Altona Yacht Club moved up to the lake for the annual sit around the fire and talk bullshit with a little sailing on the shores of lake Bullen Merri. This lake was formed millions of years ago when the western region was scattered with many volcanoes there were no inhabitants in these early days. Aborigines came along about 10,000 years ago and many corrobborees were held around the lake which provided them with fish there were probably many snakes, goanna’s and witchetty grubs this was the main diet of the early inhabitants. Present day Camperdown which survives on sheep and cattle as the main source of income for the inhabitants is a significant historical town with many old bluestone buildings in the township. The Clock tower in the main street is a major monument which rings on the quarter hour all day and night.

Back to the sailing on the lake 3 Tasars travelled up to Camperdown from Altona one boat sat under a tree for the whole weekend the covers were not removed but it looked magnificent on the trailer. Craig sailed the whole time with fabulous Phil in his new boat “Rebel Rebel” Phil looks magnificent with his new body has lost 10kg and looks like he has been lifting weights and working out in the gym. These two won every race except one where they were pipped on the line by Spiro and Tyson by about a boat length being cheered all the way by the shore spectators myself included. By then the SS Blackie had sprung a leak (SS meaning Sonata Six) She performed well in the first and third race winning the trailer sailor division with magnificent crew work by Spiro, Chuck and Mary. The 4 taipans from Altona had a mixed regatta Tom won some prize for being overall catamaran sailor. Brad the new State champion sailed 2 races won one then talked about it for the whole weekend over many VB’s almost a slab a day helped by Greg and Mathew. They had set the Taj Mayhal up in the usual position with a view real estate agents dream about prime position in real estate terms. The Chuck and Mary wagon was parked in its usual position, Ray and Denise brought the caravan along for an outing in the sun with Ray’s new dog which was chained up for the whole weekend, Socks was more interested in the smells of food cooking and the cattle up on the hill.

The competition for the best fire was on in earnest most of the wood provided by Pete Dyer who has a farm nearby. The big boat sailors was a pitiful affair with VB cans and bottles strewn around the fire never took off. But on the western side Gwyn, Harry, Alexander and co. all budding pyromaniacs rolled an old lamp pole from about 500m away down the hill into the water and floated it across to the fire site dragged it out of water then cut it up to burn, ended up being the best fire on the lake for the weekend. We all had to sit about fifteen feet away the heat was that great.

As to fishing on the lake, told by experienced fishermen that the fish were everywhere myself and Stelio trawled a lure around the lake for about 4 hours with no success only to find out when returning to shore some fishermen fishing where to boat was moored had caught 3 salmon in the area under the boat by casting power bait from shore. So much for having a boat on the lake, maybe next time we will learn so no fish was caught my us. Naomi caught a minnow (not the boat) off the pier about 2inches long wanted to cook it on the fire and eat it with Alexander. This was the only fish caught by AYC for the weekend.

Must give a special mention for Mary’s hamburgers cooked Monday night on the fire absolutely delicious best I’ve had in ages by then everyone had left and the 4 of us enjoyed the quiet and serenity of the lake until next year.

KEN20160329_092240 (1)

Bullen Merri

Next week Altona Yacht Club is going to Bullen Merri (near Campbelltown) 60 km. passed Geelong  25th. March Easter bring your bunnies

Sailing ins.

KEN20160206_132742 (2)


AYC members at state titles 2016

Altona Yacht Club had many sailors from the club competing in the State  titles around the state from Paynsville, Lock Sport, McCrae and Altona.
Results were.

At Altona Taipan State Titles

Big Bad Brad & son Matt 1st. at AYC  Shooting in  a 5.7 Taipan+ Spinnaker.

Greg Caines and Ross Neville an Awesome attempt in a 5.7 Taipan + Spinnaker

Lyn & Simon Sleeman 3rd at AYC  Mostly Harmless in a 4.9 sloop Taipan.

Tom Stuchbery 5th at AYC Desperado cat rigged Taipain.

Other State Titles

Jim Scott and Alicia first at GLYC in open division
James O’Brien Steve’s son second.

Shannon Wilson first in cat division at LSSC

Craig Shepard 24th at McYC in a Tasar.
Phill and Jess Kidd 29th at McYC in a Tasar.

Brendon Brown 4th at  Marley Point Overnight marathon in Boomerang 20 DK.


Congratulations to all and well done.

Saturday 5th. March Short Course Racing

Another lovely day at Altona Yacht Club, this event a 7 race mini-series is held twice a year once before Xmas and the second one the weekend before Labour Day. Labour Day also known as eight-hour day in Tassie and May Day in many other countries around the world included the Northern Territory (should be a State by now). This day commemorates the granting of the eight-hour working day for all aussies. In Victoria that date was set as May 1st 1890.  After WW2 the date changed to second Saturday in March (warmer weather better for drinking) that’s the history lesson for day. Back to sailing event – got off to a slow start due to lack of rescue boat crews, Jeff Gatt finally volunteering to go out with Reg on Altona ”rescue”.  Also lack of volunteers to tow the boats over to ramp and launch held up the start.

Finally, first race start got underway at 10.45am with 11 boats lining up. First across the line in the mono division was “Edge Off” followed by Trent sailing Dad’s boat “Go The Distance” they finished the race in 19 minutes. In the cat division which sailed a triangle and windward and return course Tom’s boat “Desperado” was first followed by Paul Campbell in “twice bitten” who has yet to change the name to 3 times bitten. Only Paul will understand this.

Race 2 Got underway at 11.20am. by this time the guys in the big boats were awake and on the course (Brad and Simon). Brad was first across the line in 14.5 minutes followed by Tom. In the mono’s Craig again won followed I think by the NS14.

Race 3 Started at 11.50 for the cats who started first 1st Across the line was Rob in the Arrow who completed the triangle in 18 minutesfollowed by Brad. The mono division started 9 minutes after the cats first again was “Edge Off” (don’t hassle the dog he’s not happy with you) then “Go The Distance”. After the last boat finished. Tim in the Pacer (Tim you must look behind you before you tack onto port, the starboard boats coming down the line had rights) we up anchored and adjourned for lunch, only to find out that all you ravenous sailors had eaten all the salad rolls.

In the afternoon the rescue boats changed crews, only for the second time this year we have had to revert to the roster, Jeannine chose to go out in place of Ian who sailed with Spiro on “Between the Sheets” (not sure about the significance of this name”).

Race 4 Started with a total of 14 boats spot on 2pm. For the mono’s Won by the NS14 followed by Killer. In the cat division with “Awsome” finally out for his one and only race for the day reason being did not want to damage boat before State Titles and does not need any practice in starting not sure about that one though?? Brad ended up winning with Tom second and Shannon coming in fourth but likely to win on handicap. Brad completing the course in 16 minutes.

Race 5 With the increasing breeze 15knots the fleet was down to 11 boats. The winners were Wayne again in NS14 and Tom Stuchbery in the cat division.

Race 6 The wind increased to 18 knots all novice boats were sent to shore. The stand out again in novice division was Hourami in the Sabre. Craig a was back in front with the withdrawal of the NS14.In the cats Tom won again.

Race 7 Only 8 boats started and completed the race winners were the same as race 6.

Next week the Taipan States will be held at the club and it seems like everyone who will not be sailing has volunteered, places on rescue boats are at a premium.

Only Figs this week from vegie patch on advice from club horticulturist Lyn I should leave pumpkins on longer to cook on the vines


Saturday was the day most sailors dream about 10-12 knots of wind not to hot but the sun shining. At Altona we scheduled 2 aggregate races race 19 and a resail of previous race abandoned this makes a total of 19 races sailed with one race to come the battle for the winners is on in earnest. Craig is still behind Howard with Howard not sailing last race going off to Tassie in the beneteau for a six-week cruise around the island (lucky bastard). Killers looking good. Simon looks a certainty with Shannon not sailing stayed home to mow the lawn so says dad Bob? Smithy and John are fighting it out in the slow mono division for with Ian and Jeannine looking good for first place. In slow cat division Ian in the Hobie is a good bet to win Where have all the hobies gone no see any more?

The course for the day was set with windward leeward and 2 gate marks at bottom of course length 0.7nm. Big cats doing 3 laps in both races small cats 2 laps. Fast mono’s 2laps then 3. Slow mono’s 2 laps then 2 laps. Four boats were entered in Novice division 1lap then 2 laps. The wind initially started off at 170 but as “rescue” took off to lay top marks the wind changed to 210 degrees a miss understanding by myself radioed to go to starboard 300m not realizing “rescue was pointing towards us so his starboard was our port but all finally fixed and set in correct positions with 130 metre separation of top 2 marks. The gate at bottom was approximately 5o metres apart. The start line was set very short not deliberately just the way the wind changed had swung the start boat around closer to the pin end, very little bias on the line was the outcome. On the start boat was myself and Stelio. On “Rescue” Bob, Peter Foxy and Reg who have finally mastered the GPS. Bob drove all day and would not let anyone else touch the steering wheel “quote if I do not steer I get seasick!”.

AYC welcomed 2 visitors from the little country of Holland half way around the world Hanze and I think Gretal(may be wrong). They borrowed a club pacer for the day paid their visitors fees and had a most enjoyable day out on the bay. They are over here for a wedding and I think they left someone at home to hold their finger in the dyke to stop the joint flooding. Both enjoyed a cold froffie after sailing and made friends with everyone Also returned on Saturday was Wayne sailing the NS14 with little Sophie.

Race 1 both starting divisions got of well with no mishaps, the mono division with 17 boats all trying to squeeze across became a little congested very little shouting and no protests. Slow up the first leg with the wind 8 knots. 5minutes later the cat division with the moth started with Tom and Brad leading off the wind had picked up to 10 knots by then all out on trapeze. Brad and Greg duelled all the around the course with Brad covering every tack Greg made to get away from Brad who was the eventual winner. Tom got away from Simon and won the mini race between the two by a big margin. The moth was having difficulty getting up on foils needed just a bit more. In the tasar division Craig with new crew (what happened to Debra?) won convincingly followed by Sean and (fabulous) Phill. Smithy was winner in sabre division beating Bernie by a big margin. The main race of the first race was the battle between Duck Tracy and the Ian and Jeaninne pacer the “duck” sailed by Gail and Bianca(who is still morning the loss of little Maxy the dog) was the winner then Ian followed by Sheik Taleb sailing with one of his four sons who was also first boat to cross in the novice division, followed closely behind was Hourami in the sabre. It will not be long until she will be right up with the leading sabres. As to the novice girls in the pacer Sally and Judy they had forgotten to put the mainsail in the mast track only found out after starting they quickly lowered the sail and hauled it back up and were finally away across the start line for the second time  last. The Dutchmen were no slouches sailing in the borrowed pacer weight may have been the main handicap in their performance.

Race 2 The start for the mono division started well with Howard and Craig of to another good start even the “duck” was well up on the blocks Phill had the “rastifarin Rocket” fired up and was ahead of Sean and Trent and went on to beat them to the finish by 4 seconds shows what a good start in front of other boats can pay results the boat that gets the breeze first makes it difficult for other boats to pass. All mono boats finished except for Sheik’s other 2 sons who pulled out after completing 1 lap. Ian and Jeaninne  Won this time in the pacer division Craig won again in the Tasar div. Big turn up in this race was the win by Bernie over Smithy in the sabre division. We on the finish boat were sure he was going to blow it screaming and waving to get a picture smiling all the way up the home straight eventually winning by a few seconds. I was so excited I forgot to press camera button on phone sorry Bernie next time. Hourami won in the novice div with the girls on club pacer “Mac15” second.

In start of the cat division Chris was flying down the line up on foils we had the individual recall flag ready to go up but just made the pin mark with ½ second to go it was the best start I have seen for a long time Greg in “Awsome” got off to a great start followed by the Shooter 10 seconds late. “awesome” leading Brad the whole race from then on and winning by 5 seconds shows again how the lead boat always has an advantage. Simon and Lyn were having a nap 100 metres from start along with Ian in the Hobie 14 at least 30 seconds late. Simon in “mostly Harmless” followed Tom in the cat rigged taipan around and showed in the final run to the finish he was not so harmless beating Tom by 1 second in the run home.

From the vegie patch this week Butternut pumpkins more egg plants maybe green capsicums have lots of strawberries put you’re not getting those!



Competitive Racing and a Community Atmosphere