Sunshine and balmy breezes provided for champagne sailing during the Windcraft Owners Rally held in the waters of Safety Beach on the stunning Mornington Peninsula.
A well-known sailing destination with its own casual bare-foot yacht club, this holiday feel location was perfect for a day jam packed with fun and relaxed competition.
Windcraft boat owners travelled from all over Port Phillip Bay including Blairgowrie, Sandringham and Williamstown to be part of the 12 strong fleet. Bruce Hollioake, on his Hanse 430E ‘Wild Honey’ came from Geelong, a good six hours away by water – now that’s committed!
Jade Cole, Windcraft Melbourne says, ‘the rally was a mix of owners, with first timers through to experienced racers. And the vibe was so relaxed, experience didn’t make any difference to the spirit of the day’.
Bruce had never raced his Hanse before and says, ‘this was my first yacht race as a skipper. In fact, it was the first ever race for my partner Anna and the first ever sail for my other crew member. Even though I was nervous the atmosphere was encouraging. Jade was in contact with me throughout the race and fellow yachties helped us dock. Everyone was very supportive, I learned so much, it was perfect for my first experience’.
Megan Jackson, Hanse 385 ‘Cocoon’ says, ‘this is our third rally and it’s always a sensational weekend. The winds became light and fluky during the races which challenged the smaller boats, including us. We got a few good light wind trimming tips from Jade’s husband Aaron and his helpful colleagues from North Sails who were supporting the event’.
Anchoring for lunch in front of the red cliffs of Martha Cove gave protection from the Northerly wind and swimming was the order of the day. The cold beer and wine delivered by Nick and Fiona from Windcraft was much appreciated and helped everyone keep cool in the 35-degree heat.
The party kicked off at Safety Beach Yacht Club overlooking a beautiful sunset – the idyllic location to celebrate the day’s events.
Ninety people including crew and staff chowed down on a sumptuous buffet and danced the night away, taking it in turns to cool off on the balcony in the steamy temperatures.
Bruce Hollioake says, ‘I didn’t know anyone, but I do now. As a first timer it was great to speak to other Hanse owners – I found out how others modify their boats to suit their needs and how to improve performance – I learned so much and had immense fun in the process’.
Megan Jackson says, ‘after the celebration and presentation we slept on our boat at the marina – it was so hot the kids slept on deck, it was a great experience for them. Then in the morning Jade bought muffins, juice and coffee to the Windcraft owners who stayed at the marina – it was beaut, and we all got to connect again before saying goodbye’.
Windcraft Support Crew:
Windcraft provided an all-round combination of support and experience with Mary Bickley and Iain Bishop from Sydney and Jade Cole and her team from Melbourne. They all pitched in to make every aspect of the rally top notch.
A big shout out to our supporting partners – Helly Hansen, North Sails and Lejen Marine for supplying a fantastic array or prizes. Our Windcraft community were blown away by your generosity.
Special thanks go to Lejen Marine for the early bird prize, an inflatable stand up paddle board and Helly Hansen for the lucky door prize, a fabulous sailing jacket.
Fun Race – Extras
3rd: Wild Honey
Fun Race – Non-extras
3rd: Y Knot
Windcraft Perpetual Trophy Race
2nd: Y Knot
The Windcraft owners rally really is inspirational – everyone is encouraged regardless of experience. Ideas and knowledge are shared and the Windcraft family pull together to look after each other.
First timer Bruce says, ‘it was such an informative and instructional weekend and what I learned was invaluable. I can’t wait for next year’.
Thanks Bruce, that says it all!
More Pics here