SCOR was revived by the Sunshine Coast Yacht Club in 2014 and is now well on its way to becoming a thriving sailing event once again. SCOR 2019 will be the SIXTH year of the revived event and the Committee of the Sunshine Coast Yacht club is looking forward to welcoming both local and visiting competitors.
Sunshine Coast Ocean Regatta (SCOR) ran for 20 years through the 80s and 90s. It attracted huge names within the yachting industry, such as Hugh Treharne - the tactician of Australia's winning America's Cup team. In its prime, the prestigious event would host up to 60 boats, with hundreds more spectators gathered on the shore.
IN THE BEGINNING
Plans were made to conduct the inaugural racing classic - then known as the Sunshine Coast Off-Shore Racing Series. SCOR at that time was the richest off-shore race in Australia. The series was set for mid-August with seven events spread over fourteen days. The 1975 Inaugural Series was backed by Bell & Howell. Prize money was set at $3000. SCOR was designed to attract national attention and to create yachting history on the Sunshine Coast, to give it a leading role in the yachting world.
In August 1975, the first SCOR series was conducted with entries from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. As a lead up, the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club conducted a race from Brisbane to Mooloolaba one week prior to SCOR then the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron hosted a race back to Brisbane at the conclusion of the SCOR Series.
In 1976 Bell & Howell again sponsored the series with a contribution of $3000. The 1976 series was a success and the 1977 Series recorded 39 entries. The 1978 series saw the replacement of Bell & Howell as sponsors with a number of local and national supporters. This sponsorship totalled over $2000.
In 1979, there were three entries from Southport Yacht Club which was evidence that SCOR was becoming widely recognised as the boat competition venue for the winter season. Names of the more familiar yachts that sailed in the 1979 series included Christina, Seaflyer, Tyrant, Apollo, Sequana, Amberjack, Bellman and Incredible.
The 1981 Series was sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Newspapers. The features of the Sunshine Coast Newspapers future sponsorship of SCOR were- A three year sponsorship- $2,000 in 1982; $2500 in 1983 and $3000 in 1984;- Australia-wide promotion by a committee of executives of the Sunshine Coast Daily.
The 1981 Series was a success while in 1982, delays in dredging extinguished any hope of having any berths ready for SCOR. In May 1982 the sponsorship by the Sunshine Coast Newspapers was replaced by Medley Ford Caloundra. The event was a success with the entry of 30 boats.
Source: "The Mooloolaba Yacht Club - Foundation and Growth 1967 to 1982" written by Kenneth W Lawrence
TALES FROM THE SEA
Memories from our sailing veterans...
In the lead up to the relaunch of SCOR in 2014, four sailing veterans gathered at the Sunshine Coast Yacht Club over a couple of beers to revisit some of the good times of the past. Trevor "Trusty" Gourlay, Greg "Groggo" Gilliam, Bob "Robbo" Robertson and Ian "Brownie" Brownhill have participated in their fair share of races during SCOR's long history, and had plenty of stories to tell.
In the early days, it was really hard, remembered Robbo, "If you won it, you sailed really well... it was a really hard regatta."
"My first one, I think, was in 1977", said Trusty. At that stage the Commodore was Johnny Bates. Anyway we had a race halfway up to Noosa, and Batesy not only was he Commodore, he was racing in the series and also setting the buoy! And of course, we're racing and we get halfway up there... and go "Where's the bloody buoy?! Oh here comes Batesy and he dropped the buoy and off we go again." "I remember we were sitting around at the start one day, sitting around waiting for something to happen." said Brownie, "There were more people in the water than there were on the beach. You'd swim over to someone's boat, have a yak, and swim back to your own boat. There were just boats bobbing around in the water everywhere."
We had this Kiwi boat called "Future Shock" that was owned by a wine maker called Ian Margan, said Trusty, we had some damn good crew on board, and we expected to beat this Kiwi boat. We got trounced in every race. Literally trounced. I said to Groggo before, remember that one?", and he said, "Nope, I've chosen to forget!".
Robbo also brought up the fact that, in the past, people may have encountered problems with the bar at the entrance. Trusty agreed, remembering that one year, he and Groggo had to take well-known veteran New Zealand yacht Starlight Express across the bar at 3am in the morning to avoid getting stuck. But he said that now the bar has changed. If anyone has had issues with bar problems in yester-year its not there, it is not an issue.
"They were good days weren't they, with the lawn out here, and the jugs and the prawns from down the road" remembered Groggo. "...and the best bit was that the finish line to the bar is about 15 minutes." "I could get there in 8" replied Robbo. Robbo also added that it was a very affordable regatta for those sailing up from the South. The free berthing and cheaper accommodation compared very favourably to the Regattas held up north.
The Sunshine Coast Ocean Regatta (SCOR) will be held this year in the sparkling coastal waters off the Sunshine Coast October 13th-15th, 2016. The event is perfectly timed for those wanting to do some short course racing after the Sydney to Southport Yacht Race or before heading up North to the Hamilton Island Race Week. It also offers an alternative to the longer Brisbane to Keppel Yacht Race.