At the recent 2012 Laser Worlds Masters Championships, the easiest way to find Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s head honcho Paul Hughes, was to go to the top of the launching ramp where each morning he joined the volunteers taking the Laser dollies from the departing sailors.
In between Laser dolly dragging we spoke to him on the last day of the Laser Masters Worlds 2012 event.
Hughes was smiling broadly. ‘We are really enjoying having the World Championships at RQ, and we have two more this year.
‘This was a great event; 234 competitors from 19 nations, all having an absolute ball. For the first three days we had probably the best Laser sailing in the world, then we lost a day but came back with two glorious days to finish with a full schedule of 12 good races across the Masers Full Rig, Radial and 4.7 fleets. It has convinced me that god sails a Laser.
‘We have busy months ahead with lots of great racing but we are certainly building towards a climax.
‘RQ have the Laser Radial Youth World Championship (28 June-4 July), Queensland Youth Week fifth-8th July and then the Laser Radial Worlds, (11-17 July).
‘We used to talk about sailing seasons but there are only three weekends of the entire year that we don’t have sailing at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and both of those are under pressure at the moment, with events keen to grab them.
‘We had five national championships in January. We had the Youth Nationals and now this is a very successful first of three World Laser events at RQ this year.
‘We have a fantastic group of volunteers. We have over 60 on water every day for this event and the race management, I think, is equal to any you find.
‘We have a fabulous dinghy Worlds venue. It is particularly good in weeks like this where the wind comes from the one direction, doesn’t vary too much and blows at the same strength. It makes race managers look good.
‘With the Queensland State Yachting Association located on the premises as well as a very busy motel, it is quite an overall site.
‘In January, for example, our camping ground had just over 200 people camping in it.
‘You can do everything at Royal Queensland. There are not many places where you can get all of those options inside the one set of gates. It is all secure, very safe and we can offer people a real experience as a holiday, as distinct from just a regatta.
‘We are rejuvenating our outside dining area starting next week. We have just waiting for the Worlds to finish and we will have it completed before the first of the Radial World Championships. Just under $700,000 worth of revamp there.
‘Our Marina One refurbishment project is about to start and that will be about ten and a half million dollars.
‘We have our sights set on a brand new marine sports building with state of the art volunteers rooms, junior club rooms etc., and we are just going through the fundraising processes for that at present.’
‘The rigging lawns are getting a workout with all the events so its lucky we had had plenty of rain. God the Laser sailor helping us out again!’
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9:03 PM Mon 26 Mar 2012GMT
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