Latitude One Remote Control Yacht Club back in action after coronavirus lockdown

SAILING: Members of the Latitude One Remote Control Yacht Club are glad to be back operating post-COVID.
SAILING: Members of the Latitude One Remote Control Yacht Club are glad to be back operating post-COVID.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on recreational activities has been felt far and wide, even reaching the members of the Anna Bay-based Latitude One Remote Control Yacht Club.

But the easing of restrictions in recent weeks has allowed the 23-strong membership to dust off their model boats and recommence their weekly practice runs (every Friday) and highly competitive race days (Sundays).

"Races can be competitive most weeks, but our number one rule is to have fun," said one of the founding members, David Hadfield.

"Our Sunday competition days were halted for a while because of COVID but we are back, and of course we continue to comply with all the health and safety regulations.

"For many of us the weekly catch-ups are more than just about racing yachts, there's a strong sense of social community and camaraderie."

The club began operating 14 months ago following a visit to a similar facility in Tea Gardens.

"The members there were very supportive in helping us set up our own club and we hope to take them on in a regatta challenge in November this year," Mr Hadfield said.

Publicity officer Bob Grant said that while some of the members had varying degree of sailing experience, none had been involved with remote control boats prior to the club's inception.

MODEL BOATS: some of the boats taking part in a Friday practice run at the Latitude One lake in Anna Bay.

MODEL BOATS: some of the boats taking part in a Friday practice run at the Latitude One lake in Anna Bay.

"Now we have our own course and race day organiser (Paul Bertholli) and a team of volunteers with a dingy at the ready to rescue any wayward yachts that may end up in the reeds," he said.

"Over time the members have become quite skilled at operating the different classes of yacht.

"We have modified the traditional sailing rules,g and many of the members have become quite adept in repair and maintenance work, including mending the electrical faults and broken sails."

The yachts, made of plastic, range in size and price from $100 to well over $500.

"But the sport is very cost effective, because here are no ongoing costs," added Mr Hadfield.

The club is always looking for new members, particularly females, in the hope of adding to their single lady member and anyone interested can attend the club's regular Friday morning practice.