Veteran sailor shares memories from past Sunshine Coast Ocean Regattas in the lead up to event

In the lead up to the combined Sunshine Coast Ocean Regatta (SCOR) and Queensland IRC State Titles, veteran sailor David Lawson recounted some stories from the early SCOR events throughout the 1970s – 1990s.

David will be part of the shore crew assisting competitors in this year’s Sunshine Coast Ocean Regatta (SCOR) to be held 4th to 8th July 2015. The SCOR Regatta is being conducted by the Sunshine Coast Yacht Club in conjunction with the Queensland IRC State Titles on 4th& 5th July.

David, who has a long history of competitive sailing, was a part of the first Sunshine Coast Ocean Regatta (SCOR) held in Mooloolaba in 1975. David has completed 33 Sydney to Hobart races, 30 Sydney to Mooloolaba races and countless club and other competitions. He has enjoyed sailing on Helsal I and II, Marchioness, Freight Train, Mary Muffin,Casablanca ,Nuzulu and many others. These races were often competed with other sailing greats such as Bob Ross, Rob Brown, Rob Mundle, Billy Gleeson and Mooloolaba locals, Greg “Groggo” Gilliam and Trevor “Trusty” Gourlay.

He first participated in SCOR in 1975 as Navigator/Tactician on Helsal I. They took line honours in many of the races that year despite going the wrong way at times! During that series there was a significant NSW contingent including Helsal I, Odyssey (Billy Gleeson) and Waikikamukau (RobMundle) which was the first fixed keel Farr that came into Australia.

David recalled one year when sailing on Marchioness, they were beaten over the line by Wild Thing and Brindabella, however, both Wild Thing and Brindabella wanted to follow David’s navigation back through the entrance to Mooloolaba marina. David studied the soundings and made a successful entrance, however, Wild Thing and Brindabella varied their course and were rewarded by running aground and being stuck for over an hour!

Another year, the engine on Helsal II failed, however, a tow was arranged with a trawler. Problem was that they set up a 200 feet tow, the trawler gunned their engine between a break in the waves but forgot that they had a yacht in tow 200 feet behind them. Unfortunately, Helsal II was swamped with breaking waves across the entrance.

The entrance in those days caused David a lot of angst so he was very indignant when one year, the crowd gathered on the rocks at the entrance but booed when David told his crew to “hang on”, he gunned the engine and got through the breaking waves. The crowd was hoping for some action!

Fortunately, with the dredging that has occurred at the entrance, the fun of the crossings has now been significantly reduced!

While David says that his days of active sailing are over, he is looking forward to playing a significant role in SCOR 2015 and competitors can look forward to hearing David’s experienced voice over the radio throughout the Regatta.

David said that the fun, the warmth of the location and easy access differentiates SCOR from other Regattas. He is looking forward to reliving the fun of the competition and to catching up with old mates.

The SCYC is inviting owners of suitable racing and cruising yachts, multihulls and sport boats to join the competition. Berths for visiting competing boats at Mooloolaba Marina will be available for the period of the events at no charge.

Visit the website: for Entry Forms, Notice of Race and all event details.

– SCOR Media

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