June 28, 2010

Struth! Lake Eyre yachties host first regatta


IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in this world, David Ellis says for the first time, members of the ten years old Lake Eyre Yacht Club finally have the opportunity to go sailing – because never before since the Club was formed on April Fool's Day 2000 have they actually had a lake with enough water in it to sail on.

And equally interesting, Lake Killamperpunna that the regatta will be sailed on from July 5th to 9th, and which is part of the Lake Eyre system, has filled with water from Cooper Creek that's not flooded across the Birdsville Track and into Killamperpunna for twenty years.

Already over fifty Lake Eyre Yacht Club members are on the road or have towed their boats to Lake Killamperpunna that's 160km up the Birdsville Track from remote Marree (itself 685km north of Adelaide.)

And their historic first-ever regatta will be sailed in a surreal landscape of wildflower-covered sand-dunes lapped by water that's a seldom-seen item in this part of the world.

Dubbed "The World's Most Exclusive Yacht Club" the Lake Eyre Yacht Club has around 140 members who live in mainly coastal areas in all States except the Northern Territory, and their "yachties" club house in Marree is one of the most photographed buildings in the Outback.

As well as a quirky and off-beat tourist icon selling souvenirs (to pay for the club's maintenance) the club house is also a valuable information source of up-to-the-minute information for tourists venturing to Lake Eyre and other parts of the Inland.

For more details of the Lake Eyre Yacht Club's first-ever regatta and conditions in the Outback go to www.lakeeyreyc.com

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