The Islanders' Tavern Marina Challenge has set the scene for what will be a spectacular Goolwa Regatta Week as sailors navigated the tricky waterways of the Coorong Quays marina in a time trial style race-off.
Conditions were beautiful with a cracking sea breeze on the lakes in Goolwa, however inside the marina itself, things got a little more difficult with extremely gusty and shifty conditions causing headaches for sailors.
Fortunately for some, they were able to navigate their way through the winding race course and stay in the pressure, giving them a leg up on the competition.
Racing is set up as a time trial. Boats start individually at two-minute intervals, with the faster boats starting early, followed by the slower boats.
A total of two races are held and the combined corrected finishing times on handicap are put together to decide a winner.
The event also provided a great spectator environment with a number of locals coming out to watch racing from their doorstep.
Lyndon Bartlett and his team on Endeavour, one of the local Restricted 21s, was good enough to come away as the overall winner of the day, which was tricky enough to suit the larger boats with more momentum to get through the light patches.
Bartlett said he had raced in a number of Marina Challenges before, and it was always about being on your toes and constantly adjusting the sail trim to get around as quick as possible.
"We just persevered really, because it was really fluky – one minute we had plenty of breeze and then there was none," he said.
"You've always got wind on and wind off, it keeps the crew on their toes, trimming sails all the time – it's nonstop."
Lyndon also said the Marina Challenge always set the scene for an awesome week ahead, which had a range of activities and culminated with the exciting Milang-Goolwa Freshwater Classic.
"We've got racing most days of the week going from model boats through to fast and slower trailable boats," he said.
"There's a dash for cash, then we have the cruise over to Milang on Saturday and the big race on Sunday, which we're really looking forward to."
The Goolwa Regatta Week is hosted by the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club and is sponsored by major partners Finniss River Vineyard and Coorong Quays Hindmarsh Island.
Today's event sponsor of the Marina Challenge was the Islanders' Tavern on Hindmarsh Island, which played host to after race drinks and presentation.
All information about Goolwa Regatta Week: www.goolwaregattaweek.com.au