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Lake Macquarie: A terrific patch to sail on (and a great view from the clubhouse for sunset drinks)

14 February 2017 Robert Griffits

'Echo Beach' (Phil Matthews) competing in the National Championships on the Palm Beach Circle.

"'Echo Beach' (Phil Matthews) competing in the National Championships on the Palm Beach Circle."

Photo by:
Dingy Fever Photography

The Lake Macquarie Etchells Fleet remains alive and well up here on the NSW mid-north coast. Whilst the fleet numbers are down from the dizzy heights a few years back when the fleet numbered around 18 boats, the fleet has now stabilised.

Most weekends a solid core of six to seven boats line up to face the starter's gun for the two races that are held on Saturday afternoons.

The camaraderie is strong, both on and off the water, with polite, dignified racing, followed by the post race beer or rum to wash down the salt, after the boats have been put away.

Mark Holmes sailing, Fast Eddy, and Peter Cummings on, Learned Friends, usually share the racing honours. Having said that, the fleet racing is typically very close, and on their day, anyone can win.

There are signs pending for an increase in our fleet numbers. Some of our former fleet members are set to return, after a sojourn into other classes. (One skipper in particular is finding it increasingly difficult to field a football team along the deck rails of his larger yacht).

Three of our fleet competed at the recent Australian Championships held on the Palm Beach circle, off Sydney. Peter McNeill sailing 'Iris III' placed a credible eighth overall. Phil Matthews with, Echo Beach, and Bob Griffits on, Go with the Flow, found the offshore lumps and bump considerably more challenging.

Robert Griffits
Lake Macquarie Fleet Captain.


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