors

Over the October long weekend, handicap start races were held by the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club. The slower boats start first and the faster ones try and catch them before the finish line. Thanks to Rob Whymark and Brian Wright for being Race Officers.

The long weekend also saw Tony Hastings represent the Club in the NSW Paper Tiger Catamaran State Titles, held on Lake Albert at Wagga Wagga. The series won by class veteran Garry Williams, who has now been crowned State Champion an incredible 21 times. Tony finished a creditable 7th.

?The light, shifty winds were very challenging,? Tony explained. ?It was very difficult to decide which side of course to sail, or when to tack. The conditions frustrated a lot of the sailors, who asked if the next series may be held here, on WallagootLake next summer. They like the idea of our friendly club hosting races in good seabreezes, on perfect flat water.?

On Saturday 8th October, the first Pointscore races of the season on WallagootLake were contested 11 boats, including 5 dinghies, 5 catamarans and 1 trailer-sailor. Thanks to Neil Fisher for being Race Officer, who trialed a new method of using a GPS while setting courses. The first race was held in a light easterly, which strengthened to 10 knots from the north-east at times during race 2.

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club?s current monohull champions, Rob and Sian Morton on MG14 ?Wizard of Oz?, won both of their races. Far in front of the other monohulls, they enjoyed good racing against Tony on his catamaran. The MG14 was uncatchable in the first race, but once the breeze increased the catamaran powered ahead of them.

The variable wind provided good racing throughout the fleet, with Wendy?s Pacer, Brian?s Caribou and Maurie?s Sabre changing places. At the end of the day, Maurie claimed, ?I had the most fun, because I was out there the longest!?


Saturday October 1, Handicap Race

1st N. Cowgill, Castle 650. 2nd M. Lynch, Sabre. 3rd R. Whymark, Impulse.

Saturday October 8, Pointscore Race 1

Monohulls: 1st R. Morton, MG14. 2nd N. R. Ubrihien, Sabre. 3rd B. Wright, Caribou.

Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger. 2nd M. Dogger, Paper Tiger. 3rd A. Holbrook, Maricat.

Pointscore Race 2

Monohulls: 1st R. Morton, MG14. 2nd B. Wright, Caribou. 3rd M. Lynch, Sabre.

Multihulls: 1st T. Hastings, Paper Tiger. 2nd M. Dogger, Paper Tiger. 3rd A. Holbrook, Maricat.

Photo (by S. Zoutendyk): Tony Hastings on 2901 Tigerdelic, seconds before a starting a race in the NSW Paper Tiger Catamaran State Titles.

Photo (by S. Zoutendyk): Tony Hastings on 2901 Tigerdelic, seconds before a starting a race in the NSW Paper Tiger Catamaran State Titles.

Sailing Season begins at WLBC

Sailing Season has officially begun at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club. A small fleet of boats took to the water on Saturday 24th September, braving the weather on a cold day with light winds. Although a warm-up race and social barbeque had been planned, it wasn’t warm and no cues were barbed. The sailors instead focused on ensuring their clubs and the club’s facilities were prepared for the season ahead.

All off-the-beach boats and trailer sailors are welcome at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club. Membership details and the club’s program are available via the menu at left on this website.