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Brisbane: Fun and serious business for fleet members

8 December 2009 Noel Paterson

Brisbane Etchells fleet

"Brisbane Etchells fleet"

The Brisbane Fleet has had a solid start to the season with 11 boats hitting the water at various times during the first half of the RQYS club racing calendar. The winter 'Come and Try' days has resulted in four new boats sailing with the Fleet and it is nice to see 14 completely new faces on the course, and in the bar after racing. It is our intention to run further 'C and T' days in the winter recess next year on the back of the success we have had to date with this promotion.

On a more serious note the Fleet has had two sobering accidents on the hardstand with two of our members falling from their vessels in ladder-related incidents. One of those members remains in hospital with a serious leg injury and will have to spend a month in hospital before he is released. I guess this is a timely reminder not to be too complacent regarding the dangers when our boats are on concrete and not in the water.

Our season is divided into two parts, the Spring Series and the Summer Series. The Spring Series has just finished and was won convincingly by David Healey in Rapscallion with Nev Willis in Ozzi second and Noel Paterson in Waterloo Bay third.

The Summer Series has just kicked off and will no doubt be contested with the same intensity as the Spring Series.

Vaughan Prentice in Funky Cold Medina has a six point lead in the Squadron Championship over Waterloo Bay with another one point to Rapscallion in third. The Squadron Championship is contested over the full season so there is plenty of great racing to go to decide the winner.

Looking forward a little, the Brisbane Fleet Championship is to be held on 21 and 22 March with the infamous Fleet Dinner on the night of Friday 20 before racing the next day; an endurance weekend to be sure. Some things never change.

Brisbane Fleet boats performed well in the recent Queensland Championship. Six of the first seven boats were from Brisbane. Mark Thornborrow made the trip from Hong Kong worthwhile taking home the holy grail with Noel Paterson in second and Mark Bradford in third. The Mooloolaba Fleet put on a great show as usual in absolutely idyllic sailing conditions with breezes in the 6 to16 knots range and blue skies; somebody had to do it ! That's the last time I am picking Mark's crew up from the airport !


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