Wooden boats of all types on show
WOODEN boats of myriad shapes and sizes - and varying levels of seaworthiness - will make for a spectacular sight on the Richmond River at Ballina on the Australia Day long weekend.
The Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club will host Ballina's first wooden boat regatta on Monday, January 27, with a diverse range of non-motorised wooden craft on display.
Co-ordinator Mark Pierce, the club's rear commodore, is excited about the level of interest, from old boats that have been lovingly stored in garden sheds to classic wooden beauties built of the finest timbers.
"Most sailors have a passion for these craft," Mr Pierce said.
"Humans have been using wooden boats for 8000 years; it's only in the past 250 years that steel has been part of boat construction.
"Many people have a nostalgic love of boats, many that haven't been used for a while stored in garages.
"We're encouraging everyone to bring them out, show them off and help make this a real spectacle."
Mr Pierce said the best place to view the regatta would be from the club's headquarters near the Ballina waterslide.
"There will be social sailing throughout the day but the best times to see all the boats will be when we have sail pasts at 11am and 2pm," he said.
"We're also planning to have a sausage sizzle."
The regatta will comprise mainly sailing boats and rowing skiffs and interest has already come from as far afield as Brisbane, the Clarence Valley and the Coffs Coast.
It's the first of what is hoped to be an annual event and the club is keen to expand it next year to the entire long weekend, working with the Ballina Visitor Information Centre to promote the occasion.