Yachts hit the water for Lake Fyans Regatta

The second sailing regatta of the post-drought era was held at Lake Fyans last weekend, and proved to be a huge success for the Stawell Yacht Club.

The regatta, originally planned for early February, had been postponed due to the extreme heat at the time, but still doubled the entry numbers of last year.

Entrants were hosted from other clubs in the south-west region of Yachting Victoria including Derrinallum, Warrnambool, Portland, Colac and Horsham as well as from the Melbourne area and Phillip Island.

Although challenged at times by the shifty moderate southerly winds on the lake, visiting sailors were more than impressed by the picturesque mountain views and varied birdlife.

More than thirty boats took part in the two days of competition, which included a fleet of twelve catamarans.

This division was won by defending 2013 winner and class national champion Luke Donovan from Portland sailing his Taipan 'Brute Force'.

He dominated the series with four wins and a second placing to take the aggregate from Stawell's Mosquito skipper Ross Bennett, with Matt Harper of Derrinallum third.

Stawell sailor and club treasurer Mark Knights achieved a very creditable fourth place.

If there was an encouragement award on offer, it should have gone to Alister Kingaged from Camperdown who acquitted himself well in a comeback to Mosquito sailing after an absence of no less than 30 years.

The junior division attracted five entrants who will go down in the record books as the first juniors to race on the lake in more than 16 years.

Line honours were shared by young Warrnambool brothers Jack and Sam Goodall in their modern O'PenBic racers, but they were outperformed on handicap by the Minnow dinghy of Cameron Marcroft from Horsham, who managed to notch up a perfect score of five wins to clinch the series victory.

Due to the involvement of several Stawell club sailors with the Impulse Dinghy Association, the club was fortunate enough to secure a round of the Impulse Travellers Series as part of the weekend's proceedings, resulting in an influx of boats which boosted the monohull division to seventeen entries.

The top nine places were taken by the popular Impulses, led by current national champion Paul Farrell, who won three races.

Commodore Tony Hillier praised the team effort by Stawell members and associates in running another successful regatta and thanked the SES volunteers, who generously helped out with their boats on Saturday.

He said the club also greatly appreciated the support of major sponsors Lake Fyans Caravan Park, Best Wines, The Dinghy Shop and Vela Velocita as well as Marine Timbers, Hempel Paints and Stawell Amcal Pharmacy.

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