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RL24 National Championships 2011 Southport
RL24 Nationals 2011 Southport

Well what a trip! Plenty of Rain! Muddy Water! No Racing! Hot & Wet!
I left Sale in Vic on Thursday 6th at 5:00am with my mate Chris, to head for Southport for our annual National Championship venture. Arrived at Taree just before 7:00pm, after an easy day on the road with nice weather and traffic not too bad. As we pulled into Taree the sky was starting to give indications of what the next day may be like “WET”.
Friday we were on the road by 6:30am, it wasn’t long before we had the wipers on and they certainly got a workout over the following hours of travel. We drove through to Coffs Harbour for breakfast and fuel and continued on to the Gold Coast arriving just before 2:00pm.
Saturday we rigged the boat, launch and secured her in her mooring. Next was to socialise and catch up with everyone.
Sunday morning I was off to the airport to pick up the family who took the easy way to the Gold Coast. The Plan was to go for a practice sail for the rest of the day but the weather was wet and windy and I got no commitment from the crew at all. Sunday evening we enjoyed a welcome sausage sizzle put on by the SYC where the QLD and Vic RLers were able to get to know each other.
Monday was to be our first day of racing but the weather was still wet and windy so racing was abandoned for the day with the same happening on Tuesday.
By Tuesday lunch time the effects of the Toowoomba Floods had everyone concerned and the realisation that Brisbane was about to cop it. SYC decided that the only right thing to do was to cancel Sail Paradise regatta, they did offer to run races inside the Broadwater for the RL24’s so that we could get a series in. We decided after a vote at our RL24 AGM on Tuesday evening that we would not continue with the series as we were not comfortable sailing while thousands of others nearby were in and expecting devastation. Many locals had already headed off to Brisbane to help friends and family to empty houses before the flood water arrived.
From this point our attitude changed from being focused on racing, to holiday mode. The kids headed off to theme parks, shopping centres night clubs and beaches etc, while we were busy socialising and relaxing.
On the Friday we had 6 boats enjoy a great day of cruising up the Broad Water to the SYC camping spot just north of Curran Cove. This proved to be a great social day and we were all back in time for our RL24 dinner at the SYC on Friday evening. The dinner was attended by 60 people enjoying each other’s company and sharing plenty of sailing stories. Rob & Dawn Leg were there along with Rob’s daughter Jenni and her husband, they were all very welcome guests and everyone enjoyed talking to the initiator of the class we all enjoy to sail.
I received an email from Rob after the dinner saying how much they enjoyed the evening and showing their support for the RL24’s for as long as championships continue. He also said “I came away feeling that although no races were contested, the event was still a success, never before has there been an opportunity for all crews and families to mingle as they did, and it will do a lot towards encouraging travel to away events in the future”. I totally agree with Rob’s feelings and ditto his words.
It was great to catch up with the QLD sailors again and I hope to catch up again at the Bay 2 Bay in May. I found it very encouraging to see all the effort that they went to get their boats to class compliant which will make it easier for next year, as it is now already done. We found Southport Yacht Club to be very accommodating and were willing to help in any way they could. Thanks to Shane, Drew and Bronwyn for all their efforts under trying conditions.
I wish everyone who has been affected by the QLD floods all the best and a speedy recovery back to normal.
Even though there are no results for these championships I believe we have all come away with a very positive feeling about future championships and the interest towards next year’s event was very high from the Queenslanders, with many already showing commitments, “we will be there” great to see.
We have already started to find a venue for next year stay posted, will let you know ASAP as it unfolds.
Darryn Dyer

Darryn Dyer 30-Jan-2011    Edit    Delete 

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