Sail Mooloolaba has announced a change to the 2012 event dates to 23rd June to 1st July for this unique Queensland week-long celebration of sailing.
by Liz McCarthy
Event Organising Committee Chair, Tracey Johnstone, explained that it was important to place the event within a set of dates that would be both sustainable within the Queensland and national sailing calendar, and would not clash with other existing Sunshine Coast sailing events.
'The new and long-term dates are based on capturing a greater number of youth sailors to the Dinghy Division of the event allowing them to compete in Mooloolaba in the first part of the school holidays before heading south to Brisbane for the youth events conducted at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.
'For the older sailors we are still offering a number of dinghy classes along with the exciting big boat events, match racing and radio controlled yachts. One of the few local sailing disciplines we are yet to partner with are the Kiteboarders, but there is still time.
'This is our second year under the banner of Sail Mooloolaba. In our first year we hosted over 570 competitors, volunteers and supporters from Queensland, NSW, Victoria, West Australia and Tasmania. In the Dinghy division we had 106 boats competing.
'The concept of a week of celebrating sailing through different disciplines came about from a desire of the Sail Mooloolaba partners wanting to place Mooloolaba back on the map as the venue for all things sailing and of course, increase our participation numbers. The partners are Maroochy Sailing Club, Mooloolaba Etchells Fleet, Mooloolaba Yacht Club, Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club and the Australian Sports Boat Association,' Johnstone said.
Sail Mooloolaba is a series of sailing events that incorporate several different classes and styles of sailing. The week starts with the Keel and Sports Boat Regatta on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June, hosted by Mooloolaba Yacht Club and the Australian Sports Boat Association. This event will include IRC, Performance Racing, Cruising Spinnaker and Cruising Non-Spinnaker classes. There will even be a Franco-German Challenge on the Saturday.
President of the Australian Sports Boat Association, Darren Spence, has scheduled Sail Mooloolaba as the venue for the 2012 Queensland ASBA Sport Boat Championship. 'I expect at least 20 sports boat, including SB3s, will take advantage of the great Mooloolaba venue, both on and off the water,' Spence said.
On Tuesday the Radio Controlled Yachts come out on Mooloolah River in front of The Wharf Tavern. Club Kawana Radio Yachting will move their large Kawana Lake fleet to the river so that visitors to The Wharf precinct will have the opportunity to watch the racing closely.
Mid-week the Mooloolaba Yacht Club will host a relaxed handicap afternoon sail on Mooloolaba Bay with special guests invited to race on a club boat in support of the Sail Mooloolaba aim of getting more people into sailing.
On Thursday teams of school and university students, adults and women will contest the Sail Mooloolaba Match Racing Trophy. Racing will be held on the Mooloolah River right near the centre of Mooloolaba town.
Friday is a more casual day with the team from Sailability Sunshine Coast working with its group of disabled sailors, as they enjoying zipping back and forth across the Mooloolah River.
The final weekend of Sail Mooloolaba 2012, on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July sees a return to serious racing with the Dinghy Division and its 15 invited classes competing on Mooloolaba Bay. The Dinghy Division’s Event Manager, Maroochy Sailing Club’s David Thomson, has extended an invitation to Laser, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, Optimist, Moth, 420, 505, Heron, Sabre, Sharpie, 29er, Hobie 16, A Class, Contender and Sabot classes to compete. 'Out of the list of invited classes we are expecting at least six classes including the spectacular Moth class.
'Depending on the weather, we could see up to 150 boats on the water on the dinghy weekend. There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the event with people saying that they love the convenience of the venue and the quality race management.
'There's still opportunity for further classes to enter,' Thomson said.
For more information on Sail Mooloolaba, go www.sailmooloolaba.yachting.org.au
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3:40 AM Thu 2 Feb 2012 GMT
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