Champions crowned at Australia’s biggest fresh water race | Milang-Goolwa

By Harry Fisher

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

Following what was a challenging Milang-Goolwa Freshwater Classic in conditions that saw blistering heat and a lack of wind, the champions were crowned at the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club on Saturday night.

After a slight delay at the start while the race committee were waiting for the breeze to fill in, racing eventually got underway 30 minutes after the scheduled start time of 9am, with 10-minute intervals between the starts for each division.

The historical boats kicked off the day as division one, which was followed by four separate trailable racing divisions from division two through five.

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

Making up division six was the exciting sports boat division, while division seven was made up of a number of trailable multihulls.

Division eight was for the off-the-beach monohull classes, which saw a fleet of five Tasars as the bulk of the sailors, as well as a handful of other dinghies.

The off-the-beach catamarans made up division nine, which was the largest fleet in the event and provided one of the most exciting starts seen in recent memory.

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

Division 10 was the final division in the regatta and was specifically in place for the one-design fleet of five Restricted 21s, however rather than starting last they started on the division one start line with the historical fleet.

Although there were some boats that stayed in consistent breeze for most of the race and finished in good time, there were some boats that finished extremely late, while a handful were unable to finish before the cut off time of 6.30pm, which equates to nine hours of racing.

The presentation evening, hosted by the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club, saw a large turnout and was a chance for sailors to celebrate another successful year with great food and live music.

Division 3 off the start line in Milang. Photos: Chris Caffin
Division 3 off the start line in Milang. Photos: Chris Caffin

RESULTS

In division one, Fraser Buchan’s Iole was the overall winner, followed by Randal Cooper’s Wylo XI in second and Paul Simmons’ Beth in third with on one minute and 14 seconds separating first and second on corrected time.

In division two, Mike O’Reilly’s Oh Really was the overall winner, taking out the win in a close three-horse battle with Brian Doser’s High C in second and Simon Bath’s Kylie’s Carbon Race Bike in third.

Oh Really was also the first boat to reach the Point Sturt checkpoint, which has become an impressive milestone for sailors in the event.

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

Division three saw Phil Kelly’s Sand Castle take out a dominant victory both as the fastest boat, as well as on corrected time, ahead of David Barnes’ Windrunner in second and Derek Morrison’s Neopthyte in third.

Kelly sailed with wife Sue and son Joe and made the trip over from Port Lincoln to compete in yet another Freshwater Classic.

Don Richardson’s Encore was the best performer in division four, taking out a close victory ahead of Carolyn Butcher’s Sea Eagle in third and Adrian Schilling’s Serendipity in third.

Photos: Chris Caffin
Photos: Chris Caffin

In division five, the final racing division, Nicholas Steyn’s Blewbiu took out the win with a slender lead over Justin Stanbridge’s Mackie in second and Geoff Perry’s Anoqua in third.

The sports boat division was one of the faster divisions in the event and saw Todd Barlett’s Boatspeed 23 named Bohica achieve a solid win against a start-studded fleet.

Daniel Fidock’s Mainiac finished second, while Grant Smith’s The Spruce Moose was third.

In the trailable multihull division, Iain Macdougall’s Dux Nutts was the overall winner, finishing ahead of Rod Walter’s Shockwave in second and Robert Remilton’s Wilparina III in third.

The off-the-beach monohulls had a great tussle as most of the fleet was made up of a strong fleet of Tasars, however the eventual winner was Jonathan and Emily Ward in Tallulah, finishing ahead of Kym Widdows’ Fabulous Hornet in second and Adrian Nicholson’s Bang A Gong in third.

The off-the-beach catamarans definitely put on a show with Marcus Towell’s Raketvapen finishing first ahead of Charlie Coombs’ The Green Machine in second and Paul Short’s Sunset Strip in third.

Towell was also dubbed Cock O’ the Lake with the fastest time from Milang to Goolwa out of all divisions.

The final division, the Restricted 21s, had a very competitive race and it was Chris Reiffel’s Dolphin continuing its stellar form from regatta week to take out the overall win, finishing ahead of Lyndon Bartlett’s Endeavour in second and Graham Roberts’ Altair in third.

Excitement is already building for next year’s event with an even bigger fleet expected for the big race in 2019.

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