Club History

Compiled by Arthur Hodge, August 2008.
History of Mooloolaba Radio Yacht Club. Part A. 2000 to 2005. During the early part of the year 2000 a number of different activities were tried at Mooloolaba Yacht Club on Thursday afternoons. One of these involved a group of enthusiasts who got together some model yachts and raced them. We were particularly attracted to a model of the J class yacht “Shamrock” which was for sale at a reasonable price – however it was too heavy for us to lift in and out of the water. Also there was discussion on the merits of having a number of identical yachts together so that we could have class racing.
The sailing was off the “Commodore’s jetty” at the yacht club, between arms “A” and “B” of the marina. On Saturday 6th of May a meeting was called by Hedley Calvert to set up a club and adopt the “one metre” class as the club’s main yacht. We went along to join the club and on that day there were a number of visitors from similar Brisbane clubs who demonstrated various radio yachts. There were also a number of boats for sale. Visitors included Greg Willis and Malcolm Kampe both of whom joined the Club.
The Club was successfully set up, named the Mooloolaba Radio Yacht Club, and we adopted the International One Metre Class as the preferred class.
Elections resulted in the following officials:
Commodore – Dr Ross Sellens
Vice Commodore – Michael Grieve
Rear Commodore – Phil Gray
Secretary – Adrian Wilson
Measurer – Mark Arrowsmith
Patron – Hedley Calvert
From the initial meeting we signed up about 20 members and had contacts for another 15 or so prospective members. For the first few weeks we continued to sail at the yacht club between A and B arms, but it quickly became apparent that this location was far from satisfactory. Boats in the marina blocked the wind and the current was often too strong for the available wind. The only advantage was that the sailing location was close to the Club bar!!
We also tried racing from the Etchells crane area and although it was better than in front of the Club it was only marginally so. Soon after that we tried the beach at the Lions Park (Charles Clark Park) just upstream of the Wharf. There was a good area of clear water off the beach with minimum wind interference. There was some tidal effect and some sandbanks to avoid but we decided that this would be our “home” location.
To minimise clashes with big boat sailing (as most of our members sailed big boats too) we sailed on a Saturday. Some new yachts were purchased and quite a few second hand yachts changed hands and soon we had quite good fleets of 15 or more boats on a race day. Within a year we had a membership of 31 with good fleets on most race days, and we had 30 boats on the Club register.
We held our first interclub regatta toward the end of the first year and had 19 entries. It was won by Jeff Byerley, second place was Eddie Cowell and third was Michael Grieve.
During the year we affiliated with the Queensland Model Boat Association and through them with the Australian Radio Yachting Association. We also became a corporate member of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club. Right from the start there was mid week sailing although initially it was casual from Hedley’s pontoon as he had a waterfront property on a canal . The group of five or so who sailed from the pontoon were all retired and enjoyed sailing on the canal. At our first Annual General Meeting (2001) a new set of officials was elected, with the new team being:
Commodore – Terry Smith
Vice Commodore – Jordan Goulter
Rear Commodore – Arthur Hodge.
Secretary – Gary White
Treasurer – Val Hodge
Measurer – Mark Arrowsmith
Patron – Hedley Calvert.
We also decided to become an incorporated body, so incorporation of the club was arranged. Regular Saturday racing continued with good fleets on most days. The program was divided into four sections Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. We set up a roster of OOD’s to run the races and laid out guidelines for them. We utilised a number of rescue boats from small inflatable’s to aluminium dinghies, but the club did not own a boat of its own. A Club website was set up to publicise club activities, advise who our officials were, to show the Club program and the results of races. A number of new members joined the club and some of these people had no sailing experience at all. Teaching them to sail provided some challenges! Terry Smith proposed a Gold Cup competition, so we invited entries from all One Metre clubs in Brisbane. Getting a suitable date was difficult, and it was finally held in April 2002. It was a very successful event and we were pleased to have Greg Willis as the Principal Race Officer for the event. The event was won by Troy Forrest, in second place was Andrew Milne and third was David Jones. The National Titles for the IOM Class were held at Carbrook in January of that year and MRYC had 11 members compete in the series. The National title was retained by Craig Smith from Melbourne.
During this year we looked around for a better venue, as we recognised that Lions Park had some limitations, particularly with the sandbanks and the tidal run. Launching off the beach was not popular. For some midweek sailing we sailed at Mountain Creek and although the depth and lack of current were good, the trees around the lake made wind stability a problem when there was wind.
Mountain Creek venue not much wind!
We also applied to Lensworth who were in the process of developing an estate on canals in the Kawana area for permission to hold events on the canals or lakes in their development. This year was also busy on the international scene with the International One Metre Class rules being approved by the ISAF and the Heat Racing System and the Heat Management System both also being approved by the Radio Sailing Division of the ISAF.
Presentations on Hedley’s pontoon after a Club day at that location.
In May 2002, Jordan Goulter became the Commodore of the Club and David Turton the Vice Commodore. David Jones became the Treasurer whilst all other positions remained unchanged. The winter series was won by Mark Kennedy whilst the following Spring series was taken out by David Turton.
Mid week sailing had moved from Hedley’s pontoon as he had sold the property and was now being held on the Parrearra Canal at Kawana Island using a recently built recreational facility. The Tuesday group was operating independently and was building in size with sailing aimed at attracting new sailors, and a handicapping system which helped them win occasionally.
In early 2003 the Saturday racing also moved to Kawana Island which had the advantage of launching from a jetty and hence dry feet.
The second Gold Cup was held at Kawana Island toward the end of this season and was won by Bill Clancy with Graeme Turk second and Greg Torpy third. Jordan Goulter was the PRO and we used the Heat Management System with two fleets and more than 50% of the competitors were from other clubs.
Gold Cup at Kawana Island. 2003.
Mid 2003 saw David Turton take on the reins as Commodore. Greg Torpy was elected Vice Commodore with Arthur Hodge, David Jones, Gary White and Mark Arrowsmith filling the rest of the executive positions. Club sailing continued with quite a few visitors driving up from Brisbane to sail with us. The standard of racing was improving all the time and visitors helped push us to higher levels.
In July the Mooloolaba Radio Yacht Club formally applied to run the International One Metre World Titles in 2005 as it was Australia’s turn to host the event. A committee was formed to put together a detailed bid and to organise the event if our bid was successful. David Turton was the Chairman and the members were Greg Torpy, David Jones, Greg Willis, Jeff Byerley and Arthur Hodge. During this year we purchased an inflatable dinghy and an outboard motor as a Club rescue boat,and this was a valuable addition to the club.
We also won the right to host the Queensland IOM titles for 2004,so it was evident that the Club was being recognised as having the ability and personnel to run major events. In January we were advised that the World Championship for IOMs had been granted to Mooloolaba, so our planning started in earnest.
The Club Championship for 2003/4 was won by Terry Smith with the runner up being Arthur Hodge. We were aware that our Parrearra canal (Kawana Island) site would not be suitable for a world title and we made some moves to see if we could use the new rowing course in Quad Park on the recently formed Lake Kawana.
Initially we favoured the northern end of the lake as there were good shore facilities available. We held the South Queensland IOM Championships in this location and were pleased with the area,and following that regatta we made a permanent move to Lake Kawana. The Championships were won by Greg Torpy with Brad Gibson second and Greg Willis third. For this series we had 31 entries and ran the event using the HMS arrangement.
Competitors at the South Queensland IOM Championships. Location is the northern end of Lake Kawana.
With the World Championship coming up David Turton took on the dual role of Commodore and Secretary. Other officials remained the same as for the previous season. The sailing program leading up to the World Titles (September 2005) was intensive and included a Winter Championship in 2004, the Queensland IOM Championship in April 2005 and a series of four Pre World Championships between September 2004 and July 2005.
All of these events were run using the equipment, personnel and systems we expected to use for the World event and they counted as regional ranking events. The organising job was huge as just on the personnel side we needed 50 volunteers, plus 10 ISAF judges to run the “On Water” judging and the Protest Committee, and as well we had to look after the expected 80 competitors and their partners. The cost of putting on the Championship was also huge as amongst other costs we had to pay for airfares and accommodation for a number of international judges and jurors, but thanks to the Commodore’s tireless efforts good sponsorship was obtained.
As we worked our way through the pre worlds events we were surprised at the support from interstate competitors who travelled to these events. There was a good spread of winners including Paul Jones, Tom Butler, Craig Smith, Greg Torpy and Jeff Byerley.
Getting closer to the event the exact location of the sailing was proving to be a problem. Since we had applied for the event, the northern end of the lake had been built out, so we had to abandon that option. Also the development had been taken over by a new owner (Stocklands), so some of our earlier agreements were not recognised by them. We finally settled on an arm near the southern end of the lake which had a reasonable area to provide a base for the championship. We ran several club races here and it seemed to be satisfactory. In the area we were able to set three courses which covered most wind directions.
One big job was that we had to provide three temporary launching pontoons, so that the boats could be launched in deep water, and we had to organise electricity for the site.
Location of the World Championship, and the venue for all current Club sailing.
The allocation of entry places was under the control of the International Class Association (at that stage in the United Kingdom) and we ended up with 84 entrants from 14 different countries! One large marquee and two smaller ones were set up at the sailing area. The large one was general purpose, boat accommodation, work shop, battery charging areas and competitor relaxation whilst one of the smaller ones was for race headquarters and the other one was for measurements and catering.
All boats and all sails had to be measured before the event, but with an expert team of measurers led by Jeff Byerley this was achieved in the two days before the championships started. Invitation races were held the day before the start and all looked good for the following day. However during the night a violent storm destroyed the competitor marquee and damaged the other two. Luckily no one was hurt and there was no serious equipment damage. The tent people repaired the smaller tents and by the end of the day had provided a replacement marquee for the competitors.
The aftermath of the storm meant that the Championship started with 35 knot winds and all competitors using the “C” rig. With five heats for each race officials were kept busy, and organising the competitors was a big job. Toward the end of day one, some competitors changed to “B” rig as the wind lightened. The first race on day two was also “C” rig weather, but the wind gradually eased, and for the rest of the regatta either “A” or “B” rigs were used. Over seven days of racing with one lay day in the middle of the event we managed to run 24 races, but this meant having 120 heats! As each heat is was a complete race itself the officials and volunteers found the ten days quite tiring!
During the series we had a large number of spectators and we got good TV and press coverage. The availability of food on site was also a feature of the regatta with breakfasts and lunches for competitors and officials being served by volunteers. The eventual winner was Craig Smith of Australia, with Graham Bantok (GBR) coming in second and Paul Jones (AUS) third. Martin Roberts, Peter Stollery and Brad Gibson were next. Our Club’s best performer was Greg Torpy who came in 12th.
A presentation night was organised at one of the local restaurants and this was a great way to wind up the championship. The organising committee received lots of good feedback from the competitors, particularly the overseas ones, so at the end of the day the Club felt that all of the hard work to put on this successful major event had been worthwhile. Since the World Championships all club sailing has continued at Lake Kawana.
A list of Mooloolaba Radio Yacht Club members 2000 to 2005 is in Appendix A.
Appendix A.
Mooloolaba Radio Yacht Club members in the period 2000 to 2005.
Ross Allen, Graeme Irvine, Mark Arrowsmith, Tracey Jones, Roger Barnett, David Jones,
Peter Baynes, Rod Jones, Michael Bourke, Malcolm Kampe, Michael Brown, Shirley Kampe, Des Brown, Mark Kennedy, Russell Buse, Mitchel Kennedy, Tom Butler, Gregor McAllansmith, Jeffrey Byerley, Steve McBeth, Hedley Calvert, Bernard McMahon, Judy Calvert, Ross Muir, Betty Churcher, Adam Norris, Mick Churcher, Ross Rayner, Bob Collins, Yvonne Rayner, Eddie Cowell, Graham Roberts, Geoffrey Datson, Trevor Scott, Alan Fielding, Ross Sellens, Troy Forrest, Terry Smith, Jordan Goulter, Greg Torpy, Phil Gray, Joshua Torpy, Michael Grieve, David Turton, Ian Griffiths, Andrew Turton, Bill Heritage, Alf Walker, Arthur Hodge, Gary White, Val Hodge, Greg Willis, Annette Hughes, Adrian Wilson.