Headed North West

Last weekend I headed inland to Lake Keepit for the first time. The lake is around halfway between Gunnedah and Tamworth and when full is larger than I expected, however on this occasion was around 17%. The Keepit Kool Regatta has been going for several decades and is one of those that should be on most lists for dinghies, multis, sportsboats and trailerable yachts. So I went.

I wasn’t involved in the running of the event, instead I filled the DeckHardware van with a range of products, more than usual and pitched the marquee to show some of the lines we distribute. As is the case with many of these regional areas, there’s those who haven’t heard of DeckHardware, so it’s a good time to show the wares.

With  a division each for monos, multihulls, sportsboats and trailerables there was a spread in the types out on the water. There was the usual fleet of Lasers, however the second biggest  fleet were the Hartley16s. Competitors came to Lake Keepit State Park from many areas, Sydney and Lake Macquarie included. There were Viper sportsboats and a JS30 from Lake Macquarie amongst the faster trailerables and in the dinghies a 16′ skiff, a 49er lead the pack. In the multihulls, a Nacra lead their fleet from an A Class. As seen by the photos, the conditions were generally light, the best breeze on the Sunday was around 6-7 knots, perfect for those modified boats like the 29er with a larger square topped rig. Certainly a spread of types for the handicapper to keep a track of.

Accommodation in the park was in vans, both permanent or BYO or Tent. Many chose the latter option, including myself. The major issue here was that unlike most regattas where you camp next to the club, the accommodation area was about a kilometre away. The facilities however are excellent and certainly well frequented by those with caravans with nice hot showers and a laundry. There is also a huge covered BBQ area for those larger groups.

If you haven’t been, I suggest you go and find out why it’s called the Keepit Kool regatta, I did.

About Phil Yeomans
Phil grew up sailing on Pittwater (north of Sydney) racing in many classes over the years including Manly Juniors, Lasers, 5.5’s, 505’s, several trailer Yachts, E22’s, 1/2 and 1 Tonners, A10m, Sydney 38’s and more. Phil is well known for his knowledge of boats, having built several classes and has a freaky ability to recognise boats and designs. Phil is a National Race Official (Yachting Australia) and is the Principal Race Officer at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

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