Sailors will return to race on Lake Colac for the first time in more than a decade, with water now deep enough for rescue boats and bigger craft.
Low water levels in Lake Colac have stopped the Colac Yacht Club from hosting sailing races for the past 13 years, amid the lake drying up twice in the past decade.
The club’s members have raced instead at Lake Purrumbete and at Camperdown’s Lake Bullen Merri, costing sailors time while traveling and transporting their unrigged
But club commodore Adam Chambers said pennant racing would resume on the lake next month, after last winter’s rainfall left Lake Colac at “the highest level it has been in 10 years”.
Five members of the Colac Yacht Club successfully launched the club’s rescue boat onto the lake last week; a sign the club could meet racing safety requirements and launch bigger craft.
“The first hurdle was to be able to get the rescue boat off its trailer,” Mr Chambers said.
He said that the club measured the lake’s depth, finding a 1.7-metre depth “pretty much over the whole of the lake”.
Mr Chambers said that the depth meant the club’s bigger boats, called RL24s, would have “just over a foot” from the keel to the lake’s bottom.
But he said he was mindful that forecasts for below-average rainfall and evaporation caused by warming weather could impact on the racing season’s later months.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.