The 61st National Heron Sailing Championship was contested at Lake Cootharaba, just north of Noosa, on 28 December 2019 – 3 January 2020, in an eight-day regatta.
The Jack Holt designed Heron is a two-person dinghy sailed in all states of Australia. The unique trait about the Heron class is that it’s ideally suited to an adult and child combination of skipper and crew, meaning that often parent and child sail and compete together. Usually in sailing parents are watching their child compete from the shore or from a pick-up boat, but in this case, families compete and work together as a team.
Herons are a nostalgic sailing class with over 70 years of history in Australia. Many sailors who start out in Herons as kids, move on to other classes in their late teens, and return to the Heron to get their own children started in sailing. Herons offer safe affordable entry level sailing for novices and also provide an ongoing challenge for experienced sailors who are seeking to optimise their performance. The Heron has a long and proud history of family involvement, many of the National Championships have been won by parent/child skipper and crew combinations.
Rohan Nosworthy and eight year old crew, Aidan Nosworthy, from NSW took the honours at the 61st Heron Nationals. This was the dynamic duo’s third straight title, having previously won in Perth 2018/19 and Port Stephens 2017/18. Peter Vaiciurgis and six year old crew, Joel Vaiciurgis from NSW claimed 2nd place and were closely followed by the the rest of the family in 3rd place Kylie Viaciurgis and eight year old crew, Mia Viaciurgis NSW, also taking out the 1st Female skipper title.
Junior Champion skipper was won by Ashton Harris from WA in a close contest with 2nd place Jemima Carey Qld and 3rd place Charlie Nosworthy NSW.
There was a great show of girl power in Heron sailing this year with 11 women skippers and a total of 38 female competitors (skippers and crews) in the regatta.
Ideal conditions at Lake Cootharaba were enjoyed by a fleet of 55 Herons; 24 Qld, 20 NSW, 5 Vic, 3 SA, 2 WA, 1 ACT, all adding up to 110 competitors and their extended families, from all over Australia, enjoying plenty of strong competition and fun, on and off the water.
61st Heron National Championships 2019/2020 results
1st 10251 A Power, Rohan Nosworthy and Aidan Nosworthy NSW, 12 points
2nd 10226 Funky Chicken, Peter Vaiciurgis and Joel Vaiciurgis NSW, 20 points
3rd 10221 Goose on the Loose, Kylie Vaiciurgis and Mia Vaiciurgis NSW, 30 points
4th 10288 She Said Yes!, David Johnson and Michelle Johnson NSW, 45 points
5th 10283 Millennium Falcon, Paul Foster and Ryan Foster NSW, 48 points
6th 10279 Icy Pole, Christopher Loring and Olivia & Jessica Loring NSW, 57.3 points
First Female Skipper
10221 Goose on the Loose, Kylie Vaiciurgis and Mia Vaiciurgis NSW
First Junior Skipper
10281 Passing Wind, Ashton Harris and Ian James WA
10272 O for Awesome, Paul Armstrong and Xavier Armstrong NSW
First Family (unplaced)
10269 Heronasaurus, Travis Read and Flynn Read NSW
1st 10187 Firsty, Richard Gibson and Therese Nolan SA
2nd 9422 Bluey, Stephen Donovan and Eleanor Donovan NSW
3rd 9643 Robertson, Richard Abraham and Anouk Abraham QLD