The Shell Cove Sailing Club – the newest sailing club in NSW.

Australia’s great ocean race, sailed from Sydney to Hobart … no, that was another time long ago, however, the enthusiasm of the inaugural Shell Cove Sailing Club regatta was born from as much inspiration as the first Sydney Hobart race.

We gathered in the newly completed amenities building for a 9am muster led by Ken and Julia as well as our Shell Cove Marine manager Les along with his family. The weather was picture perfect and the seas just right for a glorious regatta. About twelve yachts sailed through the break wall to the open sea with many an onlooker from other vessels, and the Whale watching “tragics” (as they call themselves) observing from the best whale watching vantage points. It was a sight to behold as the hooter sounded and the sails soared to the azure skies and the boats carved through the emerald waters. Off to Port Kembla we sailed, although some of the yachts looked like they had set sail for New Zealand. Nonetheless, we were sailing smooth waters and enjoying the spirit of the regatta. And the sea life was brimming, not a whale or a dolphin to be sighted although the was an interesting forest of seaweed afloat.

Rick (Wayfarer ll) and Les Binkin (Shellharbour Marina) – winner winner chicken dinner

There were old yachts, new yachts, experienced sailors and novices among us. It was not a race, just a regatta, but there had to be a prize, just for being part of this historic regatta. Yes, a prize we all yearned for. It was a chook. Was it the chook we yearned for? No, it was the secret recipe that came with that chook we all wanted so badly, and as Les shared that recipe it was as though we were immersed into an audible book that had literally jumped out of our smart devices and had us all salivating and savoring the thought of having that chook and taking it home to cook, there was only one chook, but we were all winners as that recipe flowed from Les’s lips and burned into our grey matter.

Luckily the afternoon continued with a delicious barbecue and assortment of delectable delights to satisfy our hunger. We were happy, the sailing, the food and the friendships were founded.

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Thanks to Ken Barnard and Julia Harrison for all their hard work setting the club up and Les Binkin, for the use of the Shellharbour Marina facilities.