Fresh era looms for Latrobe Valley Sailing Club

New era: The Latrobe Valley Sailing Club is now based at Blue Rock Dam. Pictured are Club Commodore Jura Pranikowski, Carron Lazarevic, treasurer Gary Drinken, Angela Drinken, Vice-Commodore Gavin Hillenaar and race officer Caleb Drinken. photographs liam durkin

Liam Durkin

THE Latrobe Valley Sailing Club has found a new home at Blue Rock Dam.
The club was previously based at the Hazelwood Pondage, but had to vacate following the closure of the power station.
As it stands, the Latrobe Valley Sailing Club will be at the Willow Grove location for at least the next three years.
While there are still some pins to fall in regards to how much space the club will be able to use, Commodore Jura Pranikowski said early signs were promising.
“We see this as a reasonably-ideal location. The main issue will be population in the summer time, it is very, very busy,” he said.
“It is a relatively small area, but that is something we will take up with Southern Rural Water (the operators of the dam).
“We are here for a three year lease, to see how it goes for three years and after that time we will review it.
“We’re 100 per cent confident we can see this working.”
The club has been launching boats from jetties to the left hand side of Old Tanjil Rd at the main entrance to Blue Rock Dam.
The club also intends to discuss setting up a physical headquarters at the dam with Southern Rural Water.
At the moment, the club is conducting its business and holding meetings at a location in Morwell.
To the uninhibited, sailing appears little more than steering a boat in the direction of the wind, but as Latrobe Valley Sailing Club treasurer Gary Drinken explained, there was a lot more to it than that.
“You can’t just turn a boat to go relying on the wind,” he said.
“You’re using the wind but you’re using what we call a keel underneath the boat, so the pressure pushes against the sail and against the keel and that’s what gets the boat to go forward.
“It’s not like a motorised boat where you can just turn the boat and it will go wherever you want to turn it, you actually have to put some thought into using the wind to get the boat to go where you need to go.”
There is no shortage of ropes on board a sailing boat, with people needing to have the ability to think quickly on their feet to change things like the height and angles of the sails flapping in the wind.
Drinken encouraged all those interested in getting out on the water to get in touch with the club.
“We’re looking at establishing
ourselves as a club that caters for all age groups, that allows anyone who wishes to learn how to sail to be able come to us,” he said.
“Once we get ourselves established we’re hoping to have the ability to teach people how to sail as well as people who already can sail if they want to come down and take part in a race environment.”
Sailing is an attractive sport due to the recreational side. Trips along the Gippsland Lakes from places such as Loch Sport and Paynesville are popular.
It is strongly recommended people wanting to sail obtain a boat licence.
Those interested in learning more about the Latrobe Valley Sailing Club can phone Commodore Jura on 0412 513 835.

Making a splash: The Latrobe Valley Sailing Club boats is on the water at Blue Rock Dam.