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Brisbane: The busy place

29 August 2016 Noel Paterson



It has been another big year for the Brisbane Fleet, with an increase in numbers from last season. A count in the past week has the Fleet at twenty nine RQ boats, twenty of which are on the trolley hardstand, and nine on road trailers on the trailable upper hardstand, plus three visitors. This totals an impressive thirty two!

The Etchells static crane is being given a twenty-five year birthday present at the moment, and will be out of action until mid to late August. This is a very necessary inconvenience, and we will be better off for it in the long run. The whole crane has been taken away for these works to happen.

The main change will be the length of the hoist, so that it will not be necessary to change chains etc to hoist to all road trailers and will be low tide friendly …Yay! The mobile Willy lift crane has been totally refurbished recently and gives us the buffer of an extra crane for the busy periods.

Since the addition of the John Harrison building, we have lost one of the mast storage racks. It is our intention to move the current rack and add another in the existing area. There may be an Etchells working bee in the next few weeks to achieve this and couple of other projects. My thanks to the club and to Eric the club curator for the beautification to the area behind the hardstand and surrounds, it is a nicer place to have drinks after sailing.

We have had talks with the club regarding the widening of the Etchells hardstand. It has been a pain from day one swinging boats into their bay without hitting the boat on the other side of the hardstand. We believe 1.5 - 2.0m of extra width will do the trick and propose to do this on the Flagship Drive side. Two metres will still leave plenty of grass, so it doesn’t look like a concrete jungle. We are resisting suggestions that we extend the hard stand to the west to accommodate more boats, as we believe the Fleet will contract again post Worlds.

The Worlds planning is going to schedule and we have many people outside the Etchells offering to help at this early stage. It is a little early to micro manage, suffice to say all is going according to schedule and enthusiasm is high.

Many of our Fleet have travelled far and wide this past season, notably Matt Chew and John Warlow to the Worlds in Hong Kong. We do not have a representative at Cowes in September, however David Irvine is making the effort to go to do a presentation there to attract entries for the Brisbane Worlds. We were well represented at the Nationals with the Chew team 5th, the Hudson boys 7th, Warlow 15th and Conde 17th. Grant Hudson almost took out the Australasian winters in Mooloolaba in June, barring a boat full of water he would have done it.

Thanks as usual to all of those who contribute heaps to keep this thing together. Dave and Sue Healey as usual, Marty as Secretary and amateur journo doing a great job, Mike Atkinson our Treasurer who has now moved permanently back to Kiwiland, Jason Hawkins our IT go to guy, Bradley Ginnivan who does heaps of signage for us and never charges (well …. perhaps a carton or two), and to all those like Terry Passey who continue to care about the fleet even in retirement.

Thanks to the Club for all of their help over the past year and for all of the special consideration that occurs for the Fleet behind the scenes.

The coming season looks like being a cracker starting with Series Three of the Winter Championship on the 27th and 28th August, followed five weeks later by the Queensland Championship at RQ. The late August regatta is a great feeder for the Queensland States.


Noel Paterson

Brisbane Fleet Captain


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