Sweaty start for Sauna Sail

THERE were some sweaty palms among sailors at the Hazelwood Pondage on Saturday for a gusty start to Latrobe Valley Yacht Club’s annual Sauna Sail.

Ill winds breezed in for the opening events on Saturday, registering about 20 knots during competition.

Two races were completed despite testing conditions, parlaying into calmer waters for yesterday’s card of two.

LVYC spokesman Bruce James said it was a tough slog on day one.

“It was a very trying day for the sailors, we had 20 knot breezes with some squalls coming through, so a few boats were damaged.

“We got two races in and had another two races yesterday in ideal conditions.

“Everyone’s having a great time and enjoying the lovely Latrobe Valley.”

With about 106 boats entered in events this year, the Sauna Sail continues its tradition of being LVYC’s drawcard for the calendar year.

Characterised by the steamy waters of the pondage, illuminated by the winter chill, Sauna Sail has drawn competitors from far and wide since its introduction in the mid 1960s.

After cancellation in 2014 due to blue-green algae in the pondage and the Hazelwood mine fire, Sauna Sail made a triumphant return last year and cracked the 100 mark in 2016.

“We’re very happy with that (number). It brings a lot of people into the area. It’s supporting our club and the Valley in general,” James said.

The final race was staged this morning.

For full results see Thursday’s Valley Sport.