Easter regatta sailing in historic Tasmanian waters

Yachts competing in the Barnes Bay Regatta and the Port Esperance Regatta over Easter will be sailing in some of southern Tasmania’s most historic waterways, the DÉntrecasteaux Channel.

The two regattas offer a weekend of racing and cruising with social activities ashore at the one-time Quarantine Station on Bruny Island on Good Friday and at Port Esperance Sailing Club at Dover on Easter Saturday and Sunday.

Dutchman navigator Abel Tasman sighted the southern entrance to the Channel in 1642 and Frenchman Bruni dÉntrecasteaux surveyed the Channel in 1792.  Another notable French explorer,  Nicholas Baudin, anchored his ships Georgraphe and Naturaliste at Port Esperance in 1801.

Yachts in the Barnes Bay Regatta racing off Bruny Island.

The Barnes Bay Regatta is the traditional end-of-season regatta and social gathering of yachties who have raced over the summer, joined by cruising yachts and motor cruisers.

Entries close tomorrow, Tuesday, 27 March and can be lodged online at sailing@dssinc.org.au.

Good Friday starts with a pursuit style feeder race from Wrest Point to Dennes Point at 0900. Barnes Bay Regatta races start at 1400 hours, followed by a barbeque ashore at the Quarantine Station.

“In addition to the gourmet lamb burger the event is famous for there will be a fish offering this year,”  Kingborough Boating Club Commodore Peter Williams reported.

“There will be $1500 worth of prizes on offer for the feeder racing and the afternoon regatta…with the participation of cruisers and motor cruisers,” he added.

With the Easter long weekend ahead, it is expected that quite a number of yachts will continue down the Channel following the Barnes Bay Regatta to join in the Port Esperance Sailing Club’s Easter Regatta at Dover.

Port Esperance Sailing Club is the southernmost sailing club in Australia, with the regatta open to mono-hull and multi-hull yachts, sports boats, trailable yachts and off-the-beach boats.

Close tacking off Bruny Island in Barnes Bay Regatta.

The regatta will kick off with on Easter Saturday morning with a race from Barnes Bay to Dover followed by regatta racing on Port Esperance and in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel that afternoon and on Easter Sunday.

As at Barnes Bay, the Port Esperance Regatta includes plenty of social activities ashore, including a welcome spit roast on the Saturday evening at the Port Esperance Sailing Club with fine rock, blues and soul music from bands ‘Southern Discomfort’ and ‘Los Pescadores’.

Information from www.pesc.com.au or Commodore Matt Wardell on 0428 279 002 or email commodore@pesc.com.au

Words & Photos:  Peter Campbell

26 March 2018




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