Opti yachts get young sailors off to a flying start


Water world: Junior sailors get some guidance at Mornington Yacht Club. Picture: Supplied

MORNINGTON Yacht Club last week christened a further six Opti junior sailing dinghies which are ideal for children aged 8-10 learning to sail in the club’s Try Sailing program.

The free sessions will be held on four consecutive Sunday mornings.

The purchase of the dinghies was made possible by donations to the Mornington Yacht Club Foundation with the boats named after significant boats in the club’s history:

Morning Mist was a leading keel boat sailed by Alf Neate in 12 Sydney-to-Hobart races, three Melbourne-to-Hobarts, and nine Queenscliff-to-Devonport races.

Flying Cloud was Max Rodd’s catamaran used as a stable platform to train junior sailors for many years.

Wild Thing won line honours in the 2001 Sydney-to-Hobart. The boat was designed by member Don Jones, built in Mornington by member Mal Hart and sailed by Grant Warrington with a number of members in the crew. Wild Thing competed in 18 Sydney-to-Hobarts.

Firefly was Kevin Willey’s last yacht. Kevin joined the club in 1947 and sailed with distinction for over 50 years in a number of classes.

Pamken was owned by Pam and Ken Donaldson who were active in keel boat racing in their yachts Obsession and Marie Louise.

Warringa was former Commodore Murray Barnett’s yacht. As Commodore Murray’s emphasis was on nurturing the family-friendly atmosphere at the club.

The christening was conducted by family members connected to the boats, and by Don Jones and Kevin Willey who attended in person.

The club’s Try Sailing program will be conducted throughout the sailing season. Anyone interested can call 5975 7001 or email office@morningtonyc.net.au

The club will provide all the equipment needed, including life jackets, at the free sessions.

First published in the Mornington News – 15 December 2020


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