The summer Learn-to-Sail program at Goolwa Aquatic Club commenced on New Year’s Eve and saw two groups of keen new sailors and some returning students enjoy five days of mostly perfect weather, getting a lot of on-water time.
The club’s Pacer dinghies and the protected waters of the Murray at Goolwa combine to provide an ideal classroom and with local sailing instructor Zoe Greer, the fully booked courses were a great success.
The second week of the Learn-to-Sail course runs from January 14 to 18. GAC is hoping many of the new sailors will continue to develop their new-found skills at the regular Sunday morning junior coaching sessions.
Club racing for the 2018/2019 season recommenced on Sunday, January 6. A number of sailors elected to use the club’s Pacer dinghies for some one-design racing; with five Pacers on the water, Race Officer Peter Briton-Jones decided to run them as a separate class.
In Race 1, Kelly Steele and father Dave threw away a commanding lead just after the second mark, when a mistake under spinnaker saw them take an unscheduled swim (firming Dave as favourite for the annual “submarine” award).
Then the pairing of Jake Steele and mother Aleida took the lead, which they held, despite a late surge from the other half of the family.
Race 2 saw Kelly and Dave take the lead on the first beat, and hold it to the finish. However, it was the consistency of Rose Ward and dad Jason that had them overall winners for the day.
A nice follow-up to Rose’s completion of the Learn-to-Sail course. Sister Sophie was the only Optimist dinghy racing for the day, so took first place in the Juniors.
The Senior fleet enjoyed three races. John Gratton had an overall win in his Sabre, with local sailor Helen Bowlden finishing second. Bruce Konings in his Finn dinghy came third, ahead of Ron Rickards (Sabre) and Peg Offler and Bryan Lindsay in the Tasar.
A great start to 2019; the racing will only hot up as more sailors return from holidays.