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Goolwa to Meningie 2013 longest freshwater race in Aus


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The Goolwa to Meningie Race in South Aus, Australia's longest freshwater race is on again Saturday 16th of November 2013, it's the 50th anniversary of the 63km as the crow flies adventure race with fantastic scenery, winding through the lower lakes and reaches of the River Murray in South Australia, this entire course was dry 3 years ago due to the drought with a bund put across the river to hold water at Goolwa now it has 640 square km of water in the 2 lakes. The race starts at Goolwa down the Goolwa channel across Lake Alexandrina through the creek called the Narrows, then across Lake Albert to Meningie. It might take you 3hrs or 8hrs to complete. Whatever the wind at the start most times it finishes on a good sea breeze. Don't let the logistics of getting to your trailer stop you, contact the club or myself as there are some steps in place to assist people, if you want an idea of the race heres a link to my summary from last year.


Here's the link to 2011
Meningie SC Club site is
http://www.users.on....ub web page.htm          

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  • 1 month later...

Looking like good numbers for this years race, just to clarify the catamaran handicap racing, the club still has overall handicap but has added the under 77 handicap for the faster boats on handicap and over 77 for the slower on
handicap. Separate to the club prizes to sweeten the pot in my division the under 77 handicap I'm putting up a Ronstan skiff wetsuit as 1st prize on handicap for fastest F18, F16, A Class, Nacra 5.8, Taipan, Stingray MK2 or Tornado see you there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The race is on this Saturday, we had great racing at Meningie yesterday, forecast is 14 to 16kts all day at Goolwa and Meningie so add a few puffs in there and should be a tremendous race. I have a spare crew available normally races on 5.7 but open to offers and still have a spare driver to bring a car & trailer around see you there

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Goolwa to Meningie 2013 summary as seen by Jeff Southall sailing on Nacra 5.8 catamaran, “Ram Raider” with his daughter Maeve.

We were blessed by the Hindmarsh Island wind recording station being quite close which enabled us to get real time data for the race. First start for the thirteen trailerable mono hulls at 8am saw good solid SSE wind around 15 gusting to 20kts which enabled the boats to point up and head straight down the river gradually slipping to the Northern side, we could see a definite line of wind through the middle of the river which all of the boats made use of until they slipped below it onto a knock and were forced to tack, a few boats like the Hartley TS16 “Y Knot” with Jeff Wright and Liz Southall were able to stay on the wind and even though the Hartley was a bit slow off the mark it was leading for a short while, they were all making good time and we quickly lost sight of them. Next start at 9am was off the beach monohulls with a lone 49er heading off flat out in the gusts, everybody on the grass was impressed with their courage but happy not to be heading into the waves off Point Sturt on that one. At 10am the bigger multihulls headed off with a Seawind 24 “Evolution” and a Farrier F-9R “Wilparina II” doing battle. It was impressive to watch how “Wilparina II” left it to within a couple of minutes of the start to put its sails up and just went for it.

Start for the thirteen off the beach catamarans was at 11am in pretty much the same wind as all the starts, it was a cracker of a start, two on the wire with a good gust just after the start line to get everyone concentrating, those on the ball made a mini break, heading down the river everyone was trying to stay as high as possible to make the first point but staying inside the channel markers with constant lulls, puffs and mini wind swings, everyone began sawing on their mainsheets and downhaul a process that wouldn’t stop till the finish. It worked out that we just pointed as high as we could for about five km handling the gusts until we got to the cliffs at Clayton where the gully wind was straight on, this entailed four quick tacks to again be going full bottle, we had been in touch with the leaders but this gave Darren Peter’s on his A Class “Halfway House” and Steve Kroon with Tim Wildy on the F18 “Painter & Docker” a good break with a fair pack of boats close behind us. The wind was forecast to swing for a 20km spinnaker run from Rat Island across the top of Lake Alexandrina to the Narrows but it held for a 20 to 25kt reach in about three foot chop coming side on and slapping our legs from under us. We were on a two on the wire screaming reach with the GPS showing a bit over 19 knots when we passed “Evolution” off Point Sturt, at this stage we were out the front with Darren and couldn’t believe how he handled the A Class, we raced him head to head for fifty kilometres with numerous lead changes. Well off Point Sturt we passed the 49er upside down with its rig stuck in the mud being attended by a rescue boat, they ended up having to leave the rig stuck there. “Evolution” dropped it’s rig somewhere around there as well, Once we got close to the creek between Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert called the Narrows we began encountering the mono hull trailer sailers, “Y Knot” was gamely sticking with them and by the end of the Narrows we had passed them all, this was a bit tricky in close confines with lots of tacks, big gusts and lulls making it difficult for them to anticipate us and us to anticipate them, we found that without exception they went out of their way to not foul us and a couple of times where we had to duck them it was handled good naturedly with a hold your course hail. We were already worn out when we exited the Narrows into Lake Albert with another 20 km to go as the crow flies straight into the wind with two to three foot chop and some proper gusts keeping everyone concentrating, we could see “Wilparina II” a couple of km ahead and Darren now had a 200 metre lead on us which we only closed a little before we got to the other side of the lake for our first tack. Out ahead “Wilparina II” tacked in the middle of the lake while we held our course, once on the other side Darren did a long tack back into the lake while we did five quick tacks in a small but stronger wind band staying about 500 metres to 1500 metres from shore this proved a winner and turned Darren’s 200 metre advantage into a 200 metre deficit at the end, for us to take the win in 2.50.48. We knew that Darren had put every thing into the race when he finished at 2.52.22 he pulled his boat on shore and collapsed leaving his sail flapping. Mike Crouch with sister Jo on their Taipan 5.7 “Too easy” came steaming home only to capsize about 500 metres from the finish enabling Rob Remilton F-9R “Wilparina II” to cross third with an elapsed time of 3.58.03 winning division 4, then after righting, “Too easy” finished 3.03.31, Paul Short on A Class ”Sunset Strip” 3rd on handicap 3.04.45, Tim and Josh Wright on Taipan 5.7 “Two Dogs” 3.06.02. In the over 77 handicap Div 5 1st Marcus Towell and his daughter on Yvonne “Natural Born Killer” 3.26.46, over 77 Div 5 2nd Paul Hawkins on Yvonne “Kinetic” 3.35.04, Peter Yates on Infusion F18 “Willy Flippit” 4.25.22 after jamming his tiller and running aground. “Painter & Docker” retired in sight of the finish after breaking a rudder pintle and running out of control into the reeds, Sam Dodd’s on Taipan 5.7 “Bulldog” retired at Narrung after pitch poling as did the Nacra 5.0, Kamil Zuber Hobie 16 “Pole Position” retired after going over numerous times within sight of the finish and finally having to get his mast pulled out of the mud. The gusts near the finish line that gave us the lift to the finish were serious puffs in the high twenties and caught out quite a few tired sailors. As usual sailing in Lakes is a gamble sometimes you can cut close to shore and get away with it other times you run aground fortunately it’s only mud in these lakes unless you get way too close to shore.

I got the feeling from the trailerable monohull guys I spoke to that the guys that took the time to put their number two up in the Narrows with a reef had a much better time getting across Lake Albert, as some of the boats were just too overpowered, “Y Knot” nearly capsized in a tack, a couple of boats turned and went home at Narrung and a couple threw in the towel and motored to the finish line.

The time taken for div 2 boats in handicap order were, 1st David Smallacombe Austral Clubman “Steeple Jack” 6.57.09, 2nd Peter Nielsen Blazer 23“The Shed” 6.57.24, 3rd Neil Sanderson MacGregor 26D “Cool Change” 7.21.46, followed by T Baldock Noelex 25 “Destiny” 7.26.52, L Edwards RL28SR“Elanora “ 7.41.14, R Moriss Farr 7500 “Still Fretless” 7.48.22, B Davis Ross 650 “The Ute Deville” 7.50.54, R Morris Farr 7500 “Still Fretless” 7.48.22, A Traeger Farr 740 Sport and I Scobie Farr 7500 retired.

Div 1 boats were 1st Mike South Bonito 22 “Misty Dawn” 8.14.45 and 2nd J Wright Hartley TS16 “Y Knot” 8.51.34

At the presentation Line Honours Jeff & Maeve Southall “Ram Raider”, 1st on handicap for fleet Jeff & Maeve Southall, Darrell Crouch Memorial Trophy 1st Meningie club member over the line Jeff & Maeve Southall, 1st Meningie club member on handicap Jeff & Maeve Southall, 1st for div5 under 77 handicap Jeff & Maeve Southall won the Ronstan Skiff suit donated by Animal Scanning Services (Jeff Southall).

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Thanks Goose my family would love to come over, I won't know until a couple of weeks before the start if I am free or not, being self employed I can keep pulling people forward and pushing people back for a while but last January I was flat out from new years day. If I can make it I will have my boat in tow with Maeve as crew and would be keen for some more tuning and driving tips from you and Bruce. I would say to the less experienced guy you've got definitely do the Nationals on his own boat, he would learn a heap like I did, you know I wouldn't have driven the boat like I did in this video if I didn't get the coaching from you guys at the 2011 nationals, I reckon Bruce Potter put an hour a day into me before and after racing, checking my settings etc. I tell anyone that listens the worse sailor you are the more you should do the nationals.

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