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Lake Eyre Yacht Club 2012 regatta


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G'day the 2012 Lake Eyre Yacht Club regatta is on from the 1st of July 2012 at a big freshwater lake currently mostly 7ft deep and a bit over 3 ft deep not far from the bank. The lake is bigger than the previous regattas and joins to another big lake via the creek so will have some fun sailing and plenty of racing. Currently the same amount of boats as other years are registered. The Marree Camel Cup races is on Saturday 30th of June then on Sunday people typically head to the camp site setup boats tents etc for a week of fun. Friday is pack up day with a presentation dinner at the Marree hotel. As the lake is on private property if you are coming can you go to the Lake Eyre Yacht Club site and register at


There will be the usual big fleet of 13 to 16ft cats but this year there are already more 18-19 ft cats registered

see you there

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I got the measurements mixed up the depth is in meters not feet the lake is 7.3 meters deep and 3.6 meters deep only 10 meters from the shoreline so it's going to be very easy to launch and retrieve. There is another opportunity to sail through trees this year up the inlet to the lake

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Heres a copy of an E-mail from Bob Backway

Regatta attendee,

It's another lovely day in Marree again - gets a little boring after spending May back in miserable Melbourne where I only saw the sun for 4 days. Over the past week the temp has been 20 or greater here and last weekend up at the regatta site it must have come close to the mid twenties. It's typically cold at night - almost freezing by early morning but as soon as that sun comes up it's like standing in front of a radiator.

We had a lovely sail on the regatta lake on Sat & Sun. Using my new depth sounder (on a sailing canoe!) and GPS we explored and sounded the area. The depth sounder measures water temp as well and it was pleasing to see the water warmer at 13.5 to 15 degrees compared to below 10 at the first regatta and 12 last year. Its amazing what a few degrees makes to comfort when immersed. We didn't need wet suits as it was a lovely warm day and we were criusing, but I will be certainly wearing one for serious racing and they probably should be mandatory.

The lake was 7.3 metres deep for most of the flat bottom area (that's metres not feet!). In many places along the western side the lake was 3.6metres deep 10m from shore. There were some sandspits that will be shown on charts, for example to get out of the camping area bay it is best to keep west skirting some dead trees.

We sailed south down the two way entrance creek to the lake as far as we could hoping to get as far as the next lake downstream however the sill that typically causes a Cooper lake to fill before overflowing to the next lake was dry for a few hundred metres. About 4km south of the camp is navigable in a typical LEYC adventurous sort of way with narrow channels and trees to challenge ones skills. We will do this as the "adventure" part of the regatta, probably walk to and have a picnic at the next lake and a race return. It's a good oportunity to see how the Cooper works.

In the afternoon we sailed to the top end of the lake and found some lovely sandy beaches. The usable area of this lake was much greater than I thought so even though it's smaller than Killamperpunna it's still well suited to our regatta.

Those who have been before will be surprised at the difference in scenery over just a few kilometres. The camp is better vegetated with 3m arcacias and the odd large coolabah. It is more like beach side camping with white sand clearings well sheltered from the prevailing SW to SE winds. As the desert is drying wildlife is concentrating around these semi-permanent lakes with lots of pelicans, comorants and seagulls. Dingos can be heard howling in the distance at night - but don't worry, up here they know humans have rifles and keep away.

I've been asked about generators. The admin tent will have 240v power from about 5pm to 9pm every night for charging electronic devices. I know of other generators that will be there including one large enough to power the welder that is coming with it. The admin tent also has a sat phone for use at $2 per minute or $1 per SMS. This phone can be SMS'd at normal rates from Telstra mobiles. The number is 0147 154 556 and it's best to ask your friends to SMS as the admin tent is not always attended. Of course mobiles don't work, not even in Marree!

The Clubhouse at Marree has a satellite internet phone 03 8683 5538 (yes the prefix s 03 so that our Melbourne family can call at local call rates) calls are $2 each to anywhere in Australa from this phone. Internet access s also available for $2 per 15 minute block. 2012 Outback Spirit - Lake Eyre Yacht Club Regatta windcheaters will be available for $30 each.

There will be nice, clean and freshly driled pit toilets at the camp and a dump hole for porta potties.

Camping fees are per vehicle. This is due to the rules in the pastoral act.

For those who haven't been before the timetable is generally (but flexibly):

Saturday: Camel Cup, evening BYO BBQ at Clubhouse and briefing in the evening. Please try and be at the briefing.

Sunday: AM drive to regatta camp (140km - allow 2 hours). PM (if possible) sailpast

Monday: Serious racing AM 2 races back to back, PM likewise.

Tuesday: More racing or round the lake sail with lunch at top end and race back.

Weds: Layday. Possibilities: Kids activities, "Drive where you've sailed" - a visit to last years site and Birdsville Track. Canoe/kayak races.

Thursday: Adventure sailing.

Friday: Break camp, possible sail on Lake Harry on way back to Marree. Presentation dinner Marree Hotel 7pm. Free showers at Clayton station and Lake Harry station ruins. Showers at Clubhouse $2 donation or at Marree Hotel $3.

For those who arrive late:

This years site is accessed via a locked gate for heritage reasons. We are planning to have a combination lock in series with the padlock. To gain access you must first visit the clubhouse to get directions and the combination.

If you are coming from the south and use diesel fill up at Lyndhurst hotel - its 10cents/litre cheaper and cheapest north of Hawker. Check your trailers and drive carefully.


Bob Backway, Belgrave Heights, Victoria, Australia

Commodore of the Lake Eyre Yacht Club http://LakeEyreYC.com

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