AND THEY'RE OFF: Sailing is set to get back underway on the Clarence River this weekend, with a return to racing for the Clarence River Sailing Club.
AND THEY'RE OFF: Sailing is set to get back underway on the Clarence River this weekend, with a return to racing for the Clarence River Sailing Club. Contributed

Clarence River Sailing Club opens new season of racing

SAILING: HOIST the mainsail and ready the jib, as sailors breach the Clarence River surface this weekend to open the new season of racing.

Sailing returns to Grafton tomorrow, with the Clarence River Sailing Club hosting the first of 29 races scheduled for the coming season.

According to club commodore Karl Cooksley, there are plenty of keen yachters who have been gearing up for tomorrow's first race back for some time.

"After the long break over winter, crews can't wait to get back out on the water,” Cooksley said.

"We're expecting some strong competition this year, particularly in the catamaran division.

"A couple of new boats are currently under construction and there's a lot of interest developing in this section of the fleet.

"It's good to see the cats bouncing back. Years ago they were hugely popular here but numbers had dropped off in recent times.

"If anyone has an older catamaran sitting in their backyard, I'd encourage them to bring it down to the club and have a sail”.

Monohull classes are also well represented, with solid Laser, NS14 and Junior Bic fleets competing each week.

"Other classes are most welcome too and the club's yardstick and handicapping systems ensure everyone competes with an equal chance.

"We're hoping to run another Learn to Sail course later in the year. Anyone interested should contact the club or just turn up on a Saturday and put their name down.

"Sailing's a great way to enjoy the city's finest attraction - the Clarence River. The club is situated on a long sweeping bend bounded by two large islands with a bridge in the middle. This allows us to set some fast and challenging courses regardless of where the breeze is coming from.”

Racing is held every Saturday from about 1pm. Spectators and anyone interested are most welcome.

The club has plenty of boats available for hire and a canteen operates during sailing hours.



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