Goolwa set to host exciting Sharpie Sprint Series

By Harry Fisher

Goolwa locals Harry Cooper and Alex Blacker are excited to host this year's SA Sharpie Sprint Series.

A fleet of about 12 Sharpies will take to the waters off the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club this Sunday for the first SA Sharpies Sprint Series to be held in the region.

With a strong presence across South Australia, the Sharpie is showing continuous growth and how now recently expanded into the south coast country town of Goolwa after local sailors Alex Blacker and Ben Kelsey brought boats into town.

The sprint series event, which consists of six short races on the Sunday afternoon, will kick off the 2018/19 Sharpie season. It is a big year for the class in SA, with the national championship at Adelaide Sailing Club starting on 28 December that is expected to draw a fleet of 80 boats and 240 competitors.

Having sailed a number of other classes around Goolwa, Alex said he moved to the Sharpie class for its competitive racing, combined with its infectious social atmosphere.

“The Sharpie lifestyle is perfectly suited to Goolwa, as it is about racing hard but also having a good time off the water,” he said.

“We’re stoked the state association decided to take one of its marquee events to Goolwa as it’s a great way to grow the local fleet and showcase what the town has to offer.

“I expect more local sailors will jump in the class in future years, especially as the class has a strong focus on bringing in 18 to 25-year-olds at the moment.”

Alex Blacker racing his Sharpie in Goolwa.

This weekend’s event will be a great one for spectators as well, with racing within arm’s reach of the club’s jetty, and also with the inclusion of a VIP spectator boat on the race course, which is sponsored by DogRidge Wines in McLaren Vale.

The spectator boat was organised as a way to give those closest to the sailors, such as their friends and partners, a close-up look at the racing. And seeing as the racing isn’t worth any state championship points, it has been decided that the spectator boat will be located right in the middle of the race course.

While the major competition for the weekend will be held on the Sunday, sailors are deciding to make a weekend of it with an adventure race to be held on the Saturday morning, followed by an AFL Grand Final Party at the yacht club, which the public has been encouraged to attend.

Hosting the event in Goolwa has received a lot of positive feedback from the Sharpie community across Adelaide as well with many sailors looking forward to the weekend away.

Seeing as Goolwa is only about an hour’s drive from Adelaide, it makes it an easy trip away for families.

Racing kicks off at about 12 noon on Sunday and is expected to run for about 2-3 hours.

Stay tuned to the SA Sharpies Facebook page for all the updates throughout the day.

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