Entries open for 2013 Milang Goolwa Freshwater Classic

Tight racing at the Milang Goolwa Freshwater Classic
Paparazzi Digital Photography
One of South Australia’s most popular yacht races, the Marina Hindmarsh Island Milang-Goolwa Freshwater Classic will be held on Sunday 27th January, 2013. Entries open on Thursday 1st November 2012, online and close at midnight on Thursday 17th January 2013.

The Marina Hindmarsh Island Milang-Goolwa Freshwater Classic race will be a spectacular finale to the Dominant Goolwa Regatta Week, which starts the week beforehand on Saturday 19 January and will offer many community activities on and off the water during the week. New to the dominant Goolwa Regatta Week in 2013 is a cruise from Goolwa to Clayton on Saturday morning 26 January where the Clayton Bay Boat Club is putting on lunch followed by a race from Clayton to Milang.

'Goolwa Regatta Week and the race from Clayton to Milang and then the iconic Milang to Goolwa the next day are further examples of how the River, the Lakes and yachties bring communities together', GRYC Commodore Brendan Murray said.

Milang Goolwa Freshwater Classic
Paparazzi Digital Photography

The Milang to Goolwa race was relaunched in 2012 after a five year hiatus due to low water levels. GRYC Commodore Brendan Murray said the 2012 race was a great success with 194 entries in eight divisions. He also said the success of the race was evident in the willingness of corporate sponsors to maintain their association with the event with The Marina Hindmarsh Island continuing as Principal Sponsor.

The race begins at the lakeside town of Milang and continues across Lake Alexandrina and down the River Murray to the river port of Goolwa, a total distance of 50-kilometres. Racing is open to many off-the-beach monohull and cat classes as well as trailer-sailor yachts and vintage river boats.

The Freshwater Classic still holds the record as the largest freshwater yacht race in the southern hemisphere when 584 boats competed in 1986. In its long 43-year history, thousands of boats have taken part and it took a decade of drought to halt the race from 2007-2011.

Milang Goolwa Freshwater Classic
Locky McLaren

'It is the most significant sporting event in the region, but it is also an important and fun community event,’’ said Brendan Murray. 'Now the water is well and truly back, we’ve seen a resurgence in the economy, culture and lifestyle of towns and communities along the Lower Lakes, Lower Murray River and Fleurieu Peninsula. Given there has been so much suffering and hardship over the past 10 years of drought, it is fantastic to see the revival as the waters have returned.’’ he said.

GRYC event director, Vice Commodore Locky McLaren says thousands of spectators, both locals and tourists, are expected to watch the Milang Goolwa race along the route downstream of Milang, past Clayton and on to Goolwa. He is encouraging spectators and competitors to note the date of the race in their diaries now.

'Many people in our riverside communities remember their first ‘Freshwater Classic’ whether they were taking part or on the banks as spectators and we invite all sailors who like a challenge to put the 27th of January in their diaries and enter on-line as soon as possible.’’

Milang Goolwa Freshwater Classic
Locky McLaren

'The race links the three lake and riverside towns of Milang, Clayton and Goolwa in a singular event, the communities are involved in the staging of the event, and the whole course offers spectacular viewing.'

'We also believe the race will draw attention at holiday time to the Southern Fleurieu, where the Lower Lakes, the River Murray and the Coorong form exciting waterways and recreational playgrounds, ’’ he said.

'The whole Dominant Goolwa Regatta Week will showcase the lakes and the river as a tourist attraction.’’

Goolwa Regatta Week website