*** FEATURE CLASS *** Heron
by Oliver Burnell
The Heron is a two person dinghy that is sailed in all states of Australia. Herons offer safe entry level sailing for novices but also provides an ongoing challenge for experienced sailors who are seeking to optimise performance.
The Heron can be built in timber (using traditional framing or stitch and glue construction) or fibreglass. The Heron class association is also offering $500 grants to anyone looking to buy a boat and get into the class. Second hand boats usually range in price from $500 to $8,000. A fully equipped new fibreglass boat bought off the shelf can be put on the water for approximately $12,500.
The Heron has a long and proud history of family involvement. Many of the past class national championships have been won by parent/child crew combinations. A number of sailors who crewed in the Heron in the past have returned to the class with their own children to share the family sailing experience.
The Heron was designed with a two piece (mast/gaff) gunter rig. A one piece (or Bermudan) mast has been introduced in recent years that gives similar performance. Both rigs can be used in competitive sailing. A larger headsail (genoa) has also been introduced for use by crews with a combined weight of 135 kgs or more.
Lindisfarne Sailing Club held a Heron Open Day over the past weekend which was deemed a great success in promoting the class, giving potential buyers and sailors of the class a taste.
Herons are sailed mainly from Montrose Bay Yacht Club and Lindisfarne Sailing Club.