How it all began……
The Gladstone Radio Controlled Yacht Club (or GRCYC) was not so much born on the 11th March 2005, as much as resurected.
This is the date that the current club had it’s very first AGM, however, Gladstone did have quite an active club of radio controlled yachts many years ago. Back then skippers mostly sailed the preferred ‘yacht of the moment’ the Marblehead but for one reason or another interest wained and racing unfortunately stopped. It wasn’t until March 2004, when over quite a few scotches & burbons, local cinema owner Chris Struik and then local radio station breakfast host Grant Cooper sat around discussing how much they missed the competitiveness of yacht racing. Excuses such as “too busy…” and “too expensive…” were bandied around until the topic of remote controlled yachts were bought up.
Research was undertaken on which was the most popular class and which types of hulls were proven to be competitive and within a couple of weeks two ‘TS2’ designed second hand yachts arrived in the port city. After fumbling through rough diagrams on how to rig them, both took to the water ‘match racing’ style off the refueling pontoon at the Gladstone Marina.
Interest in the yachts blossomed at an astounding rate with many just passing by on the boardwalk and others close friends of the initial two. One year later (almost to the day) the club was formed with Chris Struik, Gavin Hartwig, Arthur deLooze , Grant Cooper, Natalie Cooper, Matt Hunter, Kevin Hartwig in attendance, with apologies R Niven, D Branthwaite, T Flynn, John Fleming.
The GRCYC sail most Sundays (with the kind permission of the Gladstone Ports Corporation) between the first & second fingers of the Gladstone Marina.
It is advised to check the racing calendar on this site before heading down though. It’s one of the best places to sail with the prevailing SE winds and great ‘walk by’ interest. The wave chop from down the marina is dampened by the charter vessels moored in their pens and the wind shifts around these vessels enough to give you a glimmer of hope when trailing on the last leg! The RC yachts can be launched from either finger, however best viewing is from half way down the course in the middle of them both. On high tide a wet launching is easy off the bank but on low it’s almost impossible with the deep mangrove mud – but we persevere.
The GRCYC has had a submission in front of the GPC for some time, requesting the possibility of constructing a separate launching facility and vantage point within the next few years.