Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Coastal bar conditions force a pause of Mooloolaba Australasian Etchells Championship

by Tracey Johnstone / Mooloolaba Yacht Club 13 May 2022 05:40 PDT
Etchells Australasian Championship 2021 © Nic Douglass @sailorgirlhq

In its 25th year the Mooloolaba Australasian Etchells Championship has hit a hurdle causing the event to be postponed in 2022.

The national regatta was due to be held from June 9 to 12.

International Etchells Australia representative Jan Muysken is confident though that the event will go ahead next year. It's a signature event for the class and for Australian sailing he enthused.

"It's been the best attended event for well over 20 years by both the Australian Etchells class and the internationals with typically 50 boats attending," Mr Muysken added.

"We look forward to participating in 2023 when we are through the El Niño, past Covid and back to some form of normality."

All is not lost for the class. "Just for 2022, the Southport Yacht Club will step in and host the Australasians concurrently with the Gold Coast Championships which are on May 28 to 29," Mr Muysken said.

The coastal bar which the competitors must cross before heading out to the racecourse off Mooloolaba Beach has been deemed unsafe by the event organiser advised Mooloolaba Yacht Club commodore Tanya Kelly.

Added to this challenge is the expected continuing severe weather conditions which the MYC doesn't expect to abate in time to provide safe racing conditions for the yachts.

"Due to the dangers of getting the yachts in and out of the harbour on low tide, there is the risk of damage to the yachts and injury to the crews," Ms Kelly said.

It's a disappointing outcome for the MYC who for 24 years has welcomed Olympic, America's Cup and World Championship sailors to the Coast to contest the one-design class in 30-foot keelboats, enthralling Coast visitors with its picturesque action just off the Mooloolaba Beach. Fleets of 40 or more yachts have annually contested the event which is well-known as a pinnacle Australian sailing event.

The MYC have joined forces with Queensland Government MP and local member Fiona Simpson who has formed a working group representing all interested parties, to achieve a loud voice to the Government around what needs to be achieved with the coastal bar now and in the long-term.

Ms Simpson is calling on the Government to immediately contract a significantly larger dredge to clear the sand shoals at the harbour entrance. It won't help the Etchells event this year, but it will assist greatly now, giving safer access to the busy harbour for passing yachts along with the harbour's recreational and commercial vessels.

"There is also the permanent solution which address safety and the environmental challenges around the harbour entrance," Ms Simpson added. "They (Queensland Government) need to engage with stakeholders and put in place a plan to go ahead."

With the Government taking an interventionist approach now Ms Simpson doesn't see any reason for the Etchells Australasian Championship not to go ahead next year. "This is a fight we have got to win; this port is too important," Ms Simpson said of the harbour entrance that needs to be made safe and reliable.

She is encouraging all boaties of all size and type to raise their voice on the Mooloolaba Harbour entrance by signing her petition here.

Related Articles

Etchells Southern Area Championship
Saturday lost to bad weatherm, but the PRO made the right call Saturday left us fully rigged and fully kitted but with no sailing; a last minute decision cancelled racing for the day due to the high winds and turning tide. In the end a good decision by PRO, to avoid a tricky sea state in the strong breeze. Posted on 12 Jul
Etchells Cowes Fleet Red Funnel Regatta
16 Etchells take to the water over the weekend Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June saw 16 Etchells take to the Solent for the Red Funnel Regatta. The fifth event of the series hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club produced some extremely close racing throughout the fleet. Posted on 27 Jun
Etchells Saida Cup Regatta
Tango win Royal Thames YC event in the Solent Saturday was looking like champagne sailing conditions until the hints of a sea breeze swung the wind left and led to postponement while the race committee battled the shifts and relaid the course. Posted on 16 Jun
Training By The Numbers
How data is driving precision training in the Olympics and beyond "The art of sailing is about having a feel for the boat and the water beneath you." - Sir Francis Chichester. No one would disagree with Sir Francis Chichester's timeless statement, but of course, as well as being an art, sailing is also a science. Posted on 3 Jun
Etchells Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy
Some extremely tight racing for the Cowes fleet With this year's series already well under way and teams beginning to gel together, the weekend brought some extremely tight racing expertly provided by the Royal Yacht Squadron race team. Posted on 2 Jun
Etchells West Coast Spring Series overall
Spectacular Orca Bowl finale, Lifted wins again! The 2024 Etchells West Coast Spring Series, hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club, concluded with the Orca Bowl this past weekend. Posted on 22 May
BMW Spring Regatta 2024 on Victoria Harbour
104 boats turned out over the weekend Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's last major event of the 2023-2024 sailing season, the BMW Spring Regatta, took place on 18 to 19 May on Victoria Harbour with fair winds and good racing conditions showcasing Hong Kong's yachting at its best. Posted on 21 May
Etchells Bedrock Trophy Regatta
A great turn out from the youth teams The second event of the UK Etchells fleet saw a fleet of 10 boats gather for the Bedrock Trophy run by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. Once again there was a great turn out from the 7 youth teams. Posted on 16 May
Sailing World Regatta Series at Annapolis
Knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay and its light, shifty winds paid off for local sailors Knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay and its light, shifty winds paid off for local sailors this weekend in the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series - Annapolis, as winners in 15 classes call the area home. Posted on 6 May
International Etchells Spring Regatta at Cowes
An exciting mix of senior and Youth Academy boats Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April saw the return of the Cowes Etchells Series. It was an exciting mix of senior boats, many of whom had been racing hard in Miami and Australia, mixed in with the Youth Boats who had been robustly training all winter. Posted on 30 Apr
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERZhik Paris 2024Vaikobi 2024 FOOTER