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Well, we may have discovered the best sailing venue in Australia at Lake Wallagoot. Midway between Bega and Merimbula on the NSW South Coast this pristine lake lies within the Bournda National Park. There is a local fleet of upto 11 boats and 9 travelled from Newcastle, Sydney and the ACT on the weekend of the 10/11 March. This is actually a return to the past when titles were held on different weekends and we found a fabulous group of very well organised people with a love for sailing and the beautiful surrounds in which they sail.

 

We had 13 actual entries, (4 females) and sailed five races on an Olympic (old style) triangular course, much to our delight. Saturday saw a steadily increasing North East sea breeze for all 3 heats, finally reaching 15-20 knots and gusting by race 3. Boat handling was certainly tested, especially by the mixed fleets behind us. As expected last year’s champion, Geoff Comfort in Southern Aurora, demonstrated his superb boat handling in the challenging conditions and leapt to the lead in all 3 races. He did not have it all his own way with local, Terry Kirby in Let the Wind, pushing hard along with Brad Gorman, The Darkside and Craig Simpson Poetic Justice, proving competitive. By the end Geoff Comfort was comfortably in the lead on 3 with Brad and Terry tied on 10. With Pete Whitton in Salty Chip 4th on 15.

 

Sunday morning for an 11 am start saw the breeze back and veer throughout the race with much frustration and an extraordinary number of changes in the lead. Victory finally went to Craig Simpson in Poetic Justice from Wendy Atkins in Infofreako and Sue Hextell in 3rd.  Geoff had only managed 4th here but he had finished in front of his closest rivals and so was now impossible to beat. Still the competitive juices flowed and as the light easterly began to fill in to about 8 knots the final placings were up for grabs. When most of the tightly bunched fleet went left on the final work, Southern Aurora and Into the Woods went right and found a filling and consistent breeze. Although yet another hole opened up on the wing mark to allow Poppy and Infofreako to join them these were the contenders. The work to the line saw Southern Aurora tack for clear air but held too long. Into the Woods laid the boat end of the line perfectly, Southern Aurora tacked and both boats threw to the finish-a narrow victory to Into the Woods.

 

With such close racing the final results were a mystery to all until the Wallagoot people provided their calculations. There were 3 heat winners and four second placings so the racing was very close. Clearly Southern Aurora 5pts, was the winner, (again) but second went to The Darkside 15  with Poetic Justice in third one point back. Indeed there were only 4 points between 2nd and 5th.  The female winner was Sue Hextell from Wendy Atkins.

 

It was a marvellous weekend, so much so that we will be holding our State Titles there again next season. Our thanks go to to the incredibly welcoming and efficient Wallagoot Boat Club committee who controlled all aspects of the regatta, including the other mixed fleets outstandingly well.

 

As I write I wait for more news of the fate of Tathra, such a delight to visit and enjoy. All the best to all.

 

PS Look out for our next event at the Canberra Dinghy Regatta and Sabre challenge in November.

 

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