By Liam Emerton
Heat three of the Sail CQ Club Challenge was hosted at Port Curtis Sailing Club on the weekend and what a spectacle it was.
The heat took place across Saturday and Sunday with local sailors being joined by Keppel Bay Sailing Club and Hamilton Island Yacht Club members as well as others.
The level of competition was incredibly strong especially on the opening day with rougher seas posing a greater challenge than the more timid Sunday swell.
For vice-commodore Tony Constance it was a wonderful turnout and great to see so many terrific sailors in action.
“We had some fantastic close racing over the weekend,” he said.
“We had quite a few high-level sailors who were the state and national champions in their own selected vessels.
“One of the highlights of the weekend, besides the state and national champions, were the younger juniors from Keppel Bay Sailing Club and Hamilton Island who had come down a long way.
“Watching those young kids and their confidence on the water was a fantastic thing that shows the future potential of the sport.”
Bringing high-calibre athletes down to Port Curtis can only benefit our own local sailing team, who certainly learned a lot from the more experienced sailors on the water.
The Port Curtis Sailing Club is always looking for ways to develop and improve their sailors both on the water and dry-land, meaning programs are constantly adapting and changing to help the youngest members of the team.
“Every single community club is really all about its members,” said Constance.
“We do encourage various different programs at our club whether it be learn to sail or discover sailing days.
“It is really important to get those young guns into the sport and get them enthusiastic.
“It is a great sport to be in because it doesn’t just teach them about sailing in the water but it’s good for teaching kids about self-reliance and getting on with the job when things are a bit tough.”
The club will be back on the water very shortly when they travel north to Bowen for the next heat of the CQ series.
For those who want to get into a new sport around the Gladstone region, there’s a special program coming up very shortly.
“On Saturday 6 November from 8.30am there’s a discover sailing day down at the Yacht Club,” said Constance.
“We have yacht sailing and dinghy sailing on offer, it’s a fantastic place to try and see what’s on offer.
“You can also meet a few people and you can see if the sport is for you.”
The results from the day are as follows:
Open Mono Division
1st – Joshua Young on Slipknot
2nd Andrew Patrick on Cowbunga
3rd – Peter and Chris Mann on Pigs in Space Too Too
Open Multi Division
1st – Daryl Skinner on Airpower 2
2nd – Andrew Finch on Bullfrog
3rd – Blake Smith-Jung on Redback
1st – Matt Eiser on iBoat
2nd – Robert Deards on Good Question
3rd – Jared Newton on Flash
1st – Jordy Fee on Back in Black
2nd – Caelan Byrt on Firefly
3rd – Emily Franceschin on Dreaming
Gladstone Today was out on the water to take some action shots as the sailors left the club house and ventured past the HMAS Gladstone II.