Sail Country incorporating the Vic Dinghy Championships.

Sail Country incorporating the Vic Dinghy Championships.

Posted in Regatta, Reports by Sean Bly.

Sail Country

On the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of November, Derby day w’end in Melbourne, the Albury Wodonga Yacht Club hosted the Sail Country Regatta incorporating the Vic Dinghy Championships. Traditionally the AWYC have their “Sail Country Regatta “on this weekend, so they worked with Yachting Victoria to incorporate the Vic Dinghy’s on the same weekend. It worked. With over 130 boats competing including 35 Lasers, the lawns of the club were always a hive of gentile activity.

The host club had the club and canteen open serving the first coffees and breakfast in the morning through to freshly made lunches and right through to wood fired pizzas at night. There was always an air of genuine country hospitality, with nothing being a problem. Most families camped on site which made for an even more enjoyable weekend experience.

The weekend started with briefing being delayed due to a rain cloud landing on us right on briefing time. Eventually this cleared and we were on the water for the scheduled 4 races of the day.

On the Radial and 4.7 course:

Race1: glorious conditions in about 8 knots (westerly) sun shine and fresh water, everyone got the nerves settled and about 35 minutes later the first race was run and won.

Race 2: off everyone went only to be met with a massive pressure increase part the way through the 2nd half. We were informed later that the average was 23 knots with a gust recorded at 31knots. No need to explain what happened with multiple retirements being recorded.

Race 3, 4: All other fleets were sent ashore from the three separate race courses. The Laser Radial, Laser 4.7 and Finns stayed out and completed another two races after the breeze had moderated slightly.

This is a testament to the standard we are now seeing in both the Radial and 4.7 fleets in that they stayed upright and sailed on. Well done to all those competitors for your perseverance and stamina.

On Sunday we were greeted with an earlier start time and beautiful conditions again coming out of the west. By race time the breeze had filled in and was shifting around a lot, so you had to be right on every shift. As we all say and hear at every regatta “these are not the normal conditions” more on that later.

On the Full rig course 4 races were sailed bringing their total to 6 races and over on the Radial and 4.7 course, 3 races were sailed bringing their total to 7 races.

The full Results are available on the website but here are some of the podiums.

Full rigs:

1st David Buckley

2nd Rob Hartnett

3rd Jan Talacko


1st Rhett Gowans

2nd Alexander Jurovic

3rd Tony McPhail


1st Tyrone Gowans

2nd Brody Riley

3rd Jack Lewis

Given that most schools and businesses make a long weekend out of this weekend, the State Opti team and Laser high Performance groups stayed on for the following two days. The host club again had full catering running and the weather settled into “this is what we normally get” conditions. They are pretty nice conditions particularly after the previous two days.

If you get the chance and it looks like it will be on again next year, grab a tent and your laser and do this regatta. Set in ideal surrounds with a friendly atmosphere if will not disappoint you. (I am not part of the host club) The children loved it so much, that when they were asked at the presentation “do you want to come back next year” it was definitely a “YES”.