The sailing day on 19th January was a bit of a new venture for the WBA since we have not held a sailing day in January in past years. Some of our members holiday out of town in January and we have considered that the numbers would not be sufficient. But this day of perfect sailing weather brought a number of members to the lake, some with boats, some without, some intending to sail, some intending to socialise. There were four WBA boats on the lake enjoying the 10 to 15 knot South-westerly sea breeze.

Begonia was launched with all of us watching the water level inside the boat intently. We were watching for those little fountains that appeared along the plank lands the last time Begonia was launched at the lake. Satisfyingly, David Stott’s attention to soaking the planks and allowing them to take up over a week or so had the desired effect. The new pump made by David produced gushes of bilgewater but was soon sucking air due to the absence of leaks.

Begonia looked her brilliant best under sail with Frank at the helm and carved across the lake at speed. The weed building up in some areas of the lake posed a challenge to Chris Kelly and I when we took Begonia for a sail.

Tony O’Neill is learning fast when it comes to the handling of his new catboat. He recovered from the ultimate test – a capsize – on the previous day. Sailing with his son, Tony had the boat well under control by the end of our sailing day. We look forward to seeing more of this boat at WBA events as the tweaking of its rig continues.

Paul and Karen Rubera sailed their extended and enlarged Tammie Norrie Beth in the relaxed style that the boat was designed and built for. The rig, the steering and the crew all seemed to be under very little stress as I sailed a lap of the island aboard Beth.

In the stronger afternoon sea-breeze Jeff and Jill Carroll were tramping along in Bluebelle. Pushing her to the limit they broke a halyard block and the mainsail came down. No more speeding after that, it was a slow drift back to APYC under jib.

This sailing day was a great start to the WBA’s 2014 events. For those who are not holidaying at some exotic location it was an opportunity to make use of the excellent APYC facilities that we are so fortunate to have available. To get together and sail in good company is what the WBA is all about.

Leigh McNolty.

Photos: Paul and Karen Rubera