Following very soon after Hobart, Goolwa was on again this year, and I attended.

A feature of this years event was the arrival of the “Great Inland Cruise” boats, which had travelled downstream on the Murray river from Echuca to Goolwa.  Among the participants were WBA Vic members Andrew and Han Campbell in the tugboat Mars and Russell and Margaret Hurren from Nagambie in Agnes. All these members did the full trip, all 1,700 kms. Roderick Smith in Jessie joined the fleet and completed part of the route, although Roderick has travelled extensively along the river from Lake Hume to Goolwa over the years.

By all reports they had a fantastic trip, and Andrew told me he was a little sad that it was all over, but he was looking forward to sleeping in a comfortable bed again. Given our boats are usually day sailers, it was unusual to see Mars on the trailer at the boat ramp with significant amounts of marine growth on her hull, and a few battle scars from snags in the river.

Entrants at this year’s festival were down a little on previous years mainly in the small boat field, However there was still a good range of boats to look at and interstate friends to catch up with. WBA members Rob Ripley in Green Bean and Norm and Jen Boreham in Flexy attended along with myself in Penguin.

The weather was extremely hot for both days, (thank goodness for Penguin’s sun awning) and many participants jumped overboard for a swim around the mooring area.  Boats with stern ladders were very useful at this time.

It is a long trip from Melbourne to Goolwa for just a weekend, but I met a group in the caravan park that had towed their electric powered putt putt from Perth just for the weekend.

David Stott.

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Membership is open to all wooden boat enthusiasts. Many members own boats, others do not, but all enjoy the chance to get together and "muck about with boats". Their boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.

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