Exciting marathon remembers talented Northern Rivers sailor
FEBRUARY 23 looms large on the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club Calendar this year.
The Nick Peate Memorial race is being held, traditionally an up-river marathon.
It is named in memory of an accomplished young sailor and former member of the club.
It is open to all sailors, club members or not.
The fastest boats in the fleet, the catamarans, gennakers and trailer sailors, race to Wardell bridge and then back, depending on the wind strength and direction.
The monohull fleet sail to a mark near Pimlico Island and back as their pace is slower.
This is a very exciting race, the experience heightened by the endurance factor.
Extra challenges which competitors need to negotiate in this race include passing the Burns Point Ferry safely, avoiding shifting sand and mud banks, and steering clear of wind shadows cast by various points on the land.
Competitors must race within the boundaries of the channel markers, any variation resulting in a possible grounding – something that has happened to many in the past.
The race is a wonderful adventure in terms of seeing parts of the river not usually sailed on.
After rounding Burns Point the fleet encounters cane fields on one bank and approaching Pimlico Island large stands of eucalypts dominate the landscape.
Steep chop frequently occurs on the longer stretches of river when the breeze has a chance to act on the water to raise waves.
This can make for some exhilarating runs (with the wind), riding waves but also trying to avoid nose-diving.
Heading into the wind against this chop can be quite harrowing, especially if the tide is flowing against the breeze direction – abdominal muscles are given a stern test!
The race is scheduled to start at 1pm.
For more information email the club at email@example.com