The Coorong Quays Goolwa Regatta Week kicked off today with the Club Marine Marina Challenge held in Coorong Quays at Hindmarsh Island.

A tight windy body of water was on the menu for the sailors with yachts racing in a time trial format starting two minutes apart.

The fastest boat according to handicap ratings would start first followed by the remainder of the fleet right through to the slowest boat.

The wind was extremely shifty and tricky with a puffy 3-10 knot breeze throughout the two heats, leaving some boats drifting while others were powering along and easily navigating the narrow track.

It was also great to see all the spectators and residents in the residential area of Coorong Quays getting amongst the event and throwing lollies and banter out to the competitors.

Photos: Chris Caffin

Photos: Chris Caffin

Residents would be hosting BBQs and parties by the waters edge supporting the sailors through a lot of friendly encouragement, some even got so creative that they had water pistols at the ready to give the sailors a bit of a surprise.

The results over the two races where vastly different due to the tricky conditions, however the top three boats overall were:

  • 1st: Elanora – Louise Edwards
  • 2nd: Destiny – Trevor Baldock
  • 3rd: Dolphin – Chris Reiffel

The Club Marine Marina Challenge was the first of many events for the week, with Vice Commodore Louise Edwards saying it’s a jammed packed week full of boating and socialising with friends and fellow sailors.

The week consists of sailing events for all classes and capabilities, from yachts to Sailability and radio-controlled yachts.

For those who are more socially inclined there is also the Dominant Cook-Off; a BBQ competition which this year is focused around ‘what can you do with a chicken?’.

The Dash for Cash is the final event of the week before the big Milang to Goolwa race and is held for boats with a CBH (Class-Based Handicap) of .740 or higher competing in a windward-leeward course sprint race.

Photos: Chris Caffin

Photos: Chris Caffin

But the big kicker is that there’s $750 on the line with the winner taking out the whole prize.

Locals say this event has great banter both on and off the water and is a great opportunity for those sailors to test their boats out before the big Milang-Goolwa Freshwater Classic on Saturday.

The full itinerary for the event can be found here.