Fleet sets sail at Montrose

14 September 2020|Sport| Off Comments off on Fleet sets sail at Montrose|

THE boats may be smaller than the ones that compete in the annual Sydney to Hobart race, but radio yachting at the Risdon Brook Radio Yacht Club is starting to gain a dedicated following of people who brave the icy chill at Montrose Bay Yacht Club on Wednesday and Sunday mornings.

Radio yachting is raced using small wooden or plastic boats that vary from two metres in length to 650 millimetres.

There are five recognised sailing classes in Australia, with the winner being the first boat to cross the finish line.

The Risdon Brook Radio Yacht Club was established in the mid-1970s and is one of Australia’s oldest clubs.

The club’s publicity officer and multiple state champion and Australian representative Lisa Blackwood, pictured, said Wednesday was more about the social side with mixed races, while Sunday was pennant racing.

“A lot of people do radio yachting for the social side,” she said.

“They meet and compare their boats and have a chat – that’s what the Wednesday group is about.

“It’s a good day for beginners to come out and try as well because it’s not as intense as the Sunday pennant racing days.”

Ms Blackwood has been involved with the club for nearly 40 years since its inception and is helping develop the sport to a wider audience.

“It’s quite a relaxing sport and not as physical as traditional yachting,” she said.

“It’s physical in the aspect you have to walk up and down the bank, and you can’t let your yacht sail for miles away and stand in one spot – it’s advantageous to walk with it to get the best view.”

Ms Blackwood said there were various challenges in the sport, including the wind, chill factor and the fast pace of the sport.

“You do a full race in 12 minutes, so there’s a lot of action and a lot of coming together with other boats,” she said.

“With so many boats racing in such a small area, they tend to run into each other a lot, so if you can keep yourself from running into other people, you’ll generally do pretty well.

“You also have to have sound knowledge of how to set your sails and of where the wind is coming from and how to play the wind shifts.”

Ms Blackwood has won several Australian Championships and competed in World Championships a number of times, including in England and Brazil, and encouraged new members to get involved.

“We have club boats here that people can borrow and sail,” She said.

“New members are encouraged and helped along into the sport as much as we can.”

For more information, visit risdonbrookradioyachtclub.com.

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