There are few better reasons to roll out of bed on a wintry Sunday morning than the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's popular Winter Series, with the famous Breakfast Club on deck. A highlight of the club's sailing calendar and staged for more than 65 years, the series opens with the traditional Ladies Day and Great Veteran's Race, which pays tribute to the classic Sydney-to-Hobart yachts that sailed south from the 1940s to the early '80s. These events will be held on April 21 as part of the CYCA's annual Parade of Sail. There will be 10 pointscore Winter Series races on Sundays thereafter, concluding with the final Ladies Day race. After which, many of the yachts chase the sun north in the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and other Queensland regattas. Enter online at cyca.com.au.
Kayak for kids
Boaters steer clear of the western shores of Port Jackson until noon on Sunday. It is Lifestart's annual Kayak for Kids, a fund-raiser to help children with disabilities or developmental delays. The hotly contested paddling event attracts hundreds of competitors from across the state to Sydney Harbour. The 17.5-kilometre race ranges from Blues Point to Clontarf, with a time trial for serious kayakers in solo and double categories. The first solo boat across the line wins a return flight for two to Hawaii and entry to the Molokai Classic. There is a course for novices run in four stages of about 4.5 kilometres. Bring-your-own paddle craft and enter on the day for $80 singles, $130 doubles. Register at Blues Point between 6am and 8am for 9am start. A post-paddle picnic will be held at Clontarf. See lifestart.org.au.
A rowing chance
A reader writes to say he's miffed about the exclusion of rowing in our recent article about entry-level boating and self-propelled craft. "My heart jumped when I saw the subtitle about self-propelled boating. I hoped there might be a mention of rowing as recreation. I wasn't all that surprised that there wasn't, since Australian rowing authorities are only interested in rowing as competitive races," Hal Colebatch says. "In Europe, rowing doesn't have to be competitive. The Germans talk of wanderrudern [rowing hiking], the French have a whole calendar of day-long, weekend and week-long 'randonnees', which are serious but designed to be enjoyable, and last August I joined a group of Dutch rowers on a fund-raising charity row down the Danube from Vienna to Budapest. So it puzzles me that Australians don't see rowing as a nice way to get around."