There were over 50 boats entered in the regatta this year, about a dozen more than last year. The increase in numbers shows the word is spreading about the great venue, hospitality and variety of historic boats to be seen at the Inverloch regatta. Perfect weather for all three days made it a magnificent weekend to be on the water.
The regatta opened with a cruise across the inlet to Point Smyth on Thursday (Australia Day). To see the whole fleet lined up along the beach over at the point was spectacular. Walking from boat to boat, recognizing the designs and looking at the details of the rigs and gear, I realized that this year we have a real representation of the sailing scene of 30 or 40 years ago.
On Friday morning the boats were displayed on the beach for judging and as Chair of the judging panel I had a challenging task assessing the finer points of construction, restoration, rigs and fittings. I was joined on the panel by sailmaker Mark Rimington, professional boatbuilder Reuben Kent, SGYC race officer Lyn Leppin and Past SGYC Commodore Ian Jones. Their combined knowledge and experience helped us assess all aspects of the boats.
We spent over three hours moving from one boat to another, listening to the owner’s stories of how they found the boat and what they had done to restore it and get it to the regatta. Deciding the winners of the four category awards plus the special awards for Gwen 12s and Sailfish took some careful evaluation of the short listed contenders but we reached agreement in time for lunch!
Friday afternoon at 2pm was the scheduled start time for the regatta race. There were three starts. The fast boats started on the 2pm gun and the Sailfish started 3 minutes later, with the slower boats starting three minutes after that. At least that was the plan. Precise timekeeping may not be the most salient virtue of wooden dinghy sailors. Despite a well conducted start procedure on the committee boat, there was a degree of confusion about the start times out on the water and many boats started a bit late, including myself. Nevertheless it made a great spectacle for the crowds lining the shore.
Hands On Learning Australia is a programme committed to preventing the harm of early school leaving by creating opportunities AT SCHOOL for young people to discover their talents and experience success.
In addition to their normal schoolwork, participants in the programme are involved in “making and doing” at the school they attend. They have access to resources which allow them to learn life skills, and under the oversight of trained coordinators may also learn how to use the tools required for various tasks. For those interested, more at http://handsonlearning.org.au/ .
Towards the end of last year your club was involved in helping the Westernport Secondary College HOL group prepare for one of the fun events of the year – the annual raft race between HOL Schools, held at Mornington.
You may want to check out the only video I could track down of a previous race, and get a picture of what happens - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m54rEKnKd8 .
Design is one of the keys to a good raft, along with simplicity of construction, availability of resources, skillsets of the builders, time constraints – and of course, floatability (is that a word?).
A number of designs were considered, and the suitability of many different construction materials was discussed – from plumbing pipes and car tubes, to large garden tubs and plastic barrels. In the end, the kind donation of a stack of packing ply from Cambridge Commercial Equipment – a commercial refrigerator supplier in Hallam – resolved the issue, and plywood it was.
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