Regatta proves popular

HELPFUL weather conditions and high-quality competition ensured a "wonderful" weekend of action for the Richmond River Sailing Club.

Sailors from across northern New South Wales and southern Queensland took part in the latest instalment of the Ballina club's Ivan Bathgate Memorial Trophy.

PLAIN SAILING: Leprecon makes a move up the Richmond River in the Ballina sailing club’s Ivan Bathgate Memorial Trophy at the weekend.
PLAIN SAILING: Leprecon makes a move up the Richmond River in the Ballina sailing club’s Ivan Bathgate Memorial Trophy at the weekend. Doug Eaton

Races were contested in different divisions, with catamarans, monohulls, trailer sailers and various other boats all involved in the regatta.

Club publicity officer Rod Smith said there had been some enjoyable competition at this weekend's event.

"We are happy with how things went," he said.

"This is one of the largest sailing events in the FNC area (and) it is wonderful to get sailors from different areas together."

The event was due to have taken place last month but fell victim to the rotten late-summer weather.

Saturday's sun-kissed competition saw racers battle it out over the Richmond River, heading to Pimlico Island and back to the club's CBD base.

Sunday saw shortened races, with increasing winds testing participants' skills.

"It was a real battle against the elements," Smith said.

"There were some testing conditions .

"There were a few capsizes from the guys in the dinghies, but everyone was okay."

Smith said the event had helped further increase his love of sailing.

"I guess for me it is the love of the sport," he said.

"Sailing for me is a very pure sport. By that, I mean it is just you and the elements.

"It is great to be part of this event and the sport overall."

Meanwhile, the club is conducting a two-day Learn to Sail scheme for anyone interested in taking up the sport.

The event, which takes place over the weekend of April 6-7, will offer full tuition for novice sailors.

Boats will be provided and all are welcome to attend.


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