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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Children inspired to sail

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‘Byron’s dead’. That’s the statement that I often hear. Or ‘I never go there anymore it’s lost’ or ‘Byron died years ago’. It always makes me feel a bit sad and defensive. I have such a love for this place, although I curse it when I get stuck in snaking traffic at 8am on a weekday morning or I can’t find a park near where I am going.

Isaac (aged 15) training on the TVSC’s Laser.

Bill Fenelon

Junior and teenaged sailors took a step up to the next level last Sunday morning at Fingal when visiting Australian Sailing instructor Connor Pilcher and coach Melanie Watson led an inspiring session for the Tweed Valley Sailing Club (TVSC).

The improvements in sailing skills in just an hour were noticeable especially for 16-year-old Imogen, who had her first taste of dinghy sailing. A recent voyage on tall ship The Young Endeavour inspired Imogen to search for a local sailing club and coach Melanie got her sailing singlehanded right from the start.

Imogen was keeping up with more experienced sailors within a very short time. 

Isaac, a regular crewman on a Hobie 16, took out the club Laser and proved his skills extend to monohulls as well.

Melanie and Connor are both only 18 but have been teaching sailing for several years. The dinghy instructors course is open to anyone age 14 and over it’s a great way to earn some pocket money and a skill that you can use to travel the world.

The club also held race three of the Winter Series on Sunday afternoon. The fleet was half the size of the usual with just seven boats racing a three-lap course – with a few dolphins joining them on the last lap. 

Well done to Matt Andrews and Igor Prado on NS14 Impulsive Max for taking line honours and to first Corsair, Nimbus (Scott, Debbie and Sahara Jones).

Overall Winner on handicap was Mauri Meyer on Laser Vickie II.

Coming up on August 31 is the big event of the Tweed sailing year, the Tumbulgum Passage Race from Condong to Fingal.

The summer race series starts in October and a 16ft Corsair is up for grabs for a crew of three 13–18-year-olds to compete on – full training available.

Contact Alison at
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