Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Lake Eyre Yacht Club - no sailing, says traditional owners

by Lee Mylchreest on 2 Mar 2011
The water’s on its way, but no sailing for the Lake Eyre Yacht Club .. .
One of the most unusual yacht clubs in the world, Australia's Lake Eyre Yacht Club, surrounded by thousands of miles of desert, with water only every few years, is now stopped from sailing by the objections of the traditional owners of the land around the lake.

For many years, whenever the Lake has water, yacht owners stream in from all over the world to sail on her, but no more.

The Club's president, Bob Backway, has been negotiating with Australia's National Park and Wildlife organisation to get permission (see Sail-World Cruising's story), but the situation has reached a stalemate. This is the first year in history that the Yacht Club has been unable to sail on the Lake when it has water in it, demonstrating the rise of the power of traditional owners over significant areas of Australia.

The level of the lake is rising as floodwaters move in from surrounding creeks and the yacht club says it is the ideal time to sail but national parks still will not give approval.

Backway does not hide the fact that he's angry, and thinks that not only the sailing world should be alarmed. 'It's got ramifications Australia-wide because Indigenous people lived along every waterway in Australia, so if irrational decisions like this are allowed to be made we won't be able to boat anywhere,' he said.

The Environment Department says the club was refused permission because of cultural concerns from the Arabana people.

The club has been waiting for the Environment Department to have more meetings with the Arabana people who are the traditional owners, but this will only be meaningful if it occurs while there is still enough water in the Lake to sail.
........................

Thought-provoking letter from reader:

Sender: Donagh Waldron

Message: ?.....The club has been waiting for the Environment Department to have more meetings with the Arabana people.......?
I'm very surprised at this story. Why would the Yacht Club require the Australian Government to talk to the locals.
Backway should talk directly to the locals. Why not bring them out sailing? Teach their children to sail? Make the chief an honorary member?
Is Australian sailing stuck in the 19th century mindset that sailing is only for the elite!

Zhik ZKG 660x82Naiad/Oracle SupplierSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to ban bottled water
Approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. The RQYS Management Committee has confirmed that approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. This will place the club as a leader in environmental impact management in Australia and around the world. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club earlier this year did likewise. Who’s next?
Posted on 16 Jun
SouthernFurl In-Boom furling systems withstand Sydney Hobart test
Southern Spars design team have developed the SouthernFurl Boom smaller budgets and yachts from 35-70 feet. Have you ever scared your family when you got stuck with too much sail up when you should be reefed? Southern Spars’ range of SouthernFurl booms are the answer – letting you reduce sail quickly and easily without leaving the safety of the cockpit.
Posted on 23 May
2016 Garda Trentino Olympic Week - Day 4
Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Tomorrow the medal race is scheduled for the Lasers and another two races for the three paralympic classes.
Posted on 13 May
CCA presents RCC Award to Scott and Mary Flanders
CCA has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy. The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy.
Posted on 22 Apr
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb
Golden Globe Race - 30 sailors from 12 countries named for challenge
Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world race. The 29 men and one woman – have each paid an initial A$3,000 entry fee. Other entrants hail from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Estonia, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Russia and Switzerland.
Posted on 18 Feb