WRECKED: The large storm that hit Maclean also destroyed the Big River Sailing Club's clubhouse and a storage compound.
WRECKED: The large storm that hit Maclean also destroyed the Big River Sailing Club's clubhouse and a storage compound. Contributed

Catamaran launched into paddock as storm razes clubhouse

SAILING: Big River Sailing Club is determined to see the silver lining in the set of stormy clouds that ripped through the club's boatshed and clubhouse at Harwood on Tuesday afternoon.

The stormfront, which ripped through most of Maclean, also dealt a killer blow to the sailing club, razing the club house and sending a catamaran flying out of a storage shed and into the paddock next door.

Club commodore Hariet Woodrow said the damage was devastating for all members of the club.

"Basically the storm blew out the main clubhouse," Woodrow said. "It took the roof off and the side walls, all we're left with is a floor.

"There was also a storage compound that now has no roof and a catamaran was blown out of it completely and flew out over the fence and landed in the neighbours cane field.

"We're just waiting for the an insurance assessor to come and have a look at the damage and see what the next steps are, but I think it will be a write-off.

"I'm devastated by it. It's certainly awful for the club."

But as they always do when a storm rolls through on a competition day, the Big River Sailing Club is determined to push through the worst of the conditions as they set their sails on a brighter future.

"The intention will be to rebuild and carry on," Woodrow said.

"We're in our summer recess at the moment and not due to commence training on the river until January 13, but that will be put on hold for the foreseeable future.

"Our boat sheds where we store the boats are fine, which is one thing.

"The park near the clubhouse, which is full of trees, is now basically stripped bare and there's a big mess around the park. It's a total mess out there."

As has happened in most parts of Maclean, the club will be relying on the determined spirit of the local sailing community as they aim to recover and rebuild.

"The club will rally in the next few days and hold a working bee to clean things up and go from there," Woodrow said.

"That's nature though, you can't turn it back and no-one can stop it even if they wanted to. We just have to deal with it."



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