Extreme heat pushes sailors to the limit | Milang-Goolwa Freshwater Classic

By Cass Schlimbach

It took a little time, but eventually the wind came in. Photos: Chris Caffin

Extreme heat and soft winds pushed the 110-plus boat fleet to the limit today at the Coorong Quays Milang-Goolwa Freshwater Classic.

It was great to see so many people still participating in the largest fresh water regatta in the country despite the challenges and concerns with the weather forecast.

Mike O'Reilly's Oh Really performed well in Division 2. Photos: Chris Caffin
Mike O’Reilly’s Oh Really performed well in Division 2. Photos: Chris Caffin

All sailors took the appropriate precautions loading up their boats with stacks of water, frozen bottles, and food for the mammoth 50-kilometre race.

The front runners were able to complete the race in roughly five hours, while other boats were becalmed at about Point Sturt for an hour, which slowed the process down for some of the other competitors.

We also heard that some sailors were getting so hot they jumped in for a swim, wore wet towels over their heads or poured bottles of water over themselves in an attempt to stay cool and hydrated.

CHECK OUT OUR POST-RACE VIDEO INTERVIEWS FROM THE EVENT

There wasn't much wind at the start of the race in Milang this morning. Photos: Chris Caffin
There wasn’t much wind at the start of the race in Milang this morning. Photos: Chris Caffin

After the racing while we were filming our interviews we asked each competitor how the race was and without fail every one of them responded by saying roughly the same thing – “it was hard and hot”.

Thankfully the wonderful volunteers at the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club were ready and waiting for the hot and sweaty sailors with mountains of food prepared and drinks on ice.

Congratulations to all sailors who braved the extreme conditions and sailed the race. Whether you finished or not, it was a great effort to be on the water today.

After turning right at Point Sturt the fleet were able to crack sheets. Photos: Chris Caffin
After turning right at Point Sturt the fleet were able to crack sheets. Photos: Chris Caffin

Great work by the divisional winners who managed to stay on the ball for the whole 5-8 hours of racing, congratulations!

Stay tuned to the Goolwa Regatta Week website as the results will be finalised shortly.

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