THE wind was up for the start of the South Gippsland Yacht Club’s sailing season last Sunday, so much so that a number of the club’s stalwarts decided to sit out the opening round on the beach.
But the first race in the Knights Toyota Summer Series went ahead anyway and with conditions moderating slightly as the afternoon progressed, those who braved the torrid start ended up enjoying an exhilarating day of sailing.
Leading the fleet from the outset was Peter Kiely in his Windrush catamaran, making good use of the breeze both downwind with the south westerly and then tacking into it where he was out on the trapeze and up on one hull getting the most out of the conditions.
The wind had whipped up some light chop but generally it was reasonably smooth and fast sailing.
Bass MP Brian Paynter together with SGYC Commodore Allan Driver performed the honours, enjoying an opening day luncheon before sending the yachts off on their first race at 2pm.
The tide was right up so competitors were able to use the full extent of the inlet, sailing deep in towards the beach in the area of the Glade, sailing along the beach towards Pensioners Corner and then back out towards the bar before turning and racing down wind in the direction of Point Smythe.
However, with the tide full at the end of the race, it wasn’t quite so easy to get yachts back on the beach and into the yacht club compound.
Club readies for historic season
AS Allan Driver, Commodore of South Gippsland Yacht Club (SGYC), welcomed special guests, Brian Paynter, State Parliament Member for Bass and Deputy Mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale, to the first day of the sailing season for 2015-2016, a storm blew up across Andersons Inlet which could have ended the day’s sailing.
Allan continued to welcome all yacht members, around 30, who had attended the lunchtime get together as well as announce an apology from Mick Green, president of the Inverloch Windsurfers Association.
Allan mentioned that it should be another great day in Inverloch, if the weather abated, and expressed his thanks to all those members who turned out for the day.
He thanked all the people who took the time and effort to prepare the club rooms, prepare the magnificent lunch and set up the tables.
Allan expressed his thanks also to all the committee members and yacht club members for contributing to the preparation of the club grounds and facilities for the Opening Day.
He stressed that clubs like SGYC would not function without the many hours put in by volunteers.
He also stressed that safety in sailing is very important and, as such, a special thanks to all those members for organising the maintenance of the rescue boat and rubber ducky and the boat trailer.
He reminded those present that SGYC has, at times, had to rescue people other than yacht club members from incidents on Andersons Inlet.
Further, he said it was great to see that the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta was again being held on Australia Day in 2016 and SGYC, the Regatta Sub-Committee and sponsors look forward to everyone’s support for the Australia Day weekend.
Special mention was made of SGYC’s new website, Facebook page and new newsletter format to which non-club members could subscribe free of charge.
Future plans for the SGYC include continuing to increase members, pay attention to the history of this club as in 2016-2017 SGYC reaches a milestone of 50 years, renovation of the safety and observation tower, working with the Inverloch Windsurfing Association on a number of events as well as the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club, introduce more social sailing events, increased training for junior members and continue to renovate assets such as the boat storage racks and toilets and change rooms.
In closing Allan stressed that the profile of the club had increased significantly over the past few years through the Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta, media exposure and participation in community events.
As such, with the club being in the heart of Inverloch, he said it needed to continue to demonstrate that the club is indeed a member of the local community and work with the community, local businesses and service clubs on projects of mutual interest to all.
Allan looked forward to working with the committee and members this coming sailing season while continuing to have fun on and off the water.
Sailing for the 2015-2016 season finally got under way with four intrepid sailors braving the elements.
The results for the first race of the season was Pete Kiely, first in A Division in a Windrush Catamaran, while in B Division first was Matt Kiely in an Impulse followed by Geoff Rippingale and Ivan Abbott both in Impulses.