Bundaberg Sailing Club and the flood.
Like many others who enjoy the beauty of a riverside location the
sailing club will incur major rebuild costs after the river showed
it's ugly side.
Almost without exception everyone who visits the club
remarks on what a beautiful section of the riverbank the club
occupies.........most of the time.
with members from Sailability Bundaberg and the Bundaberg Dragon Boat
Club, who are both based at the club, sailing club members have
worked hard to get most of our facilities back to their pre flood
condition allowing our members to get back on the water and do what
they do best. (Some of them handle a boat better than a shovel.)
club has lost approx. 6 metres from the river end of the boat ramp
and the drop off at the end is now about 4.5 metres. In fact the
dropoff extends for several hundred metres along the eastern bank of
the North Reach. Before the 2011 flood the depth of the river in
front of the club (the deepest section of the North Reach) was about
7 metres, post 2011 about 15 metres and now it is 20 metres plus. The
damage to the ramp is a real blow for the club and the other
organisations based at the BSC.
unique feature of the river when it's in flood is that in front of
the sailing club the water actually flows upstream as a result of a
massive eddy that forms as the river rises. While not having the same
power as the flow in the main ''channel'' the force of the water is
nonetheless extremely strong. It also results in LARGE whirlpools
forming in the river as the tide falls and which gave one of our
members a jaw dropping moment when the unmanned ''Burnett Queen''
came down the river stern first, was sucked into a huge whirlpool,
paused, spun 180 degrees and then continued on it's way bow first.
positive aspect of the formation of the eddy was that when the
pontoon broke away it was swept into some mangroves close to the
bank. As a result of a tremendous effort by Greg a line was attached
and members were able to haul it back and secure it to the flagpole
at the front of the clubhouse. It was also possible (again thanks to
Greg) to get a line on to the hinged section of the pontoon walkway
which resurfaced, slightly damaged, 250 metres UPSTREAM.
for the club as a result of the recovery of the pontoon and ramp
section along with what appears to be minimal damage to the main
walkway section the rebuild cost for the pontoon will be
substantially reduced (hopefully).
The pontoon piles were swept away
and the river end support for the walkway will need a thorough
having the pontoon in place will severely restrict the activities of
the sailing for the disabled organisation, Sailability Bundaberg, so
there are many who are keen to have the facility restored a.s.a.p.
the river reached it's peak the clubhouse became a man made island
and as the water constantly surged it became obvious that it would
enter the building. Luckily by that stage members had lifted
everything possible off the floor and damage was kept to a minimum.
Here I would like to make special mention of the ''above and beyond''
effort of our caretaker Gary and his contribution, along with other
club members, which undoubtedly helped to save the club and some of
it's members from hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of
One unlucky member who had already arranged to pull
his boat out of the water in the morning was beaten by the speed
which the river rose and while the boat was saved it did suffer some
significant damage. The fate of a couple of boats moored in the river
and owned by club members is not yet known. Another members yacht was
stuck in the middle of the river because a submerged yacht was laying
on top of the anchor.
of the larger boats in our storage area which couldn't be moved in
time simply floated and then settled back into position on their
trailers while many of the trailer sailers and smaller boats were
either moved out on to the access road or moved to the highest
ground. It was a huge effort by all those who were able to help.
from the lower level which was badly eroded the club grounds have
recovered reasonably well already and thanks to a tremendous effort
by members the rescue boat shed, dinghy shed and various smaller
storage sheds have all been cleaned and many repairs carried out.
Repair and/or replacement of pumps and other electrical equipment, as
well as cleaning and repairs to the clubhouse, are well in hand and
hopefully as you read this the sailing season will be back on track.
summary the major damage at the club has been the lose of approx.
half of the boat ramp and the damage to the pontoon, the lower level
requires substantial filling, the starters shed was washed away
(minus the starter thankfully) and there has been some minor damage
to smaller club structures and equipment and of course there was the
messy cleanup. Lets hope it's a long, long time before our members
and the people of Bundaberg and surrounding areas experience that
level of damage and destruction again.
there are no local sailing results but congratulations to our two new
Australian champions, 17yr old Jarrod Potter (Nacra 16sq) and Richard
(Nacra 4.5). Also well done to our other members who performed well
at the Nacra Nationals at Hervey Bay.
Learn to Sail and sail training programes are proving successful and
will be up and running again as soon as possible so if your
interested please contact the club or call over at 66 Strathdees
Road, Port Bundaberg. Our usual sailing day is Saturday so call over
and find out more about what the club has to offer. Membership is
available to everybody whether they have an interest in sailing or
not so call over and see what a great riverside venue we
have.........most of the time.
for those members who are keen on wetting a line the new dropoff
along the eastern bank should be an ideal spot for Bream and Flathead
Sailing Club, ''Doing It On The Water''.