Wooden boat regatta huge success

Wooden Boat Regatta at Ballina.

Wooden Boat Regatta at Ballina.

Val Hodgson

Over 20 wooden boats took to the water last Sunday to celebrate the third Annual Wooden Boat Regatta at Ballina.

Full moon and unusually high tides conspired to hide the sandy beach in front of the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club during the morning, forcing most of the sailing boats to rig up on the grass.

This made for a spectacular display for the many spectators and wooden-boat enthusiasts who came to admire the variety of boats.

Some of the older boats presented were raced on the Richmond River more than 30 years ago.  One VJ on display won the 1968 Australian Championship.

Motor vessels were represented by a 1950s open racing boat, and a diesel-powered putt-putt. Two NS14s were present that were designed by Malcolm Eggins, renowned Grafton builder of NS14s.

The overall winner of the day was the newly launched and named Storm Bird, a gaff-rigged clinker sailing dinghy, built in the traditional style by Goonengerry’s Barry Kean and Meerschaum Vale’s Paul Webb.

More than 100 people enjoyed the sensational sausage sandwiches, as well as beautiful weather, for the fun-filled day of wooden boats.

Well done, Richmond River Sailing Club!

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