Sunday, November 17, 2019
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Col Cameron Awarded Life Membership of the QRYA

Col8At the QRYA Annual General Meeting 16th June, Col Cameron, one of the best known radio yachtsman in Queensland was presented with Life Membership.

Col lives in North Queensland but still sails at events in the south east corner, such is his enthusiasm for the sport. This year Col occupied the President's chair for a time and led the Organising Committee for the 2019 Australian Championships.  He then competed in the IOM event and was Master of Ceremony at the presenatation and diner at the end of two weeks of racing.  But that was just this last year.  As you will read below, Col has been contributing his time to the sport for decades.


On being notified of his award, Col sent the following letter that was read out at the 2019 AGM.

“I thank you with much humility and grace that the Qld Radio Sailing community feel that I am a worthy recipient of a Life Membership of the Association.

What an honour and privilege to be recognised for my years of service to the radio sailing sport. From the early beginnings of the introduction of RC Sailing to Qld in the early 70’s to the present day, I have found the sport very rewarding and challenging, and have witnessed the growth of the sport to what it is today. During my 44 year journey,  I have made many friends and learnt a lot about RC sailing competitively in a responsible sportsmanship manner and always strived to help others to enjoy this wonderful sport. Thank you once again, it is something I will always treasure.”


 Col Cameron’s RC Sailing Journey so far

My love for remote controlled sailing yachts started in 1975, when I built my first radio controlled Marblehead, a Roger Stollery “March Hare Design", a 1968 design with a beam of 260 mm and a displacement of 9 kg’s (20 lbs.), It was built using planked balsa and a fiberglass skin, I changed a few things by building a longer fin and used a pocket luff mainsail, something that was new and innovative at the time

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I was a part of a Scale & Sail club and with a few mates formed the Burdekin Radio Model club and with Ken Williams (Decd) formed the Townsville Model Marine Club in 1976 and the Gooseponds Sail & Scale club with Graham Shanks in Mackay. We held the inaugural NQ RM championships in Ayr in 1979 at Castenellis Lagoon, with George Manders from Brisbane winning the event , with myself a close second. From that moment, I was well and truly hooked and immersed myself into designing my own hull shape (Pure Magic) , but due to the tyranny of distance, we did not have a lot of access to parts etc. and so we had to make our own fittings and winches.

Col2It wasn’t long before I became known as the voice of Col3the North, due to my loud voice calling out a protest, or asking questions on how to expand the Marblehead class in NQ as everything RC Sailing was being handled by the QMBA and subsequently the QRYA, under the control of David Black. The Townsville club continued to grow and held the first Qld title outside of Brisbane in 1983 where I came a credible third with my own designed and built Pure Magic. The art of RC sailing was spreading throughout North Queensland. During the 1980’s the Marblehead class continued to grow with many of the Townsville skippers winning the QLD RM titles, while I was always the brides maid by getting 2nds to them.

The 1990’s became the best time for myself as I still was involved with the Townsville club, the Burdekin Club had folded and my moulds, hulls and paperwork, plans etc, were totally destroyed by a cyclone that took my shed away. It wasn’t until I moved to Mackay in 1998, that I joined the Mackay Radio Yacht club which had formed in 1995 due to a split from the Scale boat side. I sailed against Ian Ashe for the first time at a Col4NQ Interclub series, something he had started between the Townsville and Mackay Clubs in 1996. My love for the sport reignited and after a flurry of designs using a new CAD program, I settled on a design called the Cambar RM, which is still sailing today in Townsville. With this hull shape, a few modifications and BG sails, I went onto achieving my first state title in 2009 and again in 2013, along with numerous NQ RM Titles (2003,2006,2008,2010,2011,2013,2015)

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In 2002, I organized the QLD RM titles to be held in Mackay, and we had 29 Entries which was an Australian record, and I met and sailed against the legendary Brad Gibson, what an experience and

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to think he went onto to be a multiple world champion. The 2000’s also saw the introduction of the IOM class to Nth Qld, and the class eventually took over as the main class sailing in Nth Qld, apart from Townsville which stuck to the Marblehead class. As the IOM became more popular, it wasn’t long before I was helping to design our own IOM, and the Eclipse was born. This hull shape was easy on the eye and sailed well, with my best result as an 8th place at the 2007 Nationals held at the Pine Rivers Dam near Brisbane with a fleet of 74 entries. My best memories was the travelling to other clubs in Qld such as Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, and Carbrook, with my sailing buddies and causing havoc at the local bars, clubs and motels as we really liked the after sailing socialising. It also allowed me to become a more potent voice in the Qld administration and in 2010, I joined the QRYA as its event coordinator, and have held positions of President, Vice President and Treasurer until my early retirement this year due to ongoing health concerns.

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2014 – Gladstone (L/R – Bob Neunhoffer TMMC, Grant Cooper – Gladstone, David Black – Secretary, Ian Ashe – President, Col Cameron- Vice President)

In 2018, I relocated to Townsville having to retire due to a major health issue and I wanted to spend my final years with my family and my friends. This hasn’t stopped my love for the sport and I have helped the three Northern clubs to experience and build upon the growing class, the Dragonflite 95 and it is so pleasing to see these clubs once again growing with new younger people coming down to learn and love the art of Radio yacht racing.

Over the past four decades, I have witnessed so many advances in technology, classes rise and fall, clubs expand and contract, I’ve sailed against some really talented sailors and given them a run for their money all the while finding time to relax and enjoy the company of anyone who was sailing a radio yacht. This was the most rewarding aspect of Radio Yacht sailing and I hope that this camaraderie continues as this is the heart beat of our sport, and allows the continued growth through the sharing of knowledge.

As I said earlier it has been a real privilege to meet and sail with the many radio yacht sailors I have met along my journey, so thank you once again for the honour of being selected as a life member of the QRYA.

Good winds and fair sailing

Col Cameron

 


 

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