Australian Outback Regatta - Sail Magazine

Australian Outback Regatta

Author:
Publish date:
A competitor sails the muddy waters of the Australian Outback. Photo courtesy of the Lead South Australia

A competitor sails the muddy waters of the Australian Outback. Photo courtesy of the Lead South Australia

There are any number of rugged patches of water out there—think Cape Horn or the Bass Strait. Now it’s time to add another—Poondulanna Lake in the heart of the forbidding Australian Outback, site of the 2016 Outback Spirit Lake Eyre Yacht Club Regatta.

“We only found this lake two weeks ago. We had weather up to 37 degrees Celsius (99F) and not a lot of shade, so you have to come prepared,” said club commodore Bob Backway, whose 220-member club was founded in 2010 but has not held a regatta since 2013 because of lack of water. Lake Eyre is Australia’s biggest and the world’s 13th largest lake when full, which it hasn’t been since 1974.

According to three-time regatta veteran Darius Kubilius, Lake Poondulanna—which is located about 500 miles north of Adelaide along the infamously tough Birdsville Track—is so shallow a number of entrants were forced to cut down their rudders to avoid running aground.

“It’s definitely not for everyone. For most it would be too daunting. But there are always those adventure seekers like me who are willing to pack their cars and do the long drive to sail the Australian Outback,” Kubilius said.

Winning the monohull class at this year’s regatta were Lisa Beecham and Dave Pullin, while Daryl Skinner took first among the multihulls. In all, 45 sailors took part aboard a score of different boats. For more on the club, which has adopted the motto “Ya gotta be jokin’—No, we’re not!” visit lakeeyreyc.com.

July 2016

Related

2018-BestBoatNominees

Best Boats Nominees 2019

As we approach the upcoming fall boat shows, perhaps the best word to describe the boatbuilding industry’s latest crop of new designs is “consolidation.” Specifically, in recent months we’ve seen a number of innovations introduced in years past continue to work their way up and ...read more

9781472947666

Book Review: The Atlantic Crossing Guide

Jane Russell & the RCC Pilotage FoundationIf you have a yen for sailing across the Pond to explore the delights of Northern Europe or the Mediterranean, you’d best do some homework first. There’s no better primer than this weighty tome, now in its 7th edition. It’s crammed with ...read more

shutterstock_63705382

Raytech Gelbox Line

Well GelledEvery so often you run across a product you never knew you needed, and then you wonder why it took so long for someone to come up with it. Thus it is with the Gelbox line from Raytech. These reuseable plastic boxes for low-voltage connectors are filled with gel, so ...read more

shutterstock_295810247

Cruising: Nova Scotia’s Bras d’Or Lake

I have rarely had a cruise that wasn’t different from my expectations, and my Nova Scotia travels have borne that out. For my friend and shipmate, Steve White, and me, our 2017 trip to Cape Breton Island and the Bras d’Or Lake on One Timer, my Sabre 362, was a much anticipated ...read more

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more