News: Waranga Easter Escape
Fourteen members made this annual Easter trip to Waranga Boat Club, for one fellow it was his 33rd Easter at this venue, taking 2 boats and several canoes. First a little history, the construction of the earth dam began in 1905 and was completed in 1915 using picks, shovels and horse-drawn scoops. The site of the basin was a former swamp in the then Waranga Shire. It was commissioned by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission to irrigate the Western Goulburn Valley. At the time of construction, the Waranga Basin embankment was described as the largest project of its sort in the world with an embankment height of 8.8 metres and length of 7 kilometres. Between 1915 and 1926, the embankment was raised in stages and a core wall was inserted. By 1921, the embankment was raised to 12.2 metres allowing the storage capacity to be increased to 411,000 mega litres, its current capacity. This year it was 86% full, plenty of water for sail boats, motor boats and jet skis.
The advance party arrived on Wednesday to secure our usual site and others followed on Thursday and Friday, we set about creating all the comforts of home in the bush, i.e.: central heating (fire in middle of camp) TV reception (rabbit ears on top of surf rod). Friday afternoon was spent on Rushworth golf course which now has a healthy covering of grass, although the greens were brown oiled sand, CP would not heed the advice of his caddy, RP, and kept slicing the ball into the forest which was fraught with danger as spiders hung from every tree. Several greens (browns) had a gallery of kangaroos waiting for us to putt out.
Saturday we went into Rushworth for the Easter market and parade, a worthwhile event as many bargains and unusual items have been found in the past, although a broad axe as sought by JF was unattainable, and PP could not be enticed by the plentiful variety of chooks. The parade consisted of Clydesdale horses, some of which left a rich compost as they passed us, pulling a variety of carts, followed by old cars, traction engines, community groups, SES etc. We just had time to get back to camp for the first race which they kindly started 20mins late, light breezes saw APYC boats 1st and 2nd out of 8 boats of various classes from Trimaran to laser.
The boat club ran a guess how many Easter eggs were in a jar competition, of course Mr Cadbury was in his element, and dancing all around the camp chanting “I’m a winner” when he got a phone message saying come and pick up your prize. Off he sprinted to the clubhouse, back he came, not quite as light of foot, for his wife had given his phone number for her guess, well done Mrs Cadbury.
Sunday we had another race with the same result and then spent the afternoon golfing , geocaching , fishing or lazing around the camp, Waranga regatta is not for the serious ‘pot hunter’.
Monday’s race had an interesting start as no member on the start boat had ever seen a race start before, although timing was accurate they didn’t quite know what to do with the flags and siren and it was odd to see the boat anchored from the stern, however we all got away but by the second lap the wind was fading to nothing and having seen these conditions many times before we paddled for home. Did we have a winner? Nobody knows, but it was an enjoyable series.
Tuesday was spent geocaching and fishing, Mr Cadbury caught a sizeable Redfin, the size is still being disputed, ‘I don’t think they grow up to a meter long’ (Ed). We did find a cache which has eluded us for 2 years. Spent Wednesday packing up and regrettably, heading home. Maybe we will see some more of you next year, we shall be back.