GUTSY IN THE GUSTS: The action was hot on the Clarence's surface with competitors bracing tough heat and wind conditions for the Bridge to Breakers.
GUTSY IN THE GUSTS: The action was hot on the Clarence's surface with competitors bracing tough heat and wind conditions for the Bridge to Breakers. Debrah Novak

Sailors lap up strong westerly in hotly contested Bridge to Breakers

SAILING: The Bridge to Breakers Regatta at Big River Sailing Club has become an icon in the sailing calendar for the Northern Rivers and southeast Queensland.

The event this year was a massive success sailed in a smashing westerly wind on Saturday and a much more manageable and enjoyable southeasterly breeze on Sunday.

In this event boaties can sail just about anything that floats. The almost 50 entires ranged from single handed dinghy's, single handed and two up catamarans, trailable sports boats, vintage design two handed dinghys called Herons and trailable yachts all the way up to a 34 foot yacht and a trimaran.

Perhaps the most colourful of entries are the sports boats with giant asymmetric spinnakers and the catamarans with their multicoloured sails.

The Big River Sailing Club's annual Bridge To Breakers Regatta on the Clarence River on Saturday, 5th November 2016.
The Big River Sailing Club's annual Bridge To Breakers Regatta on the Clarence River on Saturday, 5th November 2016. Debrah Novak

The competition was at times fierce during the regatta but always remained friendly. Saturday's race saw boats make their way down river towards Iluka. After turning the corner in the river at Goodwood Island that was when things became really interesting as the westerly wind was blasting through a corridor across the Serpentine Channel.

"From my position in the fleet I could see the yachts ahead of me being knocked down and rounding up severely as gusts hit,” club publicity officer Lea Foster said.

After the blustery wind and heat of Saturday an alfresco dinner was staged on the club lawns. Club volunteers catered for close to 100 people providing a BBQ that satisfied all the weary but voracious sailors, family and friends.

Sunday's weather was much more hospitable and the afternoon sea breeze provided ideal racing conditions, this time closer to the clubhouse. Final results of the regatta are available on the Big River Sailing Club website.

The Big River Sailing Club's annual Bridge To Breakers Regatta on the Clarence River on Saturday, 5th November 2016.
The Big River Sailing Club's annual Bridge To Breakers Regatta on the Clarence River on Saturday, 5th November 2016. Debrah Novak


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