LAKE BOLAC - For the first time in 10 years Lake Bolac's waters will be abuzz with action as more than 50 yachts hit the water for the reprised Lake Bolac Easter Regatta.
The event will celebrate its 52nd year in 2013, however it will be the first time the traditional Easter regatta will take place at Lake Bolac since 2003.
"At the last regatta we had 123 entries over the various classes and that shows how popular it was," Yachting Western Victoria secretary Fiona Noone said.
"We had a meeting after that event and decided that we had to pull the pin because the water level was just too low."
Now after years of suffering the pain of a dry lake caused by drought, the Lake Bolac community is ready to celebrate the return of their annual event.
Ms Noone said the event always attracted holiday makers from Melbourne, along the Victorian coast and even tourists from South Australia.
"They come and make it a five day break. It is quite a huge family event and touch wood we can have some fantastic weather," she said.
"The Lake Bolac Regatta was always the traditional wind-up event for the 11 clubs here in the Western Region. Easter tends to fall close to the end of the pennant season, so this was like a big finale and it was a huge negative when we weren't able to keep running it at Lake Bolac."
Next weekend will see six races run over four days beginning on Good Friday.
Class/Division Scratch/Handicap races will run on Friday (2pm), Saturday and Sunday (10.30am and 2pm both days), while the main event on Monday, the John Lane Memorial Sternchaser will begin at 1pm.
"Monday's race is an accumulation of all the race results over the weekend," Ms Noone said.
"It is named after John 'Jack' Lane, who was one of the founding members of the Derrinallum Yacht Club and also a founding member in our Western Region.
"He helped bring all the little yacht clubs around this region together as one unit and that is actually how the Lake Bolac Easter Regatta first began."
Organisers are hoping for 80 boats taking part in the event, however Ms Noone said the response had already been good in the lead up and that number could creep up to about 90 in total.
With early weather forecasts predicating temperatures in the low to mid 20s across the weekend Ms Noone said holiday makers and locals wanting to use the lake for recreational purposes would still be able to do so.
"The lake is big enough for all of us. If it is hot and there are a lot of power boats we can set up on the other side of the lake, that won't be a problem," she said.
"We tend to see a flow on from the Eel Festival, some people hang around for both weekends. It is certainly a busy time for Lake Bolac."
A regatta dinner will be held on the Saturday night with assistance from community groups including the Lake Bolac College parents group and Lake Bolac Foreshore committee.
All money raised on the night will go towards Lake Bolac College.
"The dinner allows sailors to come and meet up after a day on the water and just enjoy each other's company," Ms Noone said.
"It will be a family orientated dinner with children's activities after the meal. We are encouraging everyone to come along to that and make it a great family night out.
"Sunday morning we have our huge Easter Egg Hunt at the club, that was one of the most popular events when Lake Bolac used to host the regatta so it has been brought back."
The reprised event has been well supported by local businesses with a number of new sponsors coming on board to help with prizes and naming rights.
Ms Noone said Ararat Rural City Council had also been a great support in promoting the event and organisers were looking forward to the long overdue return.
"The whole event provides massive support for the town, the amount of people it brings in and they are always going in and out to the supermarket or the pub for a meal, so it is great for Lake Bolac," she said.
"Everything that is raised over the weekend, we want that money to stay in the Lake Bolac community because the town has suffered over the years with the lake being so dry, so now is the time to give something back."