Ju­niors ready for Easter Re­gatta

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

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.

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