Winners announced at Wallagoot
Greg Thornton was declared the new Monohull Champion at Wallagoot Lake on Saturday. He won by just a single point, ahead of Rob and Sian Morton. Had the Mortons won the last race, where they finished second by just 40 seconds, or had there been one more race held that day, they would have retained their crown as Monohull Champions. Greg’s win was well-deserved, as he won four races and his worst result was a third place.
Terry Kirby scored third place, just two points ahead of long-time friend and rival Neil Fisher.
Tony Hastings won the Multihull Championship, ahead of Terry Ubrihien and Jeff Hope.
Brian Wright won the Handicap Series, just ahead of Morrie Lynch. This result was determined in the last race of the series, which Brian won and Morrie came fourth. Third place went to Matt Sochacki.
The Rising Star Award, for most improved skipper, was given to Bob Harris.
Wendy Miller was awarded a prize for Best Female Sailor.
Alister French was declared Best Youth Skipper, and Laine West was Best Youth Crew.
The club thanks to all the volunteers who made the season and success, and those who spent the morning doing some of the club’s winter maintenance. Next season looks very exciting with many new boats looking to increase the pace of the fleet and heat up the competition. For full results see the Handicap Series and Pointscore Series
Drifting towards season’s end
RACING at Wallagoot Lake has been held in light winds over the past two weeks.
On April 11, over a dozen boats raced in two pointscore races.
The club was glad to welcome Josh and Luca Dorrough’s new NS14 “Aussie Graffiti” to the fleet.
Race 19 of the Pointscore series was won by Greg Thornton, who looks hot to take out the championship.
Terry Kirby finished second, just 30 seconds ahead of Rodger Ubrihien.
Greg Thornton also won Race 20, ahead of Alister French on “the Slippery Banana”.
Rodger Ubrihien narrowly beat Terry Kirby to claim third.
Handicap start races held on April 18, in very patchy, light winds.
Winner Rob and Sian Morton on their MG14.
In second place was Brian Wright, who said “I was lucky to find wind around the course. Others sat still while I kept the boat moving. They thought I must have had the motor going.”
Third went to Josh and Luca Dorrough.
Race two was won by Brian Wright. Neil Fisher finished second, ahead of Josh and Luca Dorrough.
The WLBC’s final races of the season will be held on Saturday. A special junior race is scheduled for the morning, and there will be prizes for afternoon’s pointscore races.
A presentation day will be held at the Club on May 2, from noon.
Local takes on the world
Tony Hastings represented the region in the Paper Tiger International Championships on Botany Bay (Sydney) over Easter. He came 30th out of 47 entries.
“I’m happy with the result. It was a great learning experience, and I’ve come home knowing what I need to improve with my sailing, and what I need to fix on the boat.
“The biggest problem was trying to get a good star in such a big fleet of highly competitive boats. I was too slow to accelerate, so was left behind in the turbulent air. Then I had fun overtaking throughout the race to come from the back to around mid-fleet.”
The following week, Tony joined cats from Port Kembla and Kurnell in visiting the Southern Highlands Yacht Club, on Fitzroy Falls Reservoir. Since the visitors organised the event, they called it the Gatecrash Regatta.
“There had been a boom in catamaran sailing at the club, so we wanted to show our support and include them in the network of cat sailors in the region.”
Tony won both races and was presented with a club shirt to mark the occasion. He will represent the club at the Batemans Bay Anzac Regatta, where he has won the 14-foot cat division five times.
Windsong wins to sing title hopes
Light winds blew across Wallagoot Lake on Saturday, signally the approach of Autumn and the end of the season. With just 4 races left in the Pointscore Series, and reigning champions Rob and Sian Morton absent, there are now five boats in contention to be crowned Club Champion.
Serving as Officer of the Day, Greg Thornton scored the equivalent of two second places, bringing him into the overall lead.
Neil Fisher won both races in the monohull division, bringing him up to fourth overall, but looking a title contender when the series score drops his five worst races. Terry Kirby kept his hopes alive, scoring a fourth and second on Saturday. Matt Sochacki scored a third and seventh to remain near the top of the scoreboard. “Salty Dog” Rodger Ubrihien also did well, scoring a second and fourth.
The club’s Leader dinghy, “the Slippery Banana”, lived up to its name with Josh Dorrough making a splash on the lake, before Brent Occleshaw showed the boat’s potential with a third place finish.
Other notable sailors were Ian Wood and crew Jarrah Dorrough, who opened up a substantial lead on the fleet in the second race, and scoring fifth overall on yardstick corrected time. Rod and Gavan were spectacular on the 49er, with burst of speed and splashes too, as they attempt to tame the thoroughbred racer.
Terry Ubrihien was the sole entrant in the multihull division, scoring two wins. Joining Greg as Officer of the Day was Tony Hastings, whose lead in the championship may disappear as he misses the remaining races while sailing elsewhere.
Wallagoot Lake set for spectacular regatta
Wallagoot Lake’s Pointscore Series leaders, Rob Morton in the monohull division and Tony Hastings in the multihull division, extended their series leads by winning both races.
The racing began after a team of volunteers worked to prepare for next week’s Regatta. The regatta is the highlight of the year on Wallagoot Lake, when locals and visitors fill the lake with colour and action. The regatta is open to all off-the-beach sailing boats and trailerable yachts, and sailors of all ages and abilities. Spectators are welcome to view the racing from the clubhouse, where lunch, dinner and drinks will be served.
Secretary Tony Hastings said “The multihull fleet has been the strongest in the past couple of years, with a dozen entries. This year promises more great action, with Windrush, Maricat, Nacra and other classes known to be coming. We’re also expecting some spectacular sailing in the monohull fleet, with visitors coming to fly spinnaker across the lake.”
Race One last Saturday began in a moderate sea-breeze, with the dinghies, trailer-sailors and multihulls all scheduled to start together. Some of the boats crossed the line early, but were not penalized.
Others started as much as ten minutes late, after helping new sailors rig their boats. One of the late starters was Tony’s Paper Tiger, who still managed to chase and pass his rivals for the win.
Second multihull in both races was Terry Ubrihien, while Dennis Stanton made a welcome return on his Weta trimaran to claim third.
Rob Morton won both races on his Laser Dinghy, instead of the fast MG14 he typically sails with his wife Sian. Second in Race One was Richard Barcham on his trailer-sailor “Thistle”, who found racing on the short course much harder work than the long, cruisy legs of ocean racing he has been enjoying with the Twofold Bay Yacht Club.
Third in Race One and second in Race Two was Neil Fisher’s Sabre “Windsong”. Third in Race Two was Matt Sochacki’s Impulse, “Bunyip”.
For more details about regatta, please see http://wlbc.org.au/wlbc-regatta/
Gillyweed breaths fresh air into club
New boats and new faces took to the waters of Wallagoot Lake on Saturday, when graduates from the club’s recent Sailing School joined in the Handicap Start races.
Light winds helpedhave the new skippers have a fun, easy time on the water.
Sian Morton, on her Sabre “Gillyweed” scored a second place, then a race win. Her boat is named after a plant the Harry Potter ate to enable him to breath underwater, and the boat Gillyweed similarly is breathing fresh air and life into the club’s racing.
Winner of Race One was the Club’s Commodore, Brian Wright, on his Caribou “Dear One”. The result was well deserved, as Brian not only works hard on his boat and his sailing, but also as a volunteer to keep the club running.
Third in Race One and second in Race Two was Bob Harris, on his Sabre “Stormy Petrel”. Third in Race Two was Morrie Lynch on his Sabre “Nimbus.”
The club is now gearing up for their annual regatta, which will be held March 7 and 8. All off-the-beach sailing boats and trailer-sailors are welcome to enter.
New sailors learn the ropes
The Wallagoot lake Boat Club hosted a sailing school over the weekend. 15 participants learned the basics of sailing, taught by a team of volunteers using a fleet of off-the-beach boats.
Club Secretary Tony Hastings said “It was a perfect weekend. We had light, steady winds which made sailing easy for the beginners, a stronger breeze late Saturday afternoon to give us some speed thrills, and the dark clouds that rolled over on Sunday afternoon were the perfect cue for us to return to shore.
“It was great to see children, teenagers and adults learning the basics of sailing. They learned to rig up a boat, launch, sail it around and return to shore safely.
“We hope that now they have the skills and passion for sailing, we will see them at the club every Saturday. We may host further training sessions on Saturday mornings, and the regular races in the afternoon.
“We were also pleased to see water-skiers and powerboats enjoying the lake, and sharing it with us in a friendly manner. The club offers Powerboat memberships, which includes use of the launching ramp and facilities.”
Windsong well tuned for Wallagoot
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club held two Pointscore races on Saturday afternoon, in very shift and gusty south-westerly winds. Winner of both races in the Monohull division was Neil Fisher, on his Sabre “Windsong”.
Neil said that he won by “following the windshifts and hanging it out upwind; learning right out and keeping the boat flat.”
Terry Kirby’s Sabre “Frodo” finished second in Race on1, ahead of Greg Thornton’s Laser “Ariel”. Greg was first across the line in both races, but the slower Sabres were close enough behind to beat him on yardstick corrected time.
In race Two, Greg finished second, with Matt Sochacki’s Impulse, “Bunyip” third.
Matt was pleased to be at the front of the fleet most of the time, and said “I Like the south-westerly; the water was very flat”.
Winner of both Multihull races was Tony Hastings, on his Paper Tiger “Tigerdelic”. Behind him, Jeff Hope’s Windrush and Terry Ubrihien’s Maricat had close battles, each gaining a second and third place.
The Club is preparing to host its annual Sailing School this weekend, February 7 and 8. Participants will learn all of the skills required to rig a boat and sail it on Wallagoot Lake. The school is limited to 20 participants and is nearly fully booked. To enrol, participants must join the club and confirm their booking before 5pm Friday. The school is free for members. It is hoped that sailing school graduates will continue sailing every Saturday.
The Club has a range of boats available, including 4 Manly Junior dinghies for kids. Further tuition will be offered on most Saturday mornings.
Stormy Petrel flies over Wallagoot Lake
PERFECT conditions greeted the sailors at Wallagoot Lake on Saturday, after the previous week was rained out.
The lake is very full, which limited the space avaiable to share between sailing and power boats, but everyone was able to get in and out of the lake without problem.
A fresh seabreeze created lively racing, and Officers of the Day Brian Wright and Terry Ubrihien set a special figure 8 course for the end of season racing.
The handicap start races give slower boats a head start, and the handicaps are calculated so that everyone should finish at the same time.
In Race One Bob Harris’ Sabre “Stormy Petrel” started first, and opened up a sizable gap to the chasing boats. He sailed a fast, error-free race to remain in the lead and win the race.
Tony Hastings’ Paper Tiger catamaran “Tigerdelic” started last, and took just over 20 minutes to complete the course and finish second.
In third place was the consistent Morrie Lynch.
The handicaps were adjusted between races, then in Race Two Bob Harris again lead from start to finish.
The Windrush cat of Jeff Hope charged through to claim second, ahead of Greg Thornton’s Laser “Ariel”.
Bob Harris was pleased with his race wins, and said “it was great; it was a figure of eight”.
Full results can be found on the results page
The club would like to thank all of its volunteers for helping run the sailing races, its sponsors for their support, and the Bega District News, Merimbula News and Eden Magnet for covering the sport.
Racing will resume on Saturday January 17, a sailing school will be run February 7 – 8, and the annual regatta is on March 7 – 8.
Rain washes out sailing spirit
230mm of rain fell on Wallagoot over the weekend, mostly on Saturday December 6th. Roads flooded, blocking access from Bega and Bermagui. The combined effect was that only a few people turned up for sailing, and Rob Morton was the only one keen enough to bring a boat. Racing was cancelled.
Fast times on Wallagoot Lake
A FRESH seabreeze provided fast, exciting racing on Wallagoot Lake last Saturday.
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club held two handicap-start races, in which the slower boats get a head start and the faster ones try to catch them before the end of the race.
The catamarans are given a longer course to sail, which increases the amount of passing and re-passing that occurs during the race.
Winner of the first race, by a good margin, was Morrie Lynch.
When asked for his winning secret, he said, “skill and local knowledge”.
Behind him, the fast MG14 of Rob and Sian Morton flew across the line under full spinnaker, passing a fraction of a second ahead of Rodger Ubrihien’s Sabre.
Most of the boats finished within 3 minutes of each other, then the handicaps were adjusted to make Race Two even closer.
The race was won by Rodger Ubrihien, ahead of Neil Fisher and Mike Stove.
Rodger said his success was due to “35 years of Sabre sailing experience.
“It takes about 7 years training until you get your first win.”
Sian Morton said, “The great thing about sailing is that you can achieve other goals along the way; like completing your first race, or getting through the day without capsizing.”
Everyone agreed that the day’s sailing had been great fun, and looked forward to returning next week, when two Pointscore races will be held.
For full results, please see wlbc.org.au/race_results/handicap-series/
Fresh breeze blows racing off course
A FRESH seabreeze made for exciting racing and a few disasters at Wallagoot Lake last Saturday, November 22.
The forecast was for a 15 knot north-easterly, and exceed this with gusts to 22 knots.
Rob and Sian Morton’s MG14 won the first race.
Rob said “the fresh breeze made for some great sailing. Wendy and Glynn Miller did a great job as Officers of the Day.
“Morrie Lynch sailed with a new-found crew, Philippe, but unfortunately the gooseneck looked like failing, so they had to retire.
“Ian Wood was there with another keen new-found crew, Jackson, but unfortunately they had to retire as his beautiful laminated Oregon rotating mast started delaminating!
Rodger Ubrihien had an injury and felt he was better off retiring.
Second monohull in Race One was Terry Kirby’s Sabre, who finished just 24 seconds ahead of Matt Sochacki’s Impulse on corrected time.
A pair of Maricats made up the multihull division.
Alan Holbrook and Laine West won, sailing sloop-rigged, ahead of Terry Ubrihien sailing cat-rigged.
During Race Two, the anchor of one the buoys let go of the lake bottom, which caused the buoy to course drifted off the course.
Because of this and the number of boats that retired, the Club decided to abandon Race Two.
Lack of wind cancels racing
CALM, overcast conditions prevented racing on Wallagoot Lake on Saturday November 15.
Keen sailors took the water anyway, and drifted around for a lap before giving up and returning to shore.
Officer of the Day Matt Pritchard recorded the wind speed, and said there was “0.8 knots, gusting to 2.2, average a knot.”
The club’s guidelines say that if the wind is more than 20knots or less than 3 knots, then they should cancel the race.
Challenging winds create close, fast racing
STRONG winds made for wild racing for a dozen boats on Wallagoot Lake on Saturday.
Wallagoot Lake Boat Club’s event coordinator, Rob Morton said “It was a great day. The challenging wind created some thrills and spills.”
Rob and Sian’s MG14 ‘Wizard of Oz’ won both pointscore races in the monohull division, despite some calamities. Big windshifts and the sudden easing of strong gusts left them falling backwards into the water, and struggling to keep their boat balanced.
Terry Kirby’s Sabre “Frodo” finished second in Race One (Race 5 in the series), just one second ahead of Greg Thornton’s Laser “Ariel” on yardstick corrected time.
In Race Two (Race 6 in the series), it was Greg Thornton who finished in second place, just 20 seconds ahead of Terry Kirby.
Thanks to Officers of the Day Jeff Hope and Warren Page, who set an excellent course, rescued a few boats and recorded the finishes.
In the multihull division, Tony Hastings’ Paper Tiger ‘Tigerdelic’ blasted away from the start of Race 1, creating a gap that the chasing boats could not close.
Paul Leaudais’ Windrush ‘Silver Fox’ was equally fast, finishing second, and the pair lapped most of the fleet.
Terry Ubrihien’s Maricat came in third.
In Race 2, Tony and Paul’s cats were neck-and-neck for most of the race. A breakage forced Tony to briefly stop and jury-rig a repair, before resuming the battle and drawing alongside again.
Paul crossed the finish line first and won the race, while Tony sailed past the line to sail an additional lap and come last.
“After Paul finished I realised my mistake, but by then I was looking forward to sailing this last lap, so I decided to keep going,” Tony explained.
“Like Forrest Gump – you kept on running!” Paul quipped.
Terry Ubrihien’s Maricat finished second, just ahead of Alan Holbrook and Laine West, also on a Maricat.
Full results of both races can be read at: http://wlbc.org.au/race_results/pointscore-races/.
Next week, the club will host two handicap-start races.
FORBODING skies and storm warnings didn’t deter a dozen boats from rigging up and taking to the waters of Wallagoot Lake.
The winds proved to be tricky, as it shifted around and had gusts recorded to 20 knots – which is quite strong but within the range suitable for sailing.
The day had its disasters, but these were nothing to do with the weather.
A car was accidentally left in neutral when launching the Rescue Boat, which led to the car rolling into the lake and being completely submerged.
The sailors quickly rallied, towing the car out and offering support to the unfortunate driver.
The car was later towed away.
A handicap-start race was held, in which the slower boats were given a head start and the others tried to catch them.
Morrie Lynch won, narrowly ahead of Brian Wright and Neil Fisher, who were closely followed by Rodger Ubrihien, then Wendy Miller.
The catamarans had been in hot pursuit of the monohulls and made up time throughout the race, until Terry Ubrihien’s stay wire came undone, and his rig fell overboard.
There was no panic; he calmly rolled his sail, prepared to be towed and waited for the rescue boat to record the race finish before being towed to shore.
Next week, two Pointscore Races will be held.
Wet weather fails to dampen sailing spirit
DISCOVER Sailing Day at Wallagoot Lake began with grey clouds and drizzling rain. This might not seem to be good sailing weather, however the rain soon stopped and the steady southerly winds were ideal for beginners’ first sailing experiences.
The team of volunteers put on a great event, greeting visitors, helping them into life jackets, offering rides on dinghies, catamarans and a trailer sailor, and cooking up a hot lunch.
Secretary Tony Hastings said, “Thanks to Mary Jane Glasson, Bob Harris, Matt Sochacki, Matt Pritchard, Terry Ubrihien, Alan Holbrook, Jeff Hope, Alister French, Eyrl Boulton, Laine West, and Mark Jarvis for helping out, and all those who came to Discover Sailing.
“While numbers were down on previous years, our volunteers succeeded in running a great event and having a lot of fun doing it.”
On Saturday, the club held two Pointscore races, in sunny conditions with a light south-easterly wind.
Greg Thornton left the fleet far behind to score two dominant victories on his Laser, “Ariel’.
The club’s battered old Pacer, ‘Retravision’, was brilliantly sailed to second by newcomer, Richard and his son. We must remind him to sign on, so that his name is recorded!
Second in Race Two was Rodger Ubrihien, while Terry Kirby scored third on both races.
In the multihull division, Terry Ubrihien came from behind to take the lead, and looked a clear winner in the last lap. Unfortunately he continued on, mistakenly thinking the course included a third lap.
Jeff Hope was sailing well in second, but followed Terry past the finish line.
Alan Holbrook with crew Laine West laughed as he overtook the Paper Tiger of Tony Hastings and Suzzanne Grey, to come from last to win the race.
“We’ve done a Bradbury!” he said.
In race two, Jeff Hope lead the first lap, chased by Alan and Terry, and much further back Tony who started several minutes late.
Lightweight Tony was able to sail upwind on one hull, which provided a huge advantage, and he passed the other boats to win by a significant margin.
Terry finished second, ahead of Alan and Jeff.
Discover Sailing at Wallagoot
THIS Sunday, October 26, anyone can come and discover sailing for free at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club.
Discover Sailing Day will run from 10 to 4, and feature a range of different boats for people to try.
All ages are welcome to attend, life jackets will be provided, and participants advised to wear durable clothes they don’t mind getting wet, drinking water and lunch.
For more information please see: wlbc.org.au
On Saturday a fleet of 11 boats rigged up on a lovely day with a building NE breeze, which increased from 10 to 16knots during the afternoon.
Rob and Sian Morton acted as Officers of the Day, setting the course, running the races and performing several rescues even before the start sequence was completed.
Rob Morton said “Then our fun started!”
“We rescued Warren in his MG first, I jumped into the water, and helped him get the boat organised. Warren and I sat in the boat while Peter towed us to shore, we then looked to Ian who was sinking, so again, I jumped in and helped get his boat in order for towing.”
The gusty winds made sailing the high-performance boats tricky, and some also suffered gear failure.
Thanks to Alister French who gave up racing to swap boats and sail the club’s Leader, “The Slippery Banana” back to shore.
“Salty Dog” Rodger Ubrihien put his experience to good use and won the race ahead of Morrie Lynch, both on Sabre dinghies.
The fast, stable Weta trimaran of Dennis Stanton and Suellen O’Brien flew around the course to finish 3rd.
The remaining finishers were Brian Wright’s Caribou, Mike Stove’s Sabre and Matt Sochacki’s Impulse.
In Canberra, Tony Hastings came third in the ACT Multihull Championships, in a very competitive fleet of 28 boats and tricky, shifty, light-winds.
Warm day brings hot racing
THE FIRST pointscore races of the season were held at Wallagoot Lake on Saturday.
Winner of both races in the monohull division were Rob and Sian Morton on their MG14, Wizard of Oz, and in the multihull division was Tony Hastings on his Paper Tiger, Tigerdelic.
A steady, light to moderate wind powered the fifteen boats around on a warm, sunny day, with some new boats, new sails and new members all keen to sail in the perfect conditions.
Officers of the Day Terry Kirby and Neil Fisher set a triangle course, so all boats started together and sailed the same course.
The racing was close and exciting, with some boats overtaking to windwards, others gaining advantage downwind, and all pushing hard for a good result.
Second monohull in both races was Greg Thorton’s Laser, Ariel.
Third in Race One was Alan Holbrook and Laine West on the Miracle, This Way Up, and in Race Two was Brian Wright’s Caribou, Dear One.
Second multihull in both races was Jeff Hope’s Windrush sloop.
Tony Hastings came third in his division in the Jervis Bay Regatta two weeks ago, and heads to Canberra to defend his title as ACT Multihull Champion next week.
On Sunday October 26, the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club hosts Discover Sailing Day, at which anyone can come and experience sailing for free.
Perfect sailing at Wallagoot
WARM, sunny conditions with light winds were perfect conditions for the sailor’s practice races at Wallagoot Lake on Saturday September 27.
First around the first mark and winner of both races were Rob and Sian Morton on their MG14, ‘Wizard of Oz’.
Just 30 seconds behind on corrected time was Greg Thornton’s Laser dinghy, ‘Ariel’.
Chasing hard was Alister French, sailing the club’s Leader dinghy, ‘the Slippery Banana’, sloop-rigged and single-handed
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Rodger ‘Salty Dog’ Ubrihien debuted with harness and spinnaker, on Morrie Lynch‘s new Pacer Pursuit, ‘Cirrus’.
Brian Wright and Mike Stove gave them a great battle, on the Caribou ‘Dear One’. In both races the last tack was decisive in which boat finished ahead.
Next weekend the club hosts handicap-start races, in which slower boats are given a head start to provide great racing and close finishes.
Click the image to open a gallery of photos from the day