Despite the unfavourable weather forecast, a number of intrepid souls turned out for the sailing day at Werribee South. Under heavy skies, Chris Kelly’s punt, David Stott’s Penguin, Tom McAdam’s Skerry Rosalie and Jim & Penny’s Drascombe Lugger launched at the nearly deserted ramp and headed up the Werribee River against the gently ebbing tide.

At a leisurely pace, this motley company putt-putted (Chris, David, Jim & Penny) and rowed (Tom) along, enjoying the scenery, birdlife and sunshine-y breaks in the clouds as the weather cleared. We were also lucky enough to be treated to some aerial displays, as pilots from Point Cook RAAF Museum practiced barrel rolls and inside and outside loops overhead. At the amazing K Road cliffs, we rafted up for lunch and learned that Frank Raisin (with canoe Th’ Gnu II) and Leigh & Kerrin McNolty (with Mirror) had arrived at the ramp. A brief but heavy shower allowed David to try out Penguin’s new bimini and we set off back with the tide at its lowest to meet up with the others. A stiff headwind did not deter Tom, whose steady rowing pace was most impressive, while some of us had close encounters of the fishing-line kind with anglers on the riverbank.

Back at the ramp, Frank had launched Th’ Gnu II in the freshening wind and Tom continued rowing Rosalie down the dredged channel to try her out in the choppy waters of Port Phillip. Leigh and Tom then enjoyed some swift sailing in the Mirror before we all repaired to some (comparative) shelter to enjoy afternoon tea. The WBA first-aid kit also experienced its first outing, called into service to attend to the minor injury incurred by The Prez on the concrete ramp. Thanks to everyone who sailed, rowed, or putted, and also to Andrew Cohen and Mick Bentvelzen who came along to wish us well, the day was declared a success.

Penny Braybrook

Photos by Kerrin McNolty and Chris Kelly