Juniors ready for Easter Regatta
THIS weekend’s Easter Regatta at the Whitsunday Sailing Club is providing an opportunity for some of Hamilton Island’s junior sailors to pit themselves against their mainland peers in their first ever sailing regatta.
The five juniors aged 9-13, who have learned to sail both through the Hamilton Island State School’s sailing lessons and the Whitsunday Sailing Club’s on-island weekend sessions, are hopeful that their practice will get them around the green fleet courses set this weekend.
The students have taken advantage of the school holidays for some last minute practice, sailing in almost zero wind the day before Cyclone Ita to a steady 10-15 knots the day after.
The previous week saw the children enjoying the thrill of speeding around in 20 knot winds.
Four of the five students have never experienced sailing in any waters other than those off the southern breakwater of the Hamilton Island marina, so the change of scenery and unfamiliar conditions of Airlie Beach may prove a challenge.
Sailing instructor and volunteer Johanna Winstanley said Tom Sharpe, Isabel Davis, Matthew Stephens, Michael Stephens and Chloe Reid, all approached sailing with an attitude of positivity, camaraderie and fun.
“It’s been with the full support of Hamilton Island that we have had access to such great Opti Tacker boats, as well as overcoming the distance to get equipment on and off the island in order to attend this regatta,” she said.
“I hope the kids catch the sailing regatta bug – making friends, wearing themselves out with good fun and getting that sense of achievement at the end of every race. I’m positive this won’t be the last the mainlanders see of our up and coming junior sailors.”
The Hamilton Island juniors will be joining a large number of local and out-of-town sailors, who have entered the three-day event starting on Friday, April 18.
With multiple offbeach races planned, boats from as far away as Mission Beach and Yeppoon have signed up to join in the action.
For more information visit www.easterregatta.com.au or call the club on 4946 6138.
RACE READY: Hamilton Island's junior sailors Isabel Davis, Tom Sharpe and Chloe Reid are looking forward to competing at the Whitsunday Sailing Club's Easter Regatta this coming weekend.