South Gippsland Yacht Club
Launch of the 2015 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta
Australia Day weekend January 2015
On Saturday 22 November 2014 over 70 people, as well as Councillor Jordan Crugnale, Deputy Mayor, Bass Coast Shire Council, witnessed the unveiling of 2 magnificent historical posters at the RACV Club in Inverloch celebrating the launch of the Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta to be held over the Australia Day weekend in January 2015.
The launch was hosted by the South Gippsland Yacht Club and organized by the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta Committee.
Wayne Smith, speaking on behalf of the committee, highlighted that the yacht club, with the assistance of local service clubs, community groups, yacht club members and sponsors, is again running the Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta over the Australia Day weekend 2015 with the support of the Bass Coast Shire Council, local businesses and the local tourist association. The purpose of the regatta is to display to the public the variety of timber dinghies that were once common along Victorian beaches but are now quite rare.
The Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta will focus on timber racing dinghies of the era of around, 1940-70 and, in particular, the yacht class called the Moth.
This Moth was built around the same time that Pine Lodge was in existence in Inverloch and the first dates of a yacht race on Anderson’s Inlet is recorded in 1893 – this precedes most yacht clubs on Port Phillip Bay.
Inverloch’s Regatta Days commenced about 100 years ago and although they were a celebration where working boats of the day sailed, the event included a range of recreational activities for people in the town. This revival of the regatta over the Australia Day weekend will highlight the town’s history of maritime and seaside activities.
The Secretary of the Wooden Boat Association, Leigh McNolty, was quoted: “There is a major new event on the wooden boat community’s calendar. The Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta is going to become a must do item for those who are interested in classic wooden dinghies.”
Allan Driver, South Gippsland Yacht Club Commodore, thanked the RACV Club, the committee, the Bass Coast Shire Council, sponsors, local businesses and the local community for their ongoing support.
He stressed that since the inception of the yacht club in 1966, there have been many members and their children who have learnt to sail in Anderson’s Inlet and had been successful in winning state, national and international championships.
He pointed out that many of these members have given and are continuing to give their time back to the club while the children are now sailing as young adults at the club.
He continued by indicating that there have been yachts have been loaned or donated to the club so that new members and their children can continue to learn to sail and develop their skills. Currently, we have Optis, Mirrors and a Sabre in which juniors can learn, practice and have fun at the same time. He mentioned that there are now around 10 juniors who are now sailing on Sundays on a regular basis and developing their skills and moving from learning to sail to owning their own boats with which they can compete.
As such, we, at the club, will be encouraging the junior members to be involved over the summer sailing season culminating in the 2015 Australia Day regatta.
It is our hope that our junior members will enjoy the opportunity to speak with Tom King, Australian sailor and Olympic champion, who learnt to sail in the Inverloch area, and Jessica Watson, who became the youngest person to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world and Young Australian of the Year, when they visit Inverloch for the Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta over the Australia Day Weekend in 2015.
In closing, Allan Driver said that many families emphasise that “South Gippsland Yacht Club has been a perfect family club to nuture a love of sailing, skill development and friendships”.
Councillor Jordan Crugnale then unveiled the 2 new posters focussing on the 2015 regatta.