The 54th International Mirror Class Australian Championship was on after Christmas, and Daniel, my fellow Mirror sailor at Altona, was keen. We invariably fight it out for second last place in the local club races, but perhaps we could get lucky and come maybe third last for a change.
I wrangled my Mirror 57868 (circa 1977) onto the roof of the car, hitched up Daniel's 15823 (circa 1969) on a trailer behind, Daniel hitched up his splendid 10 foot Franklin caravan as our accommodation, and we headed down to Paynesville.
The Championship was hosted by the hospitable and wonderfully efficient Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club, organized in conjunction with the Mirror Class Association of Australia. I think 16 Mirrors entered, 10 mostly fibreglass in the serious Racing Division, and 6 all wood construction in the more relaxed "Jib and Main" (JAM) Division.
Further to my earlier story of ‘rescuing my holed boat’, Hanh and I remained camped at a secluded boat ramp on the Murray River for a couple of days, so were casual observers of what seemed to be a daily pattern. We mostly occupied ourselves reading, collecting firewood and I picked up ancient rubbish, dropped by earlier visitors and watched the occasional river traveller pass.
The boat ramp was well provided for by council, having not only a double paved boat ramp and carpark but a large free undercover BBQ area, environmental toilet, rubbish bins and a bush BMX bike track, a bit of grassed open space and lightly forested space.
For such a secluded place we were surprised to find a variety of visitors to the ramp, visiting for many different reasons.
Our Christmas Party was well attended with a role up of 38 people all bringing a plate to share and the BBQ conducted by Andrew Cohen and Mick Benveltzen. Thank you to you both for your culinary duties!
Graham Signorini had the club boats out and in the water and these were enjoyed by members sailing after lunch and ably packed up with Leigh McNolty's assistance.
We had a couple of presentations to be done during the festivities ...