SAIL AWAY: Hervey Bay Yacht Squadron commodore Ken Wallace.
SAIL AWAY: Hervey Bay Yacht Squadron commodore Ken Wallace. Matthew McInerney

You can test the waters with the yacht squadron

SAILING: There was once a time Hervey Bay Yacht Squadron's Whale City Regatta attracted more than 20 crews of keen sailors ready to test their skills on the Sandy Strait.

Members, fuelled by their passion for the sport, continued to sail as the field was slowly reduced over time, but the regatta still managed to attract between 10 and 20 entrants.

This year's was nowhere near as successful.

"We had three show up,” Commodore Ron Wallace said.

"It was a flop.”

The issue is not with the regatta; it is the slow decline of one of Fraser Coast's most fun and exciting pastimes.

It is a decline Mr Wallace and the HBYS are committed to turn around.

Tomorrow, HBYS will throw open the doors (and decks) for a come and try day.

It will include two sessions, at 10am and noon, in which keen sailors of all ages will not only learn the theory of what goes into sailing, but, pending conditions, will be put those skills to an immediate test.

"The numbers have slowly dwindled. When I first started eight years ago, the first (Whale City Regatta) race had 21 boats,” Mr Wallace said.

"A lot have of people have moved on to larger boats.”

Mr Wallace's plan is to make the squadron more visible.

"They made courses for racing where you'd go off behind Big Woody Island but we're going to try to run races in the bay and make it more visible and family-oriented,” he said. "I want to attract the families.”

Saturday's sessions will be held at the Hervey Bay Boat Club at Urangan, with sailing expected to start after the brief introductory talks.

No prior sailing experience is necessary, which will make it a prime opportunity for newcomers to try sailing.

The long-term goal is to re-establish the HBYS as one of the region's major clubs.

Phone Ron Wallace on 0438890674 for more information about the club.

The sessions come at the perfect time, with interest piqued by the Sail Hervey Bay A-Class Catamaran National and World Championships.

More than 100 sailors from across the world will compete in the two competitions. The Australian titles will be held next week, with the world championship event to start on Sunday, November 17.

The event keeps the Fraser Coast in the global spotlight, and if successful, could make the region a prime destination for future championships.