Summer dinghy sailing at Inverloch, Victoria

So far we’ve had a mercifully mild winter, but lots of us are no doubt looking forward to summer and the water.

https://www.magisto.com/video/K1kbYlxSHywqThJiCzE

But down at the wooden dinghy regatta at Inverloch in Australia, they’ve been having broad sunshine, blue seas and fine dinghy sailing. And following their annual regatta local Jeff Cole tells me they’re already working on the next one.

Jeff’s particularly proud of the progress the revived Sailfish class has been making, by the way. From the gallery pictures on the Sailfish class website, I’d say they were doing very well indeed.

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Veteran and vintage dinghies sailing in the Australian sun

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It happens every year. Just at the moment when our English winter starts to get me down, someone sends over a couple of fabulous photos that make me sigh and wish I could be somewhere else, and out on the water.

This time it’s the turn of Jeff Cole, intheboatshed.net regular (see these posts) who has sent over a couple of shots taken by HS (Hans) of the Woodenboat forum.

Here’s what he says:

‘Hi Gavin, I’ve been busy restoring boats for a local wooden dinghy regatta. The Iain Oughtred-designed Macgregor canoe needed some serious attention and an Australian Sailfish that my cousin and I built in 1963 had to be completely restored as it had had a hard life through various branches of the family and always leaked through a badly underbuilt centreboard case. But she came up well, and dry!

‘My cousin Andy had not sailed the boat for at least 35 years, but on the day I couldn’t get him off it!

‘Most of the boats were older racing class boats, but mine was unique. The oldest was a Sydney 15 footer, an open clinker built boat nearly 100 years old and another from the 1950s in rather delicate condition but when they got it going it stormed through the fleet, including the modern boats.

‘The rest were mostly John Boats, Jolly Boats, Moths, Mirrors and Herons.

‘The regatta was at the Victorian coastal town of Inverloch. Due to changes to the estuary the water we were sailing on was very narrow and shallowed abruptly at the edges of the sandbars at low tide. What with the vintage fleet swanning about and the normal club races and a fleet of personal water craft buzzing around it got quite crowded. But it was a fun weekend, with 2.5 days of sailing and half a day of show and tell in the park.

‘There are more pics on Woodenboat forum Antipodean Boats Connection thread, people and places, page 309.

‘Jeff”

Thanks Jeff!

Jeff that his part of Australia has fires and no rain at all as is becoming usual – although his local area has not had fires, they’re getting thick smoke from all of 200kilometres away. That’s quite a contrast to the succession of storms we’re seeing here, but may well be due to the same cause. And yet we go on consuming and flying… I guess folks don’t see an alternative.