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The final curtain
Just after midnight the last yacht, Capriccio of Rhu, with the indomitable Michele Colenso at the helm, crossed the finish line to bring down the curtain on the Rolex Sydney Hobart ocean racing classic for another year.
It was a fine achievement by this cruising yacht, the only one in its division, especially as Capriccio or Rhu lost considerable time taking an injured crewman into Wollongong for medical treatment on the first night. And it was another personal triumph for Michele who was diagnosed with breast cancer just before last year’s race.
Also at the tail end of the fleet, in fact the last racing yacht across the line, was Huckleberry, one of four entrants from West Australia. For Steve Humphries and his crew it has been a long haul, having aborted their delivery trip by sea because of bad weather and resorting to the long road trip across the Nullabor.
Huckleberry scored third in its division, but to compete and finish is what it is all about for the skipper and crew of this Sparkman and Stephens 34.
For John Walker, at 85 the oldest skipper to have competed in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, this year’s race may not be his last. His yacht, Impeccable, among the smallest in this year’s fleet, crossed the line last night in 33rd position on IRC handicap. It was a fine achievement and further evidence of the fact that age is no barrier to successful ocean racing.
The classic Sparkman and Stephens 49 Spirit of Koomooloo finished at 3pm yesterday afternoon. Mike Freebairn experienced the ultimate heart break when his much loved Koomooloo struck trouble off the NSW east coast and sank in the 2006 race. Within three months he was back on the horse, purchasing Margaret Rintoul II, the original Ragamuffin, and renaming it Spirit of Koomooloo. It was one of the more emotional moments of this year’s race when Freebairn and his crew toasted the memory of the ill-fated Koomooloo as they sailed over its ocean grave.
The Rum Consortium’s trusty Phillip’s Foote Witchdoctor, which finished third in PHS division B and clocked up its record 27th race, consecutive all bar one, finished last night at 7.13pm.
Crewman Tony Cable sailed into the record books, reaching his 44th Rolex Sydney Hobart with this race. Both he and Victorian skipper Lou Abrahams now share the honour of equalling John ‘the Fish’ Bennetto’s record set in 2004.
"It was a nice race," the ever humble Cable said. "It didn’t get my feet wet…then again I didn’t go where I could get my feet wet".
When asked whether he was proud of his crewman, Maurice Cameron, skipper and the other half of the comedy duo wouldn’t be drawn, "we aren’t sure whether Phillip’s Foote needs Cable or he needs us."
There is plenty of cheek left in the Sydney based sailor, who sailed his first race in 1961 and has raced south on a total of 19 different yachts, and it’s not hard to imagine him going well beyond 44 races.
"I’ve got strong memories of John Bennetto who was a friend for many years, and I think of him. I would also like to congratulate Lou on being such as marvellous campaigner and such a gentleman in the sport.
"Numbers don’t mean a great deal to me. I’ve sailed to Hobart with approximately 250 guys from gold medallists down and that makes me appreciate how much of an ordinary sailor I am," the self depreciating Cable said.
Another yachtsman joined the elite 40 club with this race. Bill Ratcliff, sailing aboard Andrew Dally’s brand new Bear Necessity, delivered Ratcliff to Constitution Dock for the 40th time.
Ratcliff is the only the seventh yachtsman to be added to the 40 honour roll while four yachtsmen, one aboard the radio relay vessel, will have their names added to the 25 board. They and two women reaching the 10 race milestone, will be acknowledged at tomorrow’s official race prizegiving at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, the race’s finish club, with Tasmanian Government medallions.
Marcos Rodriguez’s Beneteau 40.7 Iataia, which left Acapulco Yacht Club in April, was the first ever Mexican boat contest the bluewater classic. Rodriguez and his crew finished at 5.46pm yesterday afternoon, Rodriguez pronouncing it an "incredible race. We are very glad we came all this way, it might be the best decision I have taken in my life."
The on board fare was not traditional Mexican fare, "too spicy" says the skipper who reverted to a safer Italian menu.
"We picked the right year, I want to keep the memory," he said when asked would he be back again.
Palandri Wines Minds Eye, the smallest in the 82 boat fleet that set out on 26 December from Sydney Harbour has been granted 39 minutes redress by the international jury due to an incorrect identification of their yacht on the second start line.
Bruce Foye’s Sydney 38 The Goat has this morning been confirmed the winner of the Sydney 38 division.
Jim Holley’s Aurora is yet to be given a time penalty for failing to return after being recalled as a premature starter.
Just three boats retired from the race, one of the smallest number in many years.
Divisional winners will be presented with their flags at an 11am dockside presentation today at King’s Pier Marina.
by Greg Peart/Lisa Ratcliff
Image: Scene at Constitution Dock, credit ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi
Official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
Divisional winners announced dockside
Divisional winners gathered dockside this morning in Hobart for the presentation of winner’s battle flags and the announcement of the overall winner to the public.
While on stage at the presentation, local Tasmanian Justin ‘Juggy’ Clougher, bowman of the winning boat Rosebud from the US, was suddenly handed the Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece that had been presented to his skipper Roger Sturgeon, the local lad overcome with emotion.
It was revealed today that Sydney 38 overall winner The Goat was lucky to make it to the finish of the 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart which finished last night when Capriccio of Rhu's arrival closed the curtain on the 63rd event.
Skippered by Bruce Foye, a former overall winner, The Goat’s race almost ended when they hit a submerged rock at Tasman Island in the dark in a 20 knot southerly, and broke a third of their keel off.
"It was an enormous job helming and coordinating the trimming to continue to sail competitively," said Foye who is pulling the boat out of the water tomorrow for repairs.
"We’re rapt … totally rapt!" That was the response of Sailors with disABILITIES skipper David Pescud when told his yacht, a Lyons 54 built in 2000, had won PHS overall honours in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart. With their previous yacht, Pescud and his largely disabled crew won PHS Division A in the storm- battered 1998 race.
For David, a 17 race veteran, and his crew this was the first time they have won an overall handicap prize, and it reaffirms his objective of providing sailing opportunities for people who might otherwise not believe they could participate.
The CYCA’s Audi Winter Series was the start of their race preparations, together with the Audi Sydney Mackay Race in which Sailors with disABILITIES was a divisional winner. "We worked hard on and off the water at getting the boat and crew right."
Two crew members are dyslexic, one is severely hearing impaired and another visually impaired. This year there were no amputees on board because, according to skipper Pescud, "all our guys got positions on other boats, which is really what we are about."
But there is no rest for the skipper who is now back in Sydney seeking sponsorship for the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Second on Performance Handicap is Toyota Aurion VI, skippered by Andrew Short in his 14th race to Hobart.
The Bavaria 44, Namadgi, owned and sailed by a syndicate from the longstanding Canberra Ocean Racing Club, placed third overall and first in PHS division B.
"We had a screaming run down the east coast then got caught at Green Cape and again at Tasman Island. Our winning stroke was coming across Storm Bay when we picked up a nice shift and passed eight other boats," said Namadgi's skipper Rick Scott-Murphy today.
This divisional win, for the Canberra Ocean Racing Club, comes off the back of another podium placing in July when Namadgi claimed PHS overall honours in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race.
The trophy presentation for the 63rd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be held at the Royal Yacht of Tasmania tomorrow, 1 January 2008, at 11am.
Jim Holley’s Aurora from Lake Macquarie, which started prematurely and failed to respond to a re-call has had a 30% penalty applied by the race committee which has put them last on IRC handicap results and last on line honours.
NB This is the final story from the Rolex Sydney Hobart media team. Thanks to everyone for the great coverage & hope to be working with you all again next year. Happy New Year from Lisa, Nicole, Sam, Anna, Jim, Greg & Bruce.
Official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
New leaders at Australian Laser Championship
World champion Tom Slingsby’s (AUS) OCS in Race 5 of the 08 Australian Laser Championship late yesterday has handed Nick Thompson (GBR) to take a one point lead from Sydney International Regatta winner Michael Leigh (CAN) on 13 points in a strong international field of 126 sailors.
Deniss Karpak (EST), World Ranked No 10 and recent winner of
Ashley Brunning is the top placed Aussie in seventh place with a win included in his score. However, when race drops come into play, Slingsby and others will have the opportunity to move up the board.
In the Radials, which also features a strong international line-up, Veronika Fenclova (CZE) had a brilliant day; scoring three bullets to take the series lead away from
This is an important event for the Radial Women’s, ahead of their World Championship to be held in
Rohan Langford has jumped to a 17 point lead over Jarrard Lincoln in the all Aussie 4.7 fleet. With only a 12 point spread between third and sixth places, this is shaping up as a battle that will only be decided in the four-race finals series which starts on January 3rd.
The Championship is now one race ahead of schedule. The Race Committee has decided to hold a morning race today to take advantage of forecast northerly winds at Blairgowrie before a 41 degree heat wave takes hold.
A layday has been called for the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron hosted event on New Year’s Day.
Results are available on line at http://www.viclaser.yachting.org.au/
RQYS gears up for a busy season of Australian Championship Regattas
Today kick starts the “Summer of Sailing at the Squadron” as the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron plays host to five Australian Championship regattas with 31 Cherubs the first to hit the traffic free waters of Waterloo Bay.
Joining the Cherubs on the extensive grassed rigging lawn are the Taipan Catamarans, International Contenders, 16’ Skiffs and the Audi Etchells Australian Championship from the 11th January 2008.
Among this array of regattas the
Sailing Committee Chairman Grant Somerville said that during this time of year, the Squadron is action packed with many visiting competitors taking advantage of the ample rigging area and onsite accommodation options.
“We have some of the best facilities in the country, if not the world, to host major regattas and are always eager to get associations to hold their events here. We already have the 12’ Skiff Interdominions and the Herron Australian Championships confirmed for the 08/09 season with 3 other classes confirming in January,” said
Over the next three weeks some 1,000 visiting competitors from across
Enquire about hosting your next regatta at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Contact Suellen Hurling on 07 3396 8666 or email email@example.com
Schedule of Events – “Summer of Sailing at the Squadron” – 07/08
Skandia breaks mast, Wild Oats XI approaching Storm Bay
At approximately 2:30am while sailing off Bicheno on the Tasmanian east coast, with 150nm to go to the finish of the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Skandia’s mast snapped between the third spreader and the forestay.
The mast is still standing and bowman Casey Smith has been up four times to tie the rig down and secure all pieces. The spinnaker, which wrapped itself around the keel, has now been retrieved and the boat is sailing under jury rig with a storm sail, still heading for the finish line.
At this stage, Skandia has not retired from racing and is heading to Hobart, although any hopes of line honours or an overall handicap win are now completely lost.
All crew are safe and uninjured.
At 5:30am, Wild Oats XI was 10nm north east of Tasman Island with the potential to reach the finish line at Constitution Dock before 9:00am today.
There are still 79 yachts at sea in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2007.
To track the fleet, go to the official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
To view the list of yachts applied to enter go to
Wild Oats XI makes it three in a row
The Sydney maxi Wild Oats XI, skippered by Mark Richards, has made yachting history this morning, crossing the finish line of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race at 10:24am to secure her third consecutive line honours victory. Richards has been at the helm each time.
Wild Oats XI is the first yacht to achieve this feat since Claude Plowman’s Morna made it three in a row between 1946 and 1948, today’s result confirming her place as one of the most successful yachts in the history of the Rolex Sydney Hobart with three consecutive line honours, an overall win and the race record.
Her elapsed time for the race was one day 21 hours 24 minutes 32 seconds, the third fastest time for the 628 nautical mile course.
"We came here to do a job and that was to claim the treble," said a jubilant Richards soon after crossing the finish line this morning. "We were challenged, we were chased and we were constantly looking over our shoulders but we are here now and it’s time to celebrate.
"Back next year for a fourth? You never know, you’ll have to talk to Bob," Richards added.
Bob Oatley’s 30m maxi Wild Oats XI was the pre-race favourite and has dominated since the opening minutes of Australia’s premier yacht race which began from Sydney Harbour at 1pm on 26 December. She led the fleet out of the Harbour and never looked back. In the opening 10 hours of the race she surged down the New South Wales coast reaching speeds of 22 knots in almost perfect conditions, but light southwesterly winds in Bass Strait yesterday quashed hopes of bettering her own record set two years ago.
Northerly winds overnight allowed her to make up a lot of time as she sped down the Tasmanian coast, reviving faint hopes of a new record, but it was always going to be a big ask.
Wild Oats XI crossed the finish line ahead of the British maxi City Index Leopard, skippered by Mike Slade. Slade staged a dramatic comeback over the course of the morning. At one stage the two frontrunners were 21 nautical miles apart and by the time the crew of Wild Oats heard the sound of cannon fire, thanks to members of the Militaria Association of Tasmania who dress in period costume to fire the cannon historic Battery Point, City Index Leopard was in the Derwent River and only four miles short of glory.
The result is an extraordinary achievement for Mark Richards who assembled a line up of 24 international yachtsmen with an extraordinary 233 Rolex Sydney Hobarts between them to mount the historic challenge.
In September Wild Oats XI was dismasted during the Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup in Sardinia and it has been a massive job getting a new mast and sails in time for the race, the boat only re-launched in the first week of December.
Currently in third place is Matt Allen’s modified Volvo 70 which this morning bore down on Grant Wharington’s Melbourne maxi Skandia which is limping to Hobart under jury rig after snapping the top of its mast at 2.30am this morning. Skandia is currently third but set to overtake is Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud.
Morna, which sealed her third consecutive win in 1948 with an elapsed time of 4 days 5 hours and 1 minute, was a Fife design, a 65 foot Bermudan cutter which took line honours three times as Morna and went on to finish first over the line a further four times as Kurrewa IV. Morna was built in Sydney for the then Commodore the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Dr Alexander MacCormick, and was owned by a number of prominent Sydney yachtsmen including the late Sir Frank Packer.
To track the fleet go to the official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
To view the list of yachts applied to enter go to http://rolexsydneyhobart.com//yachts.asp?key=526
Australian yachting qualifications to gain international relevance
Yachting Australia and RYA have finalized a formal partnership for a new Yacht Training Scheme for Australia.
“The new Yacht Training Scheme will be rolled out over three years from January. The training will be aligned to the RYA’s international standard and will be delivered by Yachting Australia.
“The new program will offer international recognition of qualifications, a wider range of supporting resources and courses, a quality management run to international standards and localised administration,” said Mr Snell.
Existing Yacht Cruising Scheme qualifications issued separately by the RYA and Yachting Australia will remain valid. The current Yachting Australia Yacht Cruising Scheme will continue to be offered and fully supported until 31 December 2010.
Mr Snell said that the three-year implementation schedule should give training centres time to upgrade their qualifications and fleet, if necessary, and to meet certain administrative requirements such as insurance and a customer feedback system.
“Over the same time period, a new National Keelboat Scheme will be developed with significant industry consultation. This will replace the beginner levels of Yachting Australia’s existing program and will be in place by January 2011.
“The new Yacht Training Scheme and the National Keelboat Scheme will expand the provision of courses and provide a pathway for small boat sailors to progress seamlessly to offshore yachting, especially if they wish to pursue international sailing and employment opportunities.”
He said both programs would be run nationally with a strong emphasis on national standards for training centres and instructor training.
Penny Haire, RYA’s Training and Development Manager (Australia & Asia Pacific) said the new program will offer the highest level of professionalism in yacht training ever seen in Australia.
“For the first time ever, yachting qualifications will be consistently delivered across all States of Australia and recognized internationally,” said Ms Haire.
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nations compete for Olympic selection at Laser Worlds
So far 143 entries have been received by organisers of the 2008 Laser World Championship to be sailed off Terrigal from 4-13 February and for many there is more at stake than Championship gold.
From the top ranked sailors around the globe, approximately 10 nations are depending on the regatta to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games in Terrigal; their final opportunity to do so. Others will be seeking Olympic selection into their respective teams.
No Australian names appear on the entry list as yet. The Australian Laser Championship at Sail Melbourne in January will decide competitors for the Laser Worlds. Among them though, will be Tom Slingsby, reigning world champion and silver medallist from the just completed ISAF Grade 1 Sydney International Regatta (SIRs).
Fierce competition and close final results proved nobody is a sure bet when it comes to winning the Laser Worlds, to be sailed on offshore courses near the pretty seaside holiday destination on the NSW Central Coast.
“Anyone could have won, and it will be the same at the World’s – it always comes down to the final two races in my opinion,” admits Leigh. “Tom and Andrew (Murdoch) sometimes get away, but there are so many good sailors, it comes down to who has that little bit extra,” he says. He is right. Some of the big names finished well down the list.
Slingsby, who hails from the
Winning the opening race, the 22 year-old was disqualified for sailing in too close proximity to a Sydney ferry (according to NSW Collision Regs) and almost found himself in a ferry sandwich, such was the traffic on the harbour that day. “I got caught between two of them. I couldn’t avoid it,” he said.
His second oops found him floundering after laying a mark, but then getting caught on the wrong side of a shift. Forced to tack twice at a busy rounding, he dropped from fifth to 22nd place in that race, and says: “Mistakes are costly, but I’m definitely going fast and my preparation for the World's is going very well.”
With nerves of steel, Slingsby, who thrives under pressure, surged to win the final race, pipping another Canadian, Bernard Luttmar, on countback, for silver.
Largest numbers of entries to-date come from
As the Laser boasts the largest Olympic class numbers worldwide, it goes without saying competition will be tough. Paul Goodison (GBR) is one of the toughest when sailing at his best. He is entered for the World’s along with the considerable talents of Matias Del Solar (CHI), Gustavo Lima (POR), Deniss Karpak (EST), Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and Croatia’s Luka Radelic and Milan Vujasinović, among others.
Of the 53 nations entered so far, 30 have qualified for the Games They are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay, USA.
Qualifying races will be held from 7-10 February, with the finals to be held from 11-13 February. Two races per day have been scheduled for each. The Notice of Race and other useful information can be found on the official website: http://aus08.laserinternational.org/ where Sailing Instructions will be posted on February 4.
Once more with feeling
In all honesty it was amazing that Michele Colenso, the owner of the magnificent cruising yacht Capriccio of Rhu, completed the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Diagnosed with breast cancer mid way through a round the world cruise, Michele decided that she would enter the race, chemo and radiotherapy notwithstanding. It would be a marvellous opportunity to publicise breast cancer awareness, she reasoned, and who will forget the sight of Capriccio storming up Sydney Harbour last Boxing day under a spinnaker bearing the outline of a really quite substantial pair and the message "if you want to keep ‘em feel ‘em", a call for women under 50 to take breast cancer prevention into their own hands.
"Thirteen thousand women get breast cancer each year, a third of them under 50," Michele explains, "and preventative mammogram tests are unreliable for women younger than 50. So if you are under 50 you are on your own."
Michele was sure she was up to the challenge, but now accepts that she completely underestimated how much her cancer treatment would take out of her, or indeed how much she still had to endure.
"I remember the start (of the race)," she recalls. "It was just incredible going out of the harbour. I was so relieved we got out without hitting anything." After the start, though, Michele had had it.
"I was so determined we were going to get to the starting line, and put so much into that, when we finally did start I just collapsed. I had absolutely no strength. I couldn’t man the winch. I thought I was being pathetic. I didn’t appreciate the effect of radio therapy. The length of time it takes to get over it. The tiredness that goes on for months."
Confined to her bunk, by the second day of the race a desperately sick Michele was convinced that they had been at sea for days on end and that she and her crew were in mortal danger of dehydration. The crew asked her if she wanted to turn it in but "I knew the weather was improving, so we might as well go on."
Incredibly, despite further surgery this year, Michele is Hobart bound again this year.
"My strength is getting better, but I still don’t have much stamina. After the surgery in July I thought I would take it easy, but I did a charity gig in August and met other women who didn’t discover their cancer soon enough and are just hoping they will make it to Christmas. I thought if there is anything I can do, I’ve got to do it. We just have to keep getting the message through to young women.
"So I rang everyone up in England to see if they were up for it again, and here we are."
The big boobed spinnakers are back on board, as is a somewhat wiser Michele Colenso. She knows now that she still has a long way to go before she comes out the other side of her bout with cancer. She lives life more intensely.
"There are definite changes in me. I appreciate every sunset, every dawn, the wind dropping at night, clouds, everything. I don’t need to travel thousands of miles to find pleasure, I can just sit on the end of a dock."
Michele says that she would like to complete her circumnavigation, though she has taken Australian residency this year, and has plans to settle here. Really though, until she is well again she will not be making too many plans, she says.
"I hope we can continue cruising. We recently sailed up to Newcastle and back, my first time offshore since Hobart. The dolphins, the phosphorous sea at night, the shooting stars. It was only up to Newcastle but it was wonderful. I want to be able to carry on."
Michele came to ocean sailing late in life. Born and raised away from the sea, "I sailed dinghies a bit in the local gravel pit, "with the exception of the odd seasick day her first offshore passage came after she had already purchased Capriccio of Rhu for her circumnavigation.
"When I was a little girl my grandfather was chairman of the Bristol Port Authority and he sailed to Australia twice. In fact he sailed on a liner but I didn’t know that. I just thought that when you got older that’s what you did. You sailed to Australia.
"I was in Spain with a friend who has done all sorts of adventurous things and we were talking about an adventurous way to get to Australia and she suggested sailing. "But I can’t sail," I said.
"’Don’t worry,’ she said, "you’ll learn."
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2007
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2007 will start on 26 December and will be conducted on the waters of Sydney Harbour, the Tasman Sea, Storm Bay and the Derwent River.
The event will be broadcast on Channel 7 with Australian Sailing Team Program Manager, Rob Brown part of the broadcast team for the third year in the row. The broadcast will commence at 12:30pm and the race starting at 1pm.
Australian Sailing Team member in the Finn class, Anthony Nossiter will be a crew member on Ichi Ban.
Yachting Australia would like to wish all those competing in the event a successful and safe journey.
Sydney 38OD's Dominate Sydney Hobart Entries
Ten Sydney 38 One Designs are competing in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart this year. More than any other Class, manufacturer or designer.
It has been said that the
In the past few years a couple of
As well as the Handicap honours of the Tattersall’s Cup, they will be competing within their own division for the One Ton Cup – for the first Sydney 38OD Home. This has been hotly contested since the trophy was re-dedicated to the Class three years ago.
So, of the ten competing boats – who is likely to take out the One Ton Cup and even have a chance at the big prize?
The favourite would have to be Lou Abrahams and the team on Challenge. Due to an accounting anomaly Lou will be sailing his 44th
There are then a number of boats at slightly higher but generally similar odds. The Twins, Marc and Louis Ryckmans, partnered by
In terms of preparation
You also have a couple of real class Stalwarts (I hesitate to use that term but it is so apt, and complimentary, in these cases) Eleni (Tony Levett, MHYC) and The Bigger Picture KM&T (Michael Roberts and
There are a couple of seasoned 38OD Regatta Circuit campaigners heading south too – Swish (Steven Proud, RSYS) and Zen (Gordon Ketelbey, MHYC). Both are regular and successful competitors on the 38 Circuit and both have good track records offshore going North. Swish also scored a third in Division last time she went to
Then there are the unknown quantities; Challenge (Chris Lewin, Melbourne), Getaway Sailing (Jay Pettifer) & the Goat (Bruce Foye, CYCA). Bruce is a relative newcomer to the Class having bought National Champion boat Estate Master earlier in the year. He is no stranger to the
Chris Lewin made the headline a few years ago as the youngest skipper to go south. He impressed too with a solid result but hasn’t been back for a couple of year. The Getaway Sailing owned Yandoo has an international crew coming together for the firs time for this event.
If you can draw yourself away from the battle of the gazillionaires at the front of the fleet – then check out the Yacht tracker for the
Australia retains number two position in ISAF World Sailing Rankings
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings were released yesterday with Australia retaining three number one positions.
Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page (470 Men), Tom Slingsby (Laser) and Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby (Tornado) are all number in the world in their chosen class.
This comes off the back of outstanding results at the recent Sydney International Regatta where the Australian Sailing Team won five Gold and two Silver medals.
The latest world ranking keeps Australia in the number two position just behind Spain in first place and ahead of Poland in third place. However, Australia has the most number of athletes in the number one spot (3).
To read the full ISAF rankings story, please click on the link below:
172nd Australia Day Regatta 2008
The official programme for the 172nd Australia Day Regatta is now available from most Sydney yacht clubs, while the Notice of Race can be downloaded from the web sites of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
The programme' striking cover has been painted by the renowned artist Charles Billich, while the contents include historical features, photographs from the 2007 Regatta and a record of the winners of perpetual trophies in that regatta.
The 172nd Australia Day Regatta for yachts, 18-foot skiffs and historical skiffs will be held on Sydney Harbour on Saturday, 26 Januuary 2008 while on the same day regattas will be held on other waterways including Pittwater, Lake Macquarie, Botany Bay and Lake Illawarra.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's ocean racing fleet will sailing its traditional race to Botany Bay and return for the City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Trophy.
Other events on Sydney Harbour on Australia Day will include the colourful ferrython, a parade of sail and power and a tall ships race, with HMAS Kanimbla the flagship for the regatta.
In the air, the RAAF Roulettes will provide a spectacular display of aerobatics, FA118s will make low-level passes over the Harbour and other waterways and Army parachutists will descend into the harbour.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Commonwealth Private Bank is again sponsoring the Australia Day Regatta.
Please find below a link to the Sailability e-news for December.
Melbourne yacht back in running for Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Melbourne sailor Robert Date is confident he will be on the starting line on Boxing Day after emergency repairs to his Sydney 38 Scarlet Runner.
It was all gloom and doom just ten days ago when another Sydney 38, X3, speared into Scarlet Runner in the very first race of the Rolex Trophy One Design Series, the series Date and crew had been looking to to get them up to speed for the marathon to Hobart.
Up until the collision things had been going well. "We felt that we were only five or six boat lengths off the pace in that first race. We really wanted those two days of hard racing.
"Right after the crash the question was ‘can we keep racing?’ but then on closer inspection it quickly became ‘can we get back to the club?’ followed by "is the damage to the hull structural, which would put us out of the Rolex Sydney Hobart, or cosmetic?"
Despite cracks in one of the bulkheads, to Date’s relief the damage turned out to be mostly cosmetic and this morning, Wednesday 19 December, he will fly up from Melbourne to watch Noakes Boatyard put his pride and joy back in the water whole again. The campaign is back on, but the pressure to get everything right by race day will be enormous.
"It’s a huge effort to get a boat up from Melbourne. You can’t just nip around after work to fix things, so your heart just sinks when something goes wrong.
Even little things become such a headache when you’re in another city. We’ve lost a week so I hope it all goes okay," says Date.
Scarlet Runner hasn’t been the only boat under the gun in the lead up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Andrew Dally’s brand new C&C 115 Bear Necessity didn’t arrive from her North American manufacturers until late November, and she did not hit the water until last Wednesday, just two weeks before race time.
Yet in contrast to Scarlet Runner, things have gone like clockwork for Dally.
"Because we had already had another C&C 115 we knew exactly what we had to do," he says. "We planned the whole thing meticulously, and followed the plan religiously each day. We had contingencies if luck went against us, but nothing went wrong.
"I put it down to impeccable planning by my incredibly organised wife, Pauline."
What Dally does have in common with Date, though, is a lack of pre-race competition.
Dally can at least get in some match racing with the older C&C, and he and his crew have already sailed many ocean miles together. Dally has been to Hobart three times with the crew veteran, 72 year old Bill Ratcliff, who will join an ocean racing elite when he heads south for the 40th time. Now that Bear Necessity is a certain starter, Ratcliff has withdrawn his race entry for his Moody 38 Wistarie.
Ratcliff cut his ocean racing teeth on the tough little club racing boats of the 80’s, the Carter 33’s, Duncansan 35’s and S&S 34’s, including his own beloved S&S Marara, who’s crews scrimped and saved over the year so they could make the annual pilgrimage to Hobart.
"We had some great racing then. There was such a sense of mateship among all the sailors. Nobody could afford hotels in those days. We all slept on the boats we sailed down in." Crammed into Constitution Dock, a swarming instant community ready to party.
These days the Sydney 38’s provide the same sort of close, boat on boat rivalry the old S&S 34’s enjoyed, and the camaraderie too.
Scarlet Runner will be one of ten 38’s racing to Hobart, a mini regatta that will be as hotly contested as anything going on aboard the maxis or the grand prix 50 and 60 footers.
No-one at sea is more competitive than 80 year old Lou Abrahams, a two time overall winner of the ocean classic who is determined to celebrate his record equalling 44th Rolex Sydney Hobart with a third consecutive Sydney 38 division win. Yet Abrahams has been a great source of advice for Date.
"Lou says that if we are in front of him when he turns into the Derwent River he’ll be annoyed, but otherwise he has been very helpful," Date jokes.
"The whole crew of (Abraham’s boat) Challenge has been good. They reckon that if the whole fleet is going fast, they will go faster.
"We see this as a four day race. If we don’t make any mistakes during the first three days hopefully we will be lying well on the start of the fourth. If only a few hundred metres separate all the 38’s at the end it would be sensational," Date says.
"A match race up the Derwent. How good would that be. Especially if we knock Lou off."
Official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
To view the list of yachts applied to enter go to
Audi announces 2008 sailing sport events
German luxury carmaker, Audi, has officially confirmed it’s 2008 major event program as part of the company’s commitment to sailing in Australia.
Audi’s managing director, Joerg Hofmann, said the company is keen to get back out on the water in 2008 with its major event partners in Melbourne, Sydney and QLD including Skandia Geelong Week, the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in the Whitsundays.
Day 4 SIRS: Balance of medals decided
Final results from the 2007 Sydney International Regatta.
One of the early gold medals went to Michael Leigh (CAN) in the Laser class after sailing consistently throughout the series, his worst results a sixth and an 11th, which he used as race drops.
Making a come back as big as big as Lazarus, world champion Tom Slingsby, surged to a win in the final Race 9 to take silver. Slingsby, from the
Although pleased with his result, Leigh says he is now looking to the World’s in February at Terrigal. “I have to face-off against nine other Canadian’s for the Olympic place at the World’s. Anyone could have won SIRs – it always come down to the final two races. Tom Slingsby and Andrew Murdoch sometimes get away from everyone else, but mostly there are so many good sailors, it comes down to who has that little bit extra,” Leigh, from
Slingsby says coming from behind, the pressure was off him. “It’s easier in a lot of respects. Everyone is concentrating on those in the lead. I’m happy with my result here, despite the hiccups. I’m definitely going fast. My preparations for the World's is going very well. I’ve come away from SIRs with a bit to learn – I know that.”
Of the ferry incident, the 22 year-old explains: “There was so much traffic out there that first day. I had a ferry close in front of me I was keeping an eye on; next thing I knew, I heard a toot, and there was one right behind me – I was hemmed in,” he says.
Yesterday’s report of him port tacking the fleet was incorrect. “I was coming to the top mark and was on the layline about three metres away and sailed into a knock. I couldn’t lay – I had a couple of goes and ended up rounding the mark in about 35th place.”
Early series leaders Paul Campbell-James/Mark Asquith (GBR) took silver and the Portuguese pair of Jorge Lima Francisco Andrade took bronze, their seventh place in Race 11 killing any chance of hanging onto silver.
“We like it gusty and shifty,” said winning crew
Skipper Outteridge says: “It feels good to win here. The field is a strong one – the Europeans here are top standard, so we got a good workout. We’ll take a few days off now then focus on the World’s at Sail Melbourne in January.”
Mark Asquith, silver medallist crew, commented: “it was so shifty and gusty, very hard to read. Second is not first, but it’s better than third, I guess. It has definitely paid us to come to SIRs and to the Australian 49er Nationals at Woollahra, they have been very professionally run and both will be of big benefit to me and Paul at the World’s. We’ve both really enjoyed the hospitality of Woollahra Sailing Club,” he said.
The Norwegian sailor was too good for her counterparts, winning today’s final two races, just pipping Crisp on the finish line in the final race. “It was exciting, but she got said Crisp, who bound for her third Olympics when she represents in
Patrik Pollak (SVK) took gold in the Men’s RS:X, Karel Lavicky (CZE) won silver and Jonathan Bonnitcha (AUS) won bronze.
Laser Radial Women’s
Penny Clark was the best placed of the British girls, overcoming Laura Baldwin, who looked good until the final day. Evi Van Acker (BEL) finished well down after contracting a stomach virus which left her unable to race the last two days.
Eventually, the pair defeated two sets of brothers who had been biting at the Aussie’s heels all week. Ben and Romain Bonnaud (FRA), who at one stage led the series, finished second overall just one point behind the Aussies. Page had said before the event the Frenchman would be strong contenders, and he was right.
Sven and Kalle Coster (NED) were third, a further four points behind. The brothers were up there all week and did not go away.
Nike Kornecki/Vered Bouskila (ISR) would have been disappointed to slip to silver, especially on countback, but at least they remained on the podium. The Swiss pair of Emmanuelle Rol/Anne-Sophie Thilo held their game together to claim the bronze medal, just four points behind.
The Australian crew of Elise Rechichi/Tessa Parkinson did not race as a pair at this event, Rechichi taking time out to heal a back problem, not wanting to take a chance at SIRs with the 470 Worlds coming up at Sail Melbourne in January. However, Parkinson did get a couple of races in, with Sydney 2000 470 Men’s gold medallist Tom King helming for Parkinson, the pair being scored in the Men’s class. King thrilled all, pulling out a third place after three years away from the class.
Laser Radial Men’s
A West Australian pair made the podium too, when Mark Whittington/Scott Sharpe won gold in the 420 class. The West Australian Youth Development program is coming along well, with many great 420 and 470 sailors making a name for themselves.
Kivell is another name we’re used to seeing on trophies, and it was no different at SIRs today when Amy Kivell/Kate Aulich (Vic) overcame 16 other female and male crews to grab silver in the 420 double-handed class. Brothers Matthew and Benjamin Taylor
It was an all NSW show in the 29er skiff class as Andrew and William Chapman took out the 29er skiff class. From a strong sailing background (their father a former skiff sailor of note), the boys overcame a challenge from and finished nine points clear of second placed Joel Rose/Jamie Woods Nick Peate/Rhys Mara third in a strong field of 32 entries.
Commenting on the regatta, Chairman of the Yachting NSW Organising Committee, Brian Tyquin said: “It’s been a great success. We’ve had a good variety of weather, including a light day that was a good test for those aiming for the Beijing Games and a good preview of the Games’.
“The Australian results underlined the strength of the Team going to
Tyquin went on acknowledge the support of the NSW Department of Sport & Recreation, Steve Jarvin Motors and Alphaboat for their support. He also paid tribute to host venue, Woollahra Sailing Club and the race management team provided by member clubs; Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, RANSA and Double Bay Sailing Club. He also thanked the efforts of the boys from Sydney Boys High who volunteered to help at the regatta, and did an excellent job whilst enjoying themselves.
“We couldn’t run a regatta of this size without the full support of these people,” Tyquin said.
In all, there were 410 entries and 550 competitors from 38 nations.
Day 4 SIRS: Brendan Casey 6th in Finn class
Ben Ainslie (GBR) has cleaned up in the Finn class at the Sydney International Regatta which finished on Sydney Harbour this afternoon.
Ainslie won two of today’s three races, finishing ninth in the middle Race 7, which was used as his race drop for the series.
The triple Olympic medallist across two classes won six of the nine race series hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club, beating nearest rival Jonas Hoegh Christensen (DEN) by a whopping 17 points. The bronze medal went Finn world champion Rafael Trujillo – just. The Spaniard finished the regatta on equal 30 points with another Brit and Olympian in waiting, Giles Scott, who missed out on countback.
However, the 20 year old was, in his own words, “very pleased indeed,” particularly with his second place in Race 6 this afternoon.
“It was very tight on the last leg. I managed to pull out on Raff (
“It was very shifty today – 10/12 knots and a big swell coming in through Sydney Heads. I enjoyed it immensely – I enjoy any conditions when I’m hiking best,” said Scott, who has the privilege of training with the master and other top ranked British Finn sailors when they are all at home.
Meanwhile, Ainslie’s coach, Dave Howlett, a former Finn star himself, says he is pleased with Ainslie’s results at the Yachting NSW organised event. “Ben wanted to win here, so all is going according to plan. With Giles finishing so well
Ed Wright, Ainslie’s rival for the British Olympic place, had a mixed day, his best result a second in the final race 8 for a fifth place overall, 22 points behind Ainslie. It does not bode well for his Olympic chances.
Casey also paid tribute to the volunteers from
CYCA announces Ocean Racer of the Year recipients
The CYCA broke with tradition tonight, awarding the CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year, the most prestigious of the four awards, to two worthy winners.
CYCA Commodore Matt Allen and Vice Commodore Garry Linacre joined Rolex Australia managing director Richard de Leyser to announce the award winners at the prestigious function, which is also the pre-race Rolex Sydney Hobart skipper’s cocktail party.
Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas, overall winners of the stormy 1998 Sydney Hobart with their tiny Hick 35 AFR Midnight Rambler, have been named CYCA Ocean Racers of the Year for 2006-07. They began their successful partnership in 1990 when Psaltis was looking for a navigator for the Sydney Hobart that year and pulled a telephone number off the CYCA’s crew noticeboard.
Seventeen years later the pair, who eventually became co-owners in a line of boats called AFR Midnight Rambler, finally achieved their dream, winning the
2006-07 Blue Water Pointscore Series after a committed decade long attempt.
They also won the 2006-07 Short Ocean Pointscore, a rare feat.
After a 12 year break, West Australian yachtsman and businessman Alan Brierty has recruited himself back into sailing at the highest level for the first time. Brierty has reconnected with the sport in a spectacular comeback that has earnt him the title of CYCA Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year for 2006-07.
Brierty purchased the Corby 49 Limit, formerly Flirt, after the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart and commenced his offshore racing campaign with a 2nd in division in the Audi Sydney Southport. He then contested the Audi Sydney Gold Coast, Audi Sydney Mackay Yacht Race, Brisbane to Gladstone race, along with Airlie Beach and Audi Hamilton Island race weeks
Limit has this year achieved good results in the CYCA Bird and Flinders Island races and a win in the CYCA Cabbage Tree Island Race and is currently fourth in the 2007-08 Blue Water Pointscore Series. While outside the qualifying period, Limit also won division 2 of the four-day Rolex Trophy which concluded on Sunday.
Brierty’s dedication to the sport has seen him simultaneously campaign in Sydney both his Corby 49 and his Sydney 38, with a new Reichel/Pugh on order, and all while he resides in Western Australia.
This year’s Ocean Racing Crew Person of the Year, Tom Barker, has come out of the CYCA’s own Youth Sailing Academy and is considered "world class" by his skipper Ed Psaltis.
Barker is both a bowman and helmsman on AFR Midnight Rambler and after spending three years as part of the AFR crew, his contribution to the boat’s many successes has been instrumental. Psaltis goes as far as naming him as the "most important crewmember on the boat" on the nomination form.
Syd Fischer was tonight named the CYCA Ocean Racing Veteran of the Year.
Fischer is a three-time winner of the Ocean Racer of the Year and an eight-time CYCA Blue Water Champion as well as a two time line honours winner and one time overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
This year Fischer commenced his 45th season of ocean racing with his new Transpac 52 Ragamuffin. Following the success of his Farr 50 Ragamuffin, the 80 year old decided he needed something faster and invested in one of the quickest designs in the 50-55 foot range on the market.
Fischer is one of three octogenarians sailing in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, his 39th trip south.
Day 4 SIRS: Australian Tornado sailors win first gold medal
The first of the medals at the Sydney International Regatta were decided when Darren Bundock/Glenn Ashby (AUS) crossed the finish line in the final Race 9 just after midday to claim the gold medal, with the British team of Leigh McMillan/Will Howden taking silver and brothers Tino and Niko Mittlemeier (GER) carting off the bronze medal.
Bundock, the Sydney 2000 silver medallist and multiple world champion in the cat class and Ashby, a world champion in various catamaran classes, inclusive of the 2006 Tornado worlds win with Bundock, won both today’s races. The two won six of the nine races sailed and remarkably only once finished outside of a top three result during the series.
“We had a couple of good ones,” said an understated Ashby of their two bullets today. The Victorian sailor told: “We led the first race from the top mark pretty much the whole way through.
“The winds were so shifty on the Sound it was difficult to cover everyone, so we sacrificed a bit of our lead to stay safe. We were so fast downwind and our angles were great. That’s what did it for us,” Ashby said.
Bundock chipped in: “the second race, we went round the top mark mid-field, but we recovered.” The two are in the Australian team for
Will Howden (GBR) described his and McMillan’s day. “We did not do very well at all in the first race. We started well, but got caught on the wrong side of a shift. In the second race we lead around the top mark and finished second. That was a lot better,” he said.
German brothers Tino and Niko Mittlemeier were thrilled with their bronze medal result. “We are very happy,” the two said in unison as they hit the beach at Woollahra Sailing Club. “We got fourth and third today. We were in front of the English guys, but they caught us on the last downwind leg. That was a shame,” said Niko.
The two had a lot to smile about, as they are in contention for a place in the German team for
The testosterone was alive and kicking on the final day of the Sydney International Regatta, with medals at stake, Laser sailors keen to make the most of the start resulted in a general recall or two.
This is the final day of Yachting NSW’s Sydney International Regatta, and many of the Australian Sailing Team members headed to the Beijing Games next year are in contention for medals at this ISAF Grade 1 Olympic class regatta.
It is a bright sunny day and racing got underway from 10.00am in shifty southerly 10-12 knot winds.
Day 4 SIRS: Aussies in medal contention on final day
The final day of Yachting NSW’s Sydney International Regatta and many of the Australian Sailing Team headed to the Beijing Games next year are in contention for medals at this ISAF Grade 1 Olympic class regatta.
A bright sunny day and racing got underway from 10.00am in a shifty 10-12 knot southerly breeze which is expected to increase to 17 during the day. Tornado, Laser and the Youth 420 class left Woollahra Sailing Club to commence racing from 10.00am, the remaining classes set to start their final races from 12.30pm.
Australian sailors are well amongst the action and poised to win gold, silver and bronze. Today’s racing will decide.
Nathan Outteridge/Ben Austin have a one point lead over the Portuguese crew of Jorge Lima/Francisco Andrade in the fast 49er skiff with three races to decide the winner today. “The Portuguese guys are very solid; everything is riding on today’s three races.”
Jessica Crisp is currently poised to take Silver in the Women’s RS:X sailboard, but with three races remaining, the double Olympian has a big opportunity to make up the three point deficit to leader Jannicke Stalstrom(NOR).
Laser world champion Tom Slingsby’s disqualification from winning Race 1 has left him in a precarious situation. Currently fifth in the series, he will have to pull out all stops to finish in a podium place this afternoon.
In front of Slingsby are four internationals he will have to sail off against at the 2008 Laser Worlds come February in Terrigal to retain his crown: Two Canadians hold down first and second; Michael Leigh and Bernard Luttmer, whilst a pair of Kiwis are third and fourth; Mike Bullot and Andrew Murdoch.
Day 3 SIRS: tough day at the office!
“I’m glad they didn’t hold the planned three races for us today, it would have been too much,” said a weary Darren Bundock (AUS) on coming ashore at Woollahra Sailing Club after he and Glenn Ashby won both Tornado races which has kept them in the lead of their series.
“We didn’t have any capsizes and we didn’t break anything. The wind was huge and funneling down the harbour to where we raced on the Sound near Manly,” Bundock said.
“The earlier race was good to win, but the second was better. We got to the top mark and just took off – we got well away from the rest of the fleet. It just felt right. “We couldn’t be happier with our speed and boat handling – and that we didn’t hurt ourselves. It was ‘on the edge’ sailing,” he said.
Leigh McMillan/Will Howden (GBR), already selected into their Olympic team had a good day too. They are second overall with one day of the Olympic class regatta remaining and a race drop in place.
“We only arrived in Sydney one day before the regatta started and we’ve had a couple of month’s break, so second overall is good for us,” said Howden. It was very hard sailing. Very, very windy and gusty – big waves rolling in from offshore. There’s was lots of capsizing going on, so we were happy just to stay upright today,” he said adding: Bundy sailed too fast for us today.”
Three German teams are vying for the one Olympic place in the Tornado and with Johannes Polgar/Florian Spalteholz breaking gear and missing the second race; it was team mates Tino and Niko Mittlemeier’s turn to shine.
The 22 and 26 year-old blonde brothers are placed third overall in the competition. “We have to sail off against two other teams; Yo Yo’s (Polgar) and Roland Gaebler, who’s been to five Olympics. We hope it’s a younger team who gets to go this time,” Niko laughed.
“We’ve been practicing in
In other results, Ben Ainslie (GBR) won both Finn races to capitalise on his lead, now 12 points clear of his nearest rival Jonas Hoeg-Christiensen (DEN). Adversary Ed Wright is now third placed after scoring a pair of second places as the duel for Olympic selection heats up. Current world champion, Rafael Trujillo is next, two points behind Wright.
Jannicke Stalstrom (NOR) and Jessica Crisp (AUS), maintain their lead and second places in the RS:X Women’s after going toe to toe today, the pair each scoring a win and a second in Races 6 and 7.
Michael Leigh is the new leader in the Laser. The Canadian scored 3-5-7 results and with a race drop in play, is four points ahead of fellow Canadian Bernard Luttmer. The next two places are filled by Mike Bullot (NZL) who moves down a place into third and yesterday’s leader Andrew Murdoch (NZL), who dropped to fourth with 4-21-6 results – his first glitch in the series.
Tom Slingsby (AUS) is fifth placed following a mixed bag of results. Winning Race 5, he dropped down the leaderboard to 22nd in Race 6. Sources on the course report he dropped back from the lead pack when he unsuccessfully tried to port tack the fleet. However, the confident red head came back with a second place in Race 7, using his DSQ of Race 1 as his race drop.
Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page (AUS) sailed confidently today, placing second in Race 4 and winning Race 5. The two lead the series by just one point to the French Bonnaud brothers, Ben and Romain with 5-2 results.
A win and a third has helped the highly ranked Coster brothers, Sven and Kalle (NED) fill out third place, just five points off the lead. This is a tight competition that isn’t as clear cut as some of the other classes.
It was a hard day on the water for all. After taking a shower and eating, most exited host venue Woollahra Sailing Club very quickly, some headed off for a massage and others home for dinner and bed to be rested for the final races tomorrow.
New Zealand maxi out of Rolex Sydney Hobart 2007
Keel failure has forced the New Zealand maxi Maximus out of the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Owner Bill Buckley’s worst fears were realised this afternoon as his 30 tonne boat was lifted out of the water at Woolwich Dock.
Peering in under the huge hull at the 20cm crack just back from leading edge at the top of the fin, Buckley, an engineer, and his boat captain Ross Field made the call that the boat is not fit to contest the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
"We’ve had a catastrophic failure and we won’t be doing the Hobart," an obviously shaken Buckley told awaiting media.
"We’ll go back to the drawing board and work out where the failure is.
"We’ll try again next year. We thought we were prepared this year, obviously this has let us down".
It’s a huge blow to Buckley and his crew. Last year they were forced out of the race after being dismasted in the early hours of the first morning at sea.
They have spent almost 12 months preparing for a re-match, replacing their troublesome wing mast with a new fixed mast, amongst other modifications.
Just before the maxi was hauled from the water the weary Kiwi owner was still optimistic he’d be on the start line on Boxing Day. Now he has to wait another 12 months.
"We came here to run the race and win it," Buckley had said prior to seeing close up the extent of the damage.
The 11 man crew heard a loud bang yesterday morning and Field dived the boat to discover the crack, which is when they put out a PAN PAN distress signal.
As the boat motored to Sydney, escorted over the final 78 nautical miles by the Sydney Water Police vessel Launch Alert, there was a real danger of the keel falling off and the boat turning upside down.
"It was very close, we could have lost the boat quite easily," said the gutted skipper. A keel will have to be built in Australia in order to get the boat back to Auckland.
"It’s an absolute tragedy," said Wild Oats XI’s skipper Mark Richards this afternoon.
"The more competitors the merrier for us. Knowing the time and effort that goes into preparing for this race, we are feeling very sad for the crew, many of who are mates of ours".
With the dark horse Maximus out of the running, all attention is now focused on the anticipated line honours battle between Wild Oats XI and City Index Leopard.
Once Maximus officially withdraws its entry, the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet will stand at 82 following another withdrawal today, Bill Ratcliff’s Wistarie. Bill will instead join the crew of Andrew Dally's Bear Necessity for his 40th Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Images. Port & starboard views of Maximus' cracked keel, please credit David Salter for both images.
Official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
To view the list of yachts applied to enter go to
Day 3 SIRS: Conditions take their toll – two in hospital
Conditions took their toll on competitors at the Olympic class Sydney International Regatta on Sydney Harbour today as two competitors were carted off to hospital one with a suspected broken ankle, another with a nasty cut to his forehead, not to mention the numerous breakages amongst gear on boats.
Gavin Davies, from Shell Cove south of
Crew Kez Stevens stood by his skipper who was laying on the trampoline of the cat. A stoic Davies said: “I’ve only been back in
In an earlier incident, 29er Youth skipper, Nick Brunning, arrived ashore with a gash in his forehead and swelling already in evidence after being hit with the boom on his boat. He too was treated and taken to hospital. Both he and Davies will be fine.
The day started well enough with a steady southerly breeze, but winds coming from the south and sou-west increased once racing was under way, with strong winds in the 25 knot range and big gusts hitting the various Olympic and Youth classes sailing at the Yachting NSW organised event.
As winds increased, event officials at Woollahra Sailing Club abandoned the Youth 4.7 Laser races for the day. All other classes got racing in; some of the Olympic classes are still on the water, as winds dropped to the 20 knot range just after 2.00pm today.
During racing, boats capsized all over their various courses, Nathan Outteridge, Australian 49er champion skipper said: In our third race, only five boats were upright on the start line; the rest were upside down in the water. It was a constant 25 knots in that third race, too much for the 49ers.”
Outteridge and his crew Ben Austin fought hard in the three races sailed today to take the series lead by a slim one point margin from yesterday’s leaders, Jorge Lima/Francisco Andrade (POR) after scoring 2-4-2 results. Third place is held down by consistent Brit’s Paul Campbell-James/Mark Asquith.
The first gear breakage of the day was the American 49er crew of Jonny Goldsberry and Charlie Smythe. “It was carnage out there man,” said Goldsberry from
“We busted a few things. The main problem was our jib track. The block jumped out of the track so we couldn’t tack. It’s blowing hard out there.”
Sailing a chartered boat here in
“Sailing on your harbour is quite an experience,” said Goldsberry, “all the traffic and the stiff winds, but we’re having a blast,” he said. The two will repair their boat in time for tomorrow’s final races.
Laser Radial Women’s series leader
Blanck has the coaching services of 2006 Laser world champ and bronze medallist from Sydney 2000, Michael Blackburn. “Michael’s teaching me heaps. I’m very happy with my performance so far. I had a big think about what I wanted to achieve after being selected to the Australian team for
The best of the British girls is Laura Baldwin in fourth place and Olympic hopeful Lizzie Vickers in fifth place, 17 points behind Blanck with a race drop included.
Woollahra Sailing Club is hosting the four day event on courses all over the Harbour. The event finishes tomorrow.
Day 3 SIRS: Ideal southerly conditions for penultimate day
The Sydney International Regatta, featuring the best sailors from around the world is on its penultimate day of racing and conditions couldn’t be better.
Bright sunny skies and a good southerly breeze will make for ideal sailing conditions.
Some countries’ sailors are at the Yachting NSW organised event to qualify their nation and themselves for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Along with the strong international contingent, the Australian Sailing Team for the 2008 Games is here at Woollahra Sailing Club eyeing some of the competition they will face at the Games.
Double Olympic medallist in the Finn class, Ben Ainslie (GBR) is staying ahead of his Olympic rival and two other strong British entries and the Aussie entries. The Finns got underway at 10.00am on the
Australia’s newly anointed young Olympian’s Nathan Outteridge/Ben Austin are second in the fast and colourful 49er skiff, knocking on the door of the leaders, Tomasz Stanczyk/Pawel Kuzmicki (POL).
Woollahra Sailing Club is hosting the four day event on courses all over the Harbour.
Full results can be found at the official website below once racing is complete. Racing continues on
Australian Laser Champs an international affair
The 2008 Australian Laser Championships, being conducted by the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula from 27 Dec – 4 Jan, has attracted 277 sailors from 19 countries so far.
The massive fleet will comprise at least 120 Standard rigs, 115 Radial rigs and 42 4.7’s and will be the selection event for Australian competitors to the Laser Worlds to be held at Terrigal in February.
Countries participating in the Sail Melbourne event include AUS, CAL, CAN, CRO, CZE, FIN, GBR, HKG, IND, IRL, JPN, KOR, NED, NZL, NOR, SIN, SUI, THA and USA. Many will also compete in the 08 Laser Asia Pacific Championships being conducted as part of Sail Melbourne from a shore base at the newly rebuilt Royal Brighton Yacht Club.
James Mitchell, Chairman of the organising committee commented “The high level of level of 4.7 sailors competing is particularly pleasing. The Youth and the Masters age groups are the two biggest growth areas for the Class – we have a number of father with daughter or son combinations taking part.
Of course it’s also great to have the elite of the class well represented including, in the Standard rig,
Rosebud thorn in Yendys' side Limit’s back to back division 2 win
Roger Sturgeon and his American TP65 Rosebud hammered the final nail in Yendys’ coffin this afternoon with a second in the last race of the Rolex Trophy giving them a two point cushion when the final pointscore was tallied.
Heading into the deciding race of the Rolex Trophy late this afternoon, Rosebud and Geoff Ross’ Reichel/Pugh 55 Yendys were tied on equal points and on a countback, Ross would have claimed victory.
The Sydney crew was dealt a somewhat cruel hand when the race committee called for a second race start just 10 minutes before the 4pm time limit. Last year Ross lost the Rolex Trophy by 0.1 of a point in what was the boat’s first outing. Today he again conceded defeat to a worthy winner after finishing a costly fifth in race eight.
"We prayed…it is Sunday…it might have helped," said a delighted Sturgeon this evening. He says he and his crew leant a lot from this regatta and that their team spirit for the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart is high.
"This regatta taught us how to build on our weaknesses," agreed mainsail trimmer and ‘number cruncher’ Malcolm Park.
Rosebud has the perfect scorecard in Australia waters with an IRC win in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge and now the Rolex Trophy. Sturgeon and his crew are calling Sydney "the friendliest place in the world. "It’s far better than we thought it would be," Sturgeon said tonight.
There is no rest for the Yendys crew, the boat heading back out tonight in the pouring rain for some reefing practice with their offshore mainsail.
Ross says this was his most enjoyable Rolex Trophy he’s contested and he congratulated the Rosebud crew on their fine result in division 0/1.
Rosebud finished the Rolex Sydney Hobart lead up series on 11 points, Yendys on 13 points and Steven David’s Wild Joe rounded off the podium placings with a third on 27 points.
Alan Brierty’s Corby 49 Limit sailed a brilliant series, today picking up a fifth win from eight races to beat The Philosopher’s Club by six points in division 2.
Helmed by Roger Hickman and with America’s Cup sailor Gavin Brady calling tactics, Limit’s win has strengthened its Rolex Sydney Hobart overall chances but they will have to wait for the Boxing Day bluewater classic to go head to head on handicap against the Rolex Trophy division 0/1 placegetters as well as the other highly fancied contenders.
"The crew is excellent, they are mostly amateurs who just love sailing," said Hickman tonight.
"Alan’s put a top team together and it was great having Gavin on board to raise the bar and improve our race tactics. It’s been a fantastic four days but we are all glad it’s over because we are tired of sailing and then partying".
Hickman was on board the Corby 49 when it claimed the division 2 win in last year’s Rolex Trophy, when the boat was owned by Chris Dare and called Flirt.
After yesterday’s 15 knot nor’easter on a postcard Sydney summer’s day, the sun stayed hidden and crews copped a drenching when a southerly change brought teaming rain and 15 knot winds to the race track late this afternoon.
It was a light air affair to begin with, racing delayed for more than two hours while competitors scanned the horizon for breeze. A light southerly finally blew in, allowing race one to get underway before the wind fizzled again, the course subsequently shortened at the second top mark rounding.
PRO Denis Thompson then made the late call to complete the scheduled eight races.
"It was very close racing over the four days, particularly amongst the 50-52 footers which were boat for boat," said Thompson this afternoon.
"It was a great regatta with a wide variety of conditions and courses".
A number of boats which weren’t vying for trophies or had interstate crew booked on flights out of Sydney tonight chose not to sail the final race.
Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI didn’t race at all today, instead using the day for yet more sail testing and crew training off Sydney Heads.
Final pointscore http://www.cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/rtrs_07ps.pdf
Day 2 SIRs: Light airs reward Norwegians
Wafting breezes early in the afternoon shook up the scoreboard at the Sydney International Regatta this afternoon as the light air specialists came into their own, the good all-rounders became evident and Norway ran away with a few victories.
Racing at the host venue Woollahra Sailing Club started later than anticipated. Race officials opted to hold only one Laser race instead of the planned two. A few new names in the top three places, including two Norwegian Olympic hopefuls, who scored wins in their respective groups.
Following a win in Race 3 yesterday, Kristian Ruth pulled out the stops to take today’s Race 4 in his group as well. Teammate Stian Tuv won the other group. While Ruth 22, “I’m the oldie” and Tuv 20, will have to sail of against each other for the Norwegian place into the 2008 Olympic Games, the two are good friends.
Ruth said the key to winning today’s shifty light weather race “was reading the wind shifts correctly – and I did.”
“We won because it was so light,” Tuv laughed. The pair has been in
Whilst others vying for one vital place in their Olympic squads are not always so friendly, Ruth says: “It’s better to be friends than not be.” Tuv explained: “It’s better to train together and help each other to get better, and it will help which ever one gets the Olympic place, which is better for
Ruth’s result today has lifted him up into fifth place overall and Tuv moves into 19th place.
Roelof Bouwmeester (NED) came up trumps today too. Scoring a win yesterday, the Dutchman had a momentary lapse in Races 2 and 3 to drop well down the scoreboard, but a second place today moves him up into seventh in the series, but he cannot afford any more ‘oops’ results.
“Today I got a good start. That’s what I am practicing at SIRs, my starts. While I am reasonably happy with my sailing yesterday, I did make mistakes. Today was better,” Bouwmeester commented after racing.
“I like to think I am a good all-round sailor, not guided by whether the wind is more or less. I’m still getting my head into gear here in
In the small entry RS:X today, Jannicke Stalstrom (NOR) overcame Jessica Crisp (AUS) in both races to maintain her lead of the Olympic class sailboard. An Athens Olympian, the Norwegian finished the day with a bullet and a second, Crisp placed third in both races to continue in second place overall.
The 49ers completed two of their scheduled three races today too. Sailed right in front of Woollahra Sailing Club in teeming rain, the colourful Olympic skiffs found an exclusive piece of breeze.
With five races away, the Portuguese crew of Jorge Lima/Francisco Andrade came good scoring victory in both races to lead the series by seven points from Nathan Outteridge/Ben Austin and third placed Tomasz Stanczyk/Pawel Kuzmicki (POL), with a race drop in place.
In the Tornado catamaran,
All racing started much later than anticipated today and all other classes were still on the water as at 5.30pm.
Rain started pelting down on the course at 4.15pm, thunder striking at 4.50pm, heralding the start of the cold southerly change which is bringing more breeze to the course areas.
Hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club, the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic and Youth classes event is organised by Yachting NSW and features top sailors from around the world. In total there are a massive 378 entries.
Full results can be found at the official website below once racing is complete. Racing continues on
Day 2 SIRs: World champ’s disqualification
On a congested Sydney Harbour yesterday, Laser world champion Tom Slingsby fell foul of a ferry which resulted in his disqualification from Race 1, at the Sydney International Regatta, a major disappointment as the young Central Coast sailor had won the race.
Slingsby’s disqualification has moved him down the leaderboard from third to 37th overall. He was in breach of the NSW Collision regulations Rule 3, as set out in the Sydney International Regatta Sailing Instructions which states, in part, ‘Local Rules require sail craft to keep out of the way of ferries displaying the orange diamond. Pass the ferry clear at least 200m ahead and 30m either side and astern.”
The 22 year-old failed in his obligation to pass the ferry clear of 200m and admitted so to the SIRs international jury, some of whom had witnessed the incident. However, it was not Slingsby’s intent to flout the rules.
A number of sailors racing at SIRs reported incidents brought about by the traffic jam on the Harbour. British 49er skipper, Paul Campbell-James said yesterday: “Too much traffic. It made things hard, but it was very nice out there today.” Australian 49er skipper Nathan Outteridge told the same story.
Sailing on a separate course, Malcolm Page (AUS), the world championship 470 crew of Nathan Wilmot, also told this morning: “The James Craig (a tall ship) got us on starboard under motor in Race 2! We were leading and were forced to tack. We then tacked again but still couldn’t get through.
“We went from first to 15thish, but managed to fight our way back to finish second. The Bonnaud brothers (Ben and Romain from
Lack of breeze delayed racing at SIRs today as Principal Race Officer Tony Denham and his team waited for an expected nor-easterly breeze to fill in. At approximately 13.30 hours, some classes headed out onto the Harbour in a light breeze that was veering between nor-east and nor-west, good practice for those sailors headed to the Beijing sailing venue at Qingdao next August where the winds are expected to be light.
In other news of the day, Elise Rechichi (AUS), the 470 Women’s skipper chosen to represent at
Rechichi’s crew and friend Tessa Parkinson says: “she does have a back injury. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but she needs to get it right before we go to Sail Melbourne for the 470 worlds in January, so it’s better for her to rest it this week.” Parkinson said she is thrilled to have the gold medallist as her skipper today.
Hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club, the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic and Youth classes event is organised by Yachting NSW and features top sailors from around the world. In total there are a massive 378 entries.
Day 2 SIRs: Wright stages Finn fight back – storms continue
The Ben Ainslie versus Ed Wright for British Olympic selection in the Finn class took a rather interesting turn this afternoon at the Sydney International Regatta when Wright won Race 3 and Ainslie finished fourth.
Originally scheduled for two races, the lone Finn race was sailed in light 6-8 knot shifty breezes on the
Eventually the Finns got away again, storms notwithstanding, and it was Wright who hit the finish line first, followed by 2007 world champion Rafael Trujillo (ESP), Jonas Hoegh Christensen (DEN), and then came Ainslie.
Overall, Ainslie still leads the series, just one point clear of the Dane, with a further five points to
The Aussies did not have a brilliant day; Anthony Nossiter was best placed in 11th for 10th overall, to overtake 15th placed Brendan Casey on the tally board by one place.
On other courses,
Sydney 2000 Olympic 470 gold medallist Tom King treated the rest of the fleet to an exercise in how it’s done today; steering in place of Elise Rechichi, he and Rechichi’s regular crew Tessa Parkinson came home third in Race 3, scored in the 470 Men’s event, being a mixed crew. King has not steered a 470 for some years, but has not lost his golden touch.
New Zealanders Carl Evans/Peter Burling won Race 3 of the Men’s today, but Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page (AUS) have taken the series lead with a sixth place. “We’re comfortable with how we are sailing,” Page said.
Yesterday’s leaders, Ben and Romain Bonnaud, have dropped to fourth after a 26th result today. Dutch brothers Sven and Kalle Coster are now second overall following their fifth place, with the French crew of Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos now third. The French are very strong in this class.
The Yngling keelboat series leaders remain unchanged after a further two races today. Krystal Weir/Karyn Gojnich/Angela Farrell’s 3-2 results keeping them three points ahead of boats steered by Katie Spithill and Nicky Souter.
Weir, a noted Laser Radial sailor, said this morning: “I’m enjoying my time in the Yngling. It’s a very different sort of sailing to what I’m used to, but I’m getting there slowly.”
In the Youth classes, Amy Kivell/Kate Aullich (AUS) lead the 420 results from Matthew and Ben Taylor (AUS), Joel Rose/Jamie Woods (AUS) lead the 29er skiff from brothers Andrew and William Chapman (AUS), Nicholas Howe (AUS) leads the Laser 4.7 from Stephen Collings (AUS) and Ben Price (AUS) leads the Laser Radial Men’s from countryman Klade Hauschildt.
Hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club, the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic and Youth classes event is organised by Yachting NSW and features top sailors from around the world. In total there are a massive 378 entries.
Full results can be found at the official website below once racing is complete. Racing continues on
SIRs day one: Perfect sailing conditions
Great Britain’s Ben Ainslie started his Finn Olympic campaign in fine style this afternoon winning two from two at the Sydney International Regatta on Sydney Harbour, giving Ed Wright, his rival for the Olympic berth a caning.
Sailing in the Yachting NSW event on the
Third and fourth places are also held down by Brits, Giles Scott scored a pair of third places and Ed Greig finished fourth in both races.
World champion, Rafael Trujillo (ESP) came up with a pair of fifth places for fifth overall. Brendan Casey in sixth place is the best placed Aussie, while
Australia had a better day in the Laser Radial Women’s, as
Laura Baldwin, currently third, was the best placed of the British girls, one place in front of Olympic prospect Lizzie Vickers (GBR) with her rival Andrea Brewster finishing the day in sixth place on countback to Vickers.
It was good news for the Aussies in the Tornado class too, as
A win in Race 3 has given the Irish McGovern brothers, Russell and Matthew, an early one point lead in the 49er skiff.
“We’re kind of happy with how we went today,” said Outteridge, following a spill in Race 3 which cost them the lead of the race. “It was good racing really and we settled in well to get back up into the fleet in that race.
“There were lots of boats out there on our course, so that made things difficult,” Outteridge said. British skipper Paul Campbell-James agreed. “Too much traffic. It made things hard, but it was very nice out there today –
A win and a fourth place has put the USA team of Amanda Clark/Sarah Mergenthaler in the 470 Women’s lead, with the Swiss pair Emmanuelle Rol/Anne-Sophie Thilo went 5-5 for second place with the French stalwarts Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux currently third after scoring second and sixth places.
In the 470 Men’s, French brothers Ben and Romain Bonnaud (FRA) came out fighting showed the 36-strong fleet a thing or two, winning both races. They lead from Australian Olympians Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page who scored 3-2 results and another pair of brothers, Sven and Kalle Coster (NED) with 5-4 finishes.
Krystal Weir steered Karyn Gojnich and Angela Farrell to three wins in the Yngling class. Gun Aussie match racing skippers, Nicky Souter and Katie Spithill and their crews, are second and third respectively.
The Laser fleet hit the water just after 2.30pm and all was going well for world champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) as his comfortably won his group with two bullets. However, Race 3 was a different matter as the young
It was a late finish for the four groups of Lasers results were still being calculated when we went to press, but they will be posted on the official race website tonight.
Racing continues from host venue Woollahra Sailing Club tomorrow starting from 10.00am.
To find all the full results, including RS:X sailboards, Youth 420, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7 and 29ers, go to: www.nsw.yachting.org.au/sir2007
Jack Atley’s photos can be viewed at the official website from tomorrow and at: www.jackatley.com
Record entry Sydney International Regatta
A record 360 plus boats and over 520 competitors are expected to cross their respective start lines when the ISAF Grade 1 Sydney International Regatta (SIRs) gets underway on beautiful Sydney Harbour from midday tomorrow (Saturday).
Woollahra Sailing Club at
“We are fortunate and grateful to have 20 volunteers from
Most athletes have been arriving at the
Amongst the entries are a number of sailors aiming to qualify their nations and themselves for the Beijing Olympic Games to be sailed of
Highlights will include the Ben Ainslie versus Ed Wright for British Olympic selection and 2007 Laser world champion and World Ranked No. 1 sailor Tom Slingsby (AUS) aiming to hold a large international deputation at bay as he looks forward to the 2008 Laser Worlds to be sailed on home turf at Terrigal in February.
Two of the four British girls shortlisted for Olympic selection in the Laser Radial, Andrea Brewster and Penny Clark are entered and will take on other internationals, and
Other Aussies trying their luck in the Radial include 2007 ISAF Youth world champion Gabrielle King contesting her first major open competition, Vanessa Dudley making a return to the class after some years away, a Sally Gordon, a yachting identity having her first go in serious dinghy competition.
Dudley, a respected yachtswoman and editor of Australian Sailing magazine, is still counting bruises and capsizes she has encountered along the way as she gets fit for the Laser Masters Worlds in February.
Australian Olympic Laser Radial campaigner Krystal Weir will steer the Australian Yngling crew bound for
Olympic classes racing at the ISAF Grade 1 SIRs regatta are: 470 Men’s and Women’s, RS:X sailboard Men’s and Women’s, 49er, Finn, Tornado, Yngling, Laser and the new Olympic Women’s Laser Radial class. Youth classes are the 420 dinghy, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 29er skiff.
Up to and including today, there are 350 boats entered for SIRs; Finn (24), Laser (86), Laser 4.7 (11), Laser Radial Men (32), Laser Radial Women (43), RS X (10), 29er (25), 420 (18), 470 Men (37), 470 Women (19), 49er (21), Tornado (12), Yngling (12), representing 506 competitors from 38 countries. The largest international entry numbers come from
The Sydney International Regatta will make for spectacular viewing on courses from the Opera House down to the
If you don’t have access to a boat, there are many good vantage points around the Harbour including Lady Macquarie’s Chair,
Entries to-date can be viewed online at: www.nsw.yachting.org.au/sir2007
To follow SIRs results from Saturday go to: www.nsw.yachting.org.au/sir2007
For all information, including the NoR go to: http://www.nsw.yachting.org.au/
Award winning photographer
470 Worlds at Sail Melbourne
The ISAF Grade 1 470 Men’s and Women’s World Championship, to be held from 21-30 January from Mordialloc SC at North Aspendale in Melbourne, will be one of the most difficult to assess a final outcome, but 2007 Men’s world champions Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page from Australia are on track to secure their fourth world title.
Athens Olympians and 2007 Qingdao Test Event winners, the Sydney pair has been busy putting in practice time and last week won the Australian Championship title, beating two sets of brothers; Ben and Romain Bonnaud (FRA) and Sven and Kalle Coster (NED) third.
Malcolm Page says both pairs will keep him and Wilmot honest at Sail Melbourne’s 2008 worlds, which will be sailed on Port Phillip, renowned for its windy conditions. “They are both tough adversaries and I guess the Nationals were a bit of a preview for what’s to come.
“The Coster brothers finished second to us at the last worlds and the French team in general have been putting in a huge effort; the Bonnauds, Nic Charbonnier/Olivier Bausset and Pierre Leboucher/Vincent Garos. The Poms will press us too; Nic Aisher/Elliot Willis (GBR) who beat us to the pip for the 2006 title in the final race and Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield (
“There are so many great crews. The Israelis (Gideon Kliger/Udi Gal) are hot, they’re ranked No. 2 in the world behind us and finished third at the 2007 worlds, and the young Kiwis (Carl Evans/Peter Burling and Geoff Woolley/Overington) are knocking on the door. They have the potential to do well, but
Page says the Swedes, the Italians and the Spanish strong and he and Wilmot have been training hard the past four to five weeks. “Things are feeling pretty good for me and Nathan, but we’ll have to work hard to retain our title.”
The two will also take on Mat Belcher/Nick Behrens (AUS) who, in a tough long term fight they overcame for the Olympic place to
Wilmot took time out on Tuesday to take part in the Big Boat Challenge in the lead up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart race. “Yes, this is my last bit of fun. From tomorrow on, it’s all about our 470 campaign.”
International competition will be strong as Marcelien de Koning/Lobke Berkhout (NED) are chasing a fourth world title crown, having won the past three world championships. They were the top Women’s placegetters at the 470 Australian Championships last week and finished in front of a number of the world’s top ranked Men’s crews.
France’s stalwarts and Sail Melbourne regulars Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux (second Women at the 470 Australian’s), Christina Bassadone/Saskia Clark (GBR) and Ai Kondo/Kamata Naoko, second, third and fourth placed in 2007 and top three place getters at previous worlds will be strong.
Two prolific sailors in the class, Ruslana Taran/Olena Pakholchyk (UKR) are the 1997, ’98 and ’99 world champions, Olympic bronze from Sydney 2000 and
On the upward move in the class are Giulia Conti/Giovanna Micol (ITA). Conti finished 14th in the Yngling keelboat at
The entire Australian Team has already been chosen, so will be able to concentrate on winning the event.
Series and courses
Qualifying 24-26 January - six races, Final Series, 27-30 January – seven races, including the Medal Race.
Courses are Olympic trapezoid and windward/leeward on Port Phillip in the vicinity of Mordialloc Sailing Club.
Special thanks go to sponsors: State Government of Victoria; Parks Victoria; Mercedes Benz; Helly Hansen; Bayside City Council; Mornington Peninsula Shire Council; City of
For all information on the 470 Worlds, including current entry list and NoR, go to: www.sailmelbourne.com.au
Rosebud blooms while Yendys challenges in eventful day one
Round one of today’s Rolex Trophy went to the US TP65 Rosebud and round two to the Aussies on Geoff Ross’ Reichel/Pugh 55 Yendys, which finished second in 2006 and is hungry for a win in this Rolex Sydney Hobart form guide regatta.
"It wasn’t a bad day in the office," said Ross dockside.
"It was pretty bumpy offshore today but we need to get ready for that. We are sailing with our full Rolex Sydney Hobart crew and have all new sails for the race. The ‘minister for speed’, Mark ‘Squark’ Bradford has been developing our sails since Hamilton Island".
Yendys claimed top spot in IRC division 0/1 in race two ahead of Rosebud and Bruce Taylor’s Caprice 40 Chutzpah, which principal race officer Denis Thompson described as a "rocket ship".
The Roger Hickman helmed Limit, with New Zealander and America’s Cup sailor Gavin Brady onboard, had a mixed day. The Corby 49, sailing with a West Australian and Sydney crew, scored DNF (Did Not Finish) in race one and won division 2 race two outright. Hickman is seeking redress for their DNF result.
"It was a fantastic day off Sydney heads, the weather was fresh but it’s a great regatta so far," said the upbeat Hickman this afternoon.
"Our division is really close," he added.
PRO Denis Thompson reported a "great 16 knot sou’easter with a bit of chop on top of it which provided great downwind surfing action" in race two.
In a day of high drama, one of Jazz’s crewmembers sustained a head injury from the spinnaker pole while Quantum Racing and Quest got up close and personal and Kirribilli was dismasted.
Bang, crash - Rolex Trophy kicks off
Race one of the Rolex Trophy being sailed off Sydney Heads today has proved costly for four of the 22 starters with two of them racing against the clock to be back on the water tomorrow and one short changed and minus a mast.
Steve McConaghy reported he was steering Ray Roberts’ Cookson 50 Quantum Racing on a tight lay to the last top mark rounding in race one when their jib back winded, throwing them onto port tack with no steerage and into Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest which was on starboard tack.
Quantum Racing’s bow sprit hit Quest, then in the lumpy seas and almost in slow motion the boats came together again, Quantum’s bow hitting Quest a second time. At some point Quantum Racing’s pole sheered off completely while Quest sustained two holes in the mid section on the port side, one on the waterline and one higher up.
"We were only doing about three knots [when we hit]. Luckily we didn’t snag anything," said McConaghy, who is confident this incident is not going to threaten this regatta or their Rolex Sydney Hobart assault.
Quantum Racing is a Rolex Sydney Hobart overall chance while Quest, which went on to place fourth in race one and is protesting Quantum Racing, is bypassing the Rolex Sydney Hobart and going straight to Melbourne in January for Skandia Geelong Week.
"Hopefully we’ll have it fixed by tomorrow," said a disappointed Steel.
Both boats limped into the CYCA marina this afternoon, the crew of Quantum Racing having already been on the phone to their New Zealand boat builder who is trying to arrange to have a new bow sprit flown to Sydney tonight.
Quest’s crew have tipped the boat on its side in the marina using rubbish bins filled with water and the weight of the crew so the workers can get busy trying to repair the two holes in time for day two of the fourday regatta.
In lumpy seas and a brisk 15-18 knot east sou’easter, Sam Newton’s Kirribilli was another casualty in race one, their regatta ending just two minutes into the first race when the ILC40’s mast toppled to the deck.
"We don’t know what happened," said Jonathan Whitty who was helming at the time. "The mast just folded in to leeward".
With the rig under the boat and wrapped around the keel, the crew, which included Newton’s 18 foot skiff skipper Seve Jarvin, made the decision to cut the mast and the brand new mainsail away.
The fourth casualty today was Peter Wintle’s Farr 40 Quantum Leap which retired with gear damage.
Following his SOLAS Big Boat Challenge handicap win on Tuesday, Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud has scored two from two after his overall win in today’s first race. Rosebud beat Geoff Ross’ Yendys and Michael Hiatt’s Living Doll in IRC division 0/1 sailed over a 2.5 nautical mile course.
In IRC division 2, which sailed a 1.8 nautical mile course, Peter Sorensen’s The Philosopher’s Club beat the two modified Farr 40s and Rolex Sydney Hobart starters, Stephen Ellis’ Splash Gordon and Ed Psaltis’ AFR Midnight Rambler.
Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI took line honours in both races today, sailing the second race with a reefed main as they use the time on the water to do some testing for their all important tilt at a third consecutive Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours win.
A late change this morning saw Philip Childs’ Farr 49 Knee Deep move from division 0/1 to division 2.
Results www.cyca.com.au under Sailing.
Ainslie headline act for Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne
One of the greatest showdowns in Olympic history is set to take place when the Finn Gold Cup (world championship) gets underway at Sail Melbourne from January 20-29 on the challenging waters of Port Phillip.
To be held simultaneously with the Finn Silver Cup (the Finn Youth World Championship) and hosted by Black Rock Yacht Club, one of the world’s most outstanding Olympic sailors will feature in a showdown for a place in the British Olympic team for
Ben Ainslie, gold medallist in the Laser at Sydney 2000 Games and in the Finn at the 2004 Athens Games, will take on fellow British sailor Ed Wright, who feels he can defeat the double medallist for selection.
Currently holding a world ranking of No. 5 in the Finn, Wright’s feats include victory at Skandia Go for Gold, third at the Breitling Regatta, fourth at Hyeres and sixth at the ISAF Worlds, against Ainslie’s gold medal haul and four successive Finn Gold Cup wins and match racing trophies.
With Ainslie tied up at the America’s Cup, and therefore missing the 2006-07 Gold Cups, gold still eluded Wright, who finished third in 2006 and sixth this year. Whichever way it goes, it will be a huge stoush and not to be missed viewing.
The Royal Yachting Association has indicated Olympic selection between the two will place at either the Sydney International Regatta or at the Finn Gold Cup in January.
Olympic selection is the main aim, but the two 30 year-old sailors will be keeping their eyes on winning both events as well. And this is where the difficulty lies. We have seen it all before in elite competition; combative tactics that can leave both out of the running for the Championship prize.
To that end, the gifted Ainslie says: “I’ll be sailing how I normally do and keeping my eye on the whole competition.” He will face some talented sailor; defending Gold Cup champion, Rafael Trujillo Villar (ESP), along with second to fifth placegetters, Pieter Jan Postma (NED), Gasper Vincec (SLO), Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN), Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE).
“He reminds me of Paul Elvstrom (the Danish sailor dominated Olympic Finn class sailing between 1948 and 1960, winning four consecutive gold medals, competing at the Olympics as late as the 1988 Games and considered the greatest sailor in Olympic history), and he can read the wind well and sails beautifully.”
However, Bertrand grants, “Anyone can be beaten. Ben is a phenomenon, and those competing against him have to make small gains. You need to be able to sail the boat without constantly looking at your sails, by reading winds; having some finesse, confidence and poise.”
Nossiter, already selected for the Beijing Olympics, agrees that while Ainslie will be hard to beat, he is beatable. “You have to be fast, accurate and bloody good at match racing to beat Ben – and he’s great in all conditions; the complete package.”
“I would have to say that anyone who has previously won the Gold Cup has the capacity to beat him. People like Raffa (Trujillo Villar) and Jonas who won in 2006 – and both will be in
“The rest of us are working on our weaknesses. I’m practicing my downwind work. I’m getting my feel for it back. Downwind performance is important now that we have the unlimited pumping rule, so that’s where I’m putting most my energies at the moment.”
Bertrand says there are noticeable differences since his heyday in the class. “Sailors are stronger and much more athletic than when I was sailing a Finn. We carried two weight jackets that weighed nearly 40 kilos. Because of them, we couldn’t hike like they do today.
“Technology-wise, they now have carbon fibre masts and better sail material. Finns have moved a long way forward. ”
Keen to see the Finns in action, Bertrand says: “It should be a memorable event; in fact I‘m looking forward to watching all of the world championships at Sail Melbourne.
The Finn Gold Cup is one of five world championship events to be held at Sail Melbourne in 2008. To be hosted by Black Rock Yacht Club, which also hosted the Cup in 1995 and 1999; it will be sailed from 20-29 January on challenging Port Phillip.
The race format is fleet racing on offshore windward/leeward and windward/leeward-triangle courses. The 10 boats ranked highest in the series at the end will contest the double-points medal race for the Championship medals.
Special thanks go to sponsors: State Government of Victoria; Parks Victoria; Mercedes Benz; Helly Hansen; Bayside City Council; Mornington Peninsula Shire Council; City of
Winners are Grinners at Sail Brisbane 2007
The four days of Sail Brisbane 2007 have come to a close after a variety of wind conditions, extremely high humidity and many tussles on the start and finish lines.
Overall the visiting competitors enjoyed their time at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron with many now heading south to
Inconsistent conditions at times made it difficult to lay not only a course, but a start line as well, however after the delays racing was well and truly underway with only the Laser Standards not getting in their total amount of scheduled races.
The two largest fleets, Lasers and Radials certainly made an impact on
“This has been a really great place to sail and the conditions were similar to what I expect to get in
Rutgee Schaardenburg from
The 470 fleet was solely supported by the Korean Sailing Federation who used the four day regatta to train for the future events they will be competing in here in
The local Tasar fleet was well represented with husband and wife team Wayne Sampson and Michele Petty-Sampson finishing in first position. Sampson was impressed with the amount of Tasars in attendance for the regatta and is looking forward to building the fleet in South East Queensland.
The SEQ Sabot team who head off to their National Championships shortly took Sail Brisbane as an opportunity to train before their major regatta. Shelley White from Keppel Bay Sailing Club had seven wins ahead of Southport Yacht Clubs Sean Ott. Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron sailor Alistair Rankin placed third ahead of the tactically challenging young fleet.
Future Paralympian Dan Fitzgibbon used Sail Brisbane as an opportunity to sail against other boats and as part of his overall training program. Sailing without Rachel Cox, Fitzgibbon opted to race with friend Jake Broomhall as Cox prepares for her relocation to
Former Sabot National Champion Nick Peate from Ballina in
The 125 fleet is consistently building in South East Queensland with
Last by definitely not least was the mixed fleet of Sabot 2ups and Minnows. These youngsters hit the water each day for Sail Brisbane with some competitive racing amongst themselves, and the Sabot senior sailors.
Dates for Sail Brisbane 2008 will be confirmed and announced shortly. Be sure to keep up-to-date via the dedicated website – www.sailbrisbane.com
Final results - http://www.sailbrisbane.com/07-results/
Photo gallery – http://www.sailbrisbane.com/07-gallery/
Leopard Skipper arrives for Sydney Hobart
The skipper of UK maxi City Index Leopard arrived in Sydney from London this morning and immediately declared the sturdy, purpose-built yacht a certain line honours chance in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Mike Slade was bright and chatty after his long-haul flight, entertaining everyone at this morning’s media conference with his charm and English humour.
City Index Leopard was built by McConaghy Boats in Sydney. Slade took possession of the boat in the UK in May before going on to smash the record in the Rolex Fastnet Race, the boat’s one and only outing. This will be Slade’s third attempt at a Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours win and while he’s good friends with Bob Oatley, he will ‘reluctantly’ spoil Wild Oats’ party to achieve his second major goal with the boat.
"Bob Oatley has been a gentleman and a great host since the boat has been here and while it would be great to win, I don’t really like the thought of spoiling his party either," said Slade today.
"It’s a bit like watching your mother-in-law drive your new Ferrari over a cliff – you don’t know whether to be happy or sad."
Behind the friendly rivalry and banter, Slade is serious about making this Rolex Sydney Hobart finish a winner.
"This is a race that any serious offshore sailor wants to win and I think we’ve got a good shot at getting line honours," said the affable Slade.
"We’re very confident we’ve got enough people in the crew who’ve done enough Hobarts and in fact maybe they’ve done too many, so I’ll be looking to keep it simple and keep the communication open in the crew.
"The boat is still almost virginal. We’ve come here [to Australia] with only 43 hours full on time on the boat. There’s an awful lot still to learn and plenty of room for improvement.
"Its probably 10 tonnes heavier than the other maxis in this race. It has been built strong….it should stand up," said Slade when asked how he thought City Index Leopard would fair in conditions similar to those that broke ABN AMRO and Maximus last year.
"It’s not always the fastest boat that wins, it’s the boat that goes the right way and stays in one piece".
Slade also believes Maximus could be the one to watch, the "joker of the pack".
"If it was just Wild Oats and ourselves, we could cover each other comfortably but with Maximus, Wild Oats and us, I think two boats will stay together and one will split," he said.
"I’d be surprised if the three stay together and I think we’re more likely to split.
We are perfectly happy in stronger offshore conditions. We’ll be happy to go offshore to get the strong southerly current.
"I just hope my words don’t come back to haunt me later," smiled Slade, all too aware that the weather will determine which boats reach Hobart and the final line honours outcome.
Following the withdrawal of Integrity, the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet stands at 85.
Image: Mike Slade, credit Lisa Ratcliff
Official race website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
To view the list of yachts applied to enter go to
Fine tuning in Rolex Sydney Hobart form guide regatta
Seventeen of the 85 boats competing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart will fine tune during eight races over four days when the Rolex Trophy kicks off tomorrow outside Sydney Heads.
The regatta will be only the second contested by Bruce Taylor’s latest Chutzpah, the new ILC 40 out of Melbourne which was launched mid-October and has been purpose built to try and win the elusive Tattersall’s Cup, the silverware awarded to the Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner.
Taylor will line up for his 27th Rolex Sydney Hobart, his 25th as an owner, on
26 December with the new Chutzpah, which he predicts could be his last in a long line of boats by the same name.
With a second and third overall and seven divisional wins, Taylor is going to have yet another serious tilt at the Tattersall’s Cup this year, and he believes there is a window in the fleet for this particular sized boat.
Taylor’s Rolex Sydney Hobart crew will be on board for the Rolex Trophy as they tune up the boat for the bluewater classic, an event which is getting harder and harder to win believes Taylor. Perusing the Rolex Trophy line-up, Taylor picked off just some of the major threats to his assault on the Tattersall’s Cup …Rosebud, Shogun out of Victoria and Geoff Ross’ Yendys.
"Then again, you have got to look at who won last year," he said, referring to the 23-year old Love & War which won the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2006, its third overall win, thanks to tailor made weather and a winning strategy.
Roger Sturgeon, the handicap winner of yesterday’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge with his TP65 Rosebud, admits they are the rookies compared to the local talent sailing in the Rolex Trophy.
"This regatta is going to be fun, we’ll be a better crew at the end of the series," said Sturgeon, who will be sailing in the Rolex Trophy with a number of Australians on board. With its extremely experienced crew, the US entry Rosebud is a serious challenger for the Tattersall’s Cup but not if the breeze is middle of the range warns Sturgeon.
"Anything but medium winds suit us…but sometimes if you are smarter than the others, you can get away with it," Sturgeon laughed.
The largest boat in the 24 boat Rolex Trophy fleet will be Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI. It’s going to lonely out the front for the line honours winner of yesterday’s maxi boat race with the 60-footers Wild Joe and Rosebud the nearest in size.
Syd Fischer’s entry for his TP52 Ragamuffin completes a hot fleet in the 50-55 foot range. Three TP52s, two of them Rolex Sydney Hobart entries, will take on the Cookson 50s Living Doll and Quantum Racing and the 1999 Sydney Hobart overall winner Knee Deep in IRC Division 0/1.
Knee Deep’s West Australian skipper Phil Childs is promising to "fight like hell" in this series but is realistic about his chances given the boat is not yet fully optimised for IRC, the handicap which will determine the winner of both the Rolex Trophy and the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Childs first noticed the Farr 49, Geoff Ross’ former Yendys, "bobbing around in Abbotsford Bay" and then it came up for sale at a trucking auction.
With a "five inch carpet hanging off the bottom" and the boat in a pretty poor state, Childs had the boat looked at and discovered it only needed "tender loving care" to bring it back to its former glory.
Regarding his Rolex Sydney Hobart prospects, Childs is confident that if it blows hard, all four WA boats will at least complete the 628 nautical mile course.
"We have pretty strong winds over there [in Western Australia], I’d be surprised if the WA boat don’t get there if it’s a rough race," said Childs today.
The forecast for tomorrow is for E/SE winds 13-18 knots increasing to 20 knots on Friday and Saturday.
The first race is scheduled to start at 11am.
World’s fastest cats to set sail on Westernport
Some of world’s fastest catamaran sailors will race on Westernport Bay next month when Somers Yacht Club hosts the Tornado Asia Pacific Championship in tandem with the Australian Championship from 4-9 January as part of the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
A Sail Melbourne event, it has attracted more than 40 entrants. Crews are expected from the
Considered to be a great hope for a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, the Aussie pair will evoke added interest for Victorians, as Ashby is a local from
Ashby was named 2007 Victorian Sportsman of the Year in October and has further shown his world-ranked skills by winning the world A Class catamaran title held recently in
The Tornado Asia Pacific Championship It is believed to be the first international event of its type sailed on
John Copeland, Commodore of Somers Yacht Club, which was named Yacht Club of the Year in 2004, said: “The event will be a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s best and fastest sailors competing,” adding: The club would like to invite all enthusiasts to come along and enjoy what should prove to be spectacular sailing.”
The event starts from 2.30pm on 4 January and is expected to draw a big crowd to see Olympians and Olympic prospects contest back-to-back races over the six days.
“It is a great honour for Somers Yacht Club to be able to host this event and a tribute to the hard work of Andy Griffin, a club member and president of the Australian Tornado Association,” Copeland said.
“It is also recognition that
Tornados are the world’s fastest production catamarans and have been clocked at 60 kilometres an hour.
Australian 49er Championship
The Australian 49er Championship have wrapped up with Australian Sailing Team (AST) members Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin taking out the title.
Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin waited until the final race to snatch victory from US Olympic representative Chris Rast closing a 10 ten point gap to tie series on points (56 points) with a countback favouring the Australian pair.
Third place went to the Tomasz Stanczyk of Poland (61 points) in a strong field of international competitors.
For further information and full results, please click on the link below:
Heat 3 of Club Marine Range Series
Royal Yacht Club of Victoria’s top performing first division keelboat Executive Decision (left R1121) has taken a firm grip on this year’s Club Marine Range Series after winning its third Division 1 race on the trot on the weekend.
Racing in light 12-15 knot near ideal southerly sea breezes, Executive Decision’s owner s Grant Botica steered his impressive
In doing so Executive Decision’s has notched up three straight wins to lead the Division One IRC series on 3 points, ahead of Veloce on 7 pts.
Mr Botica said afterwards, “We’ve gone up to division one this year and decided that to be competitive we needed a masthead spinnaker, that has made all the difference in the generally light conditions.”
Yacht R1121: Grant Botica’s Executive Decision
In IRC division two another Royals yacht, David Ellis’ Surprize also leads with three straight wins after a splendid 62 seconds win on Saturday over Max Peter’s Top Gunn (RYCV).
Division 3 skipper hospitalised after nasty collision
Mr Henderson who was steering at the time said today from home, “Wavelength didn’t dip behind us quite enough and the collision gave me severely bruised shoulder and torn muscle in my leg, but our Farr 1040 will be repaired in time for this years
In the light conditions, the smaller division three boats struggled for boat speed, however Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron’s Mood Indigo took the handicap honours whilst David Burton’s Coramandel 4 (RYCV) holds sway in the series with two wins from three races.
Meanwhile in IRC Division O for the hot forty and fifty footers several of whom have left for the Rolex Sydney-Hobart, the Club Marine Range Series is shaping into a tough two way battle.
Michael Hiatt’s revamped hot Cookson 51 Living Doll (RYCV) which won on Saturday by 64 seconds from Alan Whitley’s TP 52 Cougar II (SYC) but it still leads the series with two wins and a third (6 pts) whilst Living Dollis is just a place astern on 7 points.
Next heat is Race 4 at Royal Brighton Yacht Club on 9 February 2008 at 1355 Hours.
Sail Brisbane launches into Action
It was also the final day of racing for the Audi Etchells Queensland Championship and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron was a hive of activity also celebrating the festive season with the children’s Christmas Party.
There was plenty of action on the waters of Moreton and Waterloo Bay yesterday (9.12.07) as 140 competitors hit the water for Sail Brisbane.
With seven countries represented, Sail Brisbane has reached recorded numbers.
Local Laser Radial sailor and World Masters Champion Greg Adams and the young Klade Hauschildt each week battle it out for the podium finish for Squadron racing. Their competition is fierce right down to the names of their Lasers.
Unfortunately Hauschildt, Adams, Penny Clark (GBR) and Ben Price were forced to retire from Race 2 after sailing the incorrect course. After two races, Richard Bott from
Rutgee Schaardenburg (NED) is currently leading the Laser Standard fleet ahead of Jeemin Ha (KOR) and Christoph Bottoni (SUI). These sailors will travel to
Future Paralympian Dan Fitzgibbon is racing in Sail Brisbane on home waters as part of his training program. Although not sailing with fellow Paralympian Rachel Cox, due to her work commitments and relocation to
Racing is underway for Day 2 of Sail Brisbane.
Coastal port en route to Hobart receives major communications boost
With just 16 days to the start of the 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart 2007, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts have made a significant donation to one of the most important coastal ports between Sydney and Hobart.
Most retirements from the annual ocean classic make their way to
The SOLAS Trusts, recently boosted by almost $6,000 thanks to an eBay auction for guest spots on maxis competing in tomorrow’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, have provided four ICOM IC-M801E Marine HF DSC enabled radios, four ICOM AT141 Auto Antenna Tuners, four GME power supplies for the HF radios, five ICOM IC-M304 Marine Mobile VHF DSC enabled radios and one computer and monitor with suitable software and operating system.
“This significant donation of equipment has been made with a view that the relationship between the CYCA, RVCP Eden, the community of
Commodore Allen made the presentation to RVCP officer commanding Peter Phillipson and deputy officer commanding Kevin Hill.
“Support from the premier ocean racing yacht club and its SOLAS Trusts really confirms the importance of the work we do, especially in radio communications,” said Phillipson.
“This donation will allow us to upgrade our radio and IT resources to the latest technology and provide the highest standard expected of a SARCC in
One of the SOLAS Trusts’ objectives is to support search and rescue organisations
The CYCA will soon announce the launch of a new course which has been developed, with the support of SOLAS Trusts, by St Vincent’s Hospital in
Olympic prospects arrive for Olympic classes Sydney International Regatta
Many Australian and international Olympic class athletes have arrived at Woollahra Sailing Club in Sydney in preparation for Yachting NSW’s Sydney International Regatta (SIRs) to be sailed on Sydney Harbour from December 15-18.
With much at stake; countries still to qualify for the Beijing Olympics and individuals vying for the one Olympic place per country in each class whilst competing for SIRs trophies, the pressure to perform to the utmost is on!
One such case is that of 49er skiff competitors Jacob Granqvuist and Ilmari Kuusi from
“Finland has not qualified for the Games in the 49er, so not only do we have to try to qualify our country with only five places left, we have to then beat the other Finland crews to get selected to our team,” he continued.
The two arrived in
“We have a new mast to test and we are absolutely looking forward to our first sail on
Amongst newcomers to the 49er class, and competing at their first major Olympic class regatta, are brothers Clint and Ty Marshall from
“This is a lifetime experience,” says an excited Ty, “we are hoping to get a lot of experience at SIRs before we compete at the Worlds at
The two have been fortunate to receive help from freshly nominated Australian first-time Olympic representatives Nathan Outteridge/Ben Austin and fellow
“These guys have been great letting us train here in
“We are really enjoying sailing the boat. We are the only Tornado crew in
The two will take on the ISAF world ranked No.1 pair of Darren ‘Bundy’ Bundock/
“We’ll probably get sailing on December 12 with a lot of the international guys. It’s going to be a great regatta. For us, and a few others, it will bring back memories of sailing at the Sydney Olympics,” says Bundock.
Bundock has twice represented at Olympic Games’, but
One of the most talked about Olympic sailors is also in
Although a long-time absentee from the Finn due to
As one sailor quipped: “Did you ask him how he feels about the target on his back?”
Included in Ainslie’s glut of Finn triumphs are four Finn Gold Cup (world title) wins (2002 through to and including 2005). Missing in 2006-07 due to the
One of the most talented and focused sportsmen around, comparable to the likes of Tiger Woods, Ian Thorpe and Roger Federer, Ainslie says: “It’s always challenging sailing on Sydney Harbour; shifting winds and variance in conditions makes it challenging and exciting.”
Asked how he felt having to sail of against his compatriot to make the Olympics, Ainslie said: “Selection is in the back of my mind, but in my experience, it’s better to think about the whole competition and sail the way I normally do.”
The Brit maintains his greatest competition at SIRs and the Finn Gold Cup will come from
Australian Finn two-time Olympian and embarking on his third Games come
“In heavy weather, me and Big Raffa (Trujillo Villar) who won the Gold Cup in 2007, have a chance. In light weather, you would have to say Emilios (Papathanasiou). Unlike most, Ben is great in all conditions and a great sailor.”
Nossiter, who weighs in at 102 kilos, but will drop to around 95 for the light airs forecast in
The Aussie joined with other international Finn greats at the recent
“We share equipment and recently he was using mine, so I got to see from another perspective how my gear is shaping up. It was great getting feedback from him. When we race, we are competitive, but we would never purposely go out and hurt each other’s chances unnecessarily. It‘s a win-win situation.”
Other Olympic classes racing at the ISAF Grade 1 SIRs regatta include the 470 Men’s and Women’s, RS:X Men’s and Women’s sailboards, Yngling, Laser and the new Olympic Women’s Laser Radial class. Youth classes are the 420 dinghy, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 29er skiff.
Yachting NSW’s annual Sydney International Regatta will be conducted on
Final Day: HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship
RNZYS' James Williamson, William Tiller, Bradley Farrand and Michael Edmonds have won the 2007 HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club defeating Sandspit Yacht Club's Adrian Short, Jed Martin, Reuben Corbett and Matthew Randell 3-0 in the best of five final in a 8-10 knot NE breeze on Sydney's Pittwater. Commenting on the Team's mentor Roy Dickson (father of AC skipper Chris), Williamson said ' he has been to three events with us now and has taught us heaps, he knows so much'.
Williamson took the first match comfortably but in match 2 Short attacked vigorously from behind on the run to the finish forcing Williamson to reach back and forward across the bay under spinnaker to defend his lead and avoid being rolled. In the 3rd match the pair came off the line relatively even with Williamson 2 boatlengths to windward in a right hand phase. Thirty seconds later the breeze moved back to the left and Short closed up and moved ahead bouncing Williamson away repeatedly to the right. Towards the top Short decided to take his stern to get across to the right and gain the starboard inside advantage coming in to the mark but it proved his undoing as two tacks later Williamson led around the mark and extended to take the race without further challenge.
In the Petit final Josh Junior from Royal Port Nicholson defeated the other RNZYS crew led by 2007 "Coke Cup" winner Phil Robertson from RNZYS.
At the presentation function event patron Robin Wiltshire-Newman awarded the "Rockin Robin" memorial trophy to the RNZYS team whilst Harken Australia CEO Carl Watson announced that they would be back again for their 11th year of sponsorship in 2008.
Overall Results (provisional)
1st - James Williamson RNZYS - NZL
2nd - Adrian Short SYC - NZL
3rd - Josh Junior RPNYC - NZL
4th - Phil Robertson RNZYS - NZL
5th - Robert Gibbs RPYC - AUS
6th - Tom Spithill RPAYC - AUS
7th - David Chapman RSYS - AUS
8th - Byron White CYCA - AUS
9th - Sam Sexton RPAYC - AUS
10th - Ted Hackney CYCA - AUS
11th - Richard McPharlin RFBYC - AUS
12th - Jordan Reece, RSYS - AUS
Southport YC entrant in Sydney Hobart
Matthew Percy is determined to out-sail all for a win in the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this Boxing Day onboard Alacrity, his Beneteau 44.7.
Although the weather is predicted to be windy for the prestigious yacht race this year, which works in every competitors favour, Mr Percy is confident that if they can repeat their successes from last year, they will be at the top of the podium.
“We just need to get there, win our division and a win overall will be determined by the weather…seventy-five hours racing time would get us close to a win overall,” Matthew Percy said.
Mr Percy and his crew of twelve are sailing in the biggest division of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Division C, for yachts 38 foot to 45 foot.
Competition is going to be tough in Division C as yacht owners’ sail with their crews, fighting tooth and nail, for victory in
Yacht owners in Mr Percy’s division are often the skipper, sailing their yachts worth more than $500,000 and spending on average $100,000 in preparations for competition.
“A lot of people helped in our preparation…Southport Yacht Club’s team in the boat service facility have been brilliant…Monday Alacrity was lifted and Thursday morning we were back in the water after having the hull sanded, repainted and polished,” he said.
Mr Percy is not a user of regular antifoul for his Beneteau 44.7.
To keep the two part teflon-copper racing hull in top condition Mr Percy dives weekly to keep the growth at bay.
“The two part teflon-copper coating is slightly more environmentally friendly than standard antifouling. When these chemicals are combined they create an excellent slippery hull, good for racing,” he said.
The Alacrity crew have competed individually and collectively in many 300 nautical mile races with additional training since October, three nights a week and on their weekends in preparation.
In addition to his crew of twelve, six of which are Southport Yacht Club sailors, Percy will have onboard 200 litres of fresh water and 150 litres of fuel onboard.
“During the race we can only use the petrol to charge the batteries which will be when we’re cooking at 6am and 6pm,” he said.
Matthew Percy and his crew onboard Alacrity won third place in Division C in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Wilmot & Page win 470 Australian Championship
Australian Sailing Team (AST) members and world number one 470 sailors won the 470 Australian Championship yesterday.
Nathan and Malcolm were in the lead for most of the regatta and won the championship with a total of 48 points. Ben Bonnaud from France came in second place on 66 points and Sven Koster from the Netherlands came in third on 90 points.
2007 has been an amazing year for Wilmot Page with a Bronze at Kiel Week in Germany, Gold at the Olympic Sailing Test Event in Qingdao and Gold at the ISAF World Championship in Cascais, Portugal. They were also selected to represent Australia in the 470 class at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
They will compete at the Sydney International Regatta from 15th - 18th December.
Wild Oats XI one step closer to the Rolex Sydney Hobart start line
Bob Oatley’s two-time Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner and record breaker, Wild Oats XI, has moved one step closer to this year’s start line with the successful installation of the yacht’s new mast this afternoon at Woolwich Dock.
The towering black carbon fibre mast, reaching almost 45 metres in height and weighing 1,100 kilograms, was today lifted by crane, shaken to remove any debris then carefully manoeuvred by some of the Wild Oats crew before being lowered into the awaiting 30-metre maxi.
It is expected that once the rig is adjusted, Wild Oats XI will head out for her first test sail on Sydney Harbour this Saturday, less than three weeks out from the 1pm Boxing Day start.
"Today was a big step forward in our preparation and we now we are looking forward to going sailing," Mark Richards, skipper of Wild Oats XI said today.
"We are really pleased today went smoothly, the mast seems much sturdier than the previous one.
"We still have a lot of work ahead of us in the next few weeks however regardless of the preparation we or any other crew puts in place for this race, at the end of the day you still have to get to Hobart to win it," added Richards.
While Wild Oats XI’s mast being installed captivated the crowd at the dock this afternoon, some of the City Index Leopard crew looked on with interest. The UK maxi, which slipped quietly into Sydney Harbour last Sunday, is also berthed at Woolwich Dock which means they and Wild Oats XI can keep a close eye on each other’s respective race preparation.
Grant Wharington’s Melbourne maxi Skandia is due into Sydney prior to next Tuesday’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge while New Zealand maxi Maximus, the fourth 30m maxi contesting this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, is due to leave Auckland on 12 December and arrive into Sydney on Monday 17 December.
Maximus will be sailing across the Tasman Sea in six days time with clear intent - they are on their way to settle unfinished business. Maximus was dramatically dismasted in the early hours of the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet’s first morning at sea and is returning to avenge her early exit, and have a tilt at line honours.
Wild Oats XI is aiming for a third consecutive line honours win, a feat only achieved once before in the 1946, 1947 and 1948 Sydney Hobarts. The yacht was dismasted during racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup off the coast of Porto Cervo, Italy in September and has spent almost two months out of the water undergoing repairs.
Tomorrow Wild Oats XI’s rig will be tuned before they take to the water on Saturday morning in preparation for next week’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge (11
December) and the Rolex Trophy Rating Series (13-16 December).
ISAF Secretary General retires
Arve Sundheim (NOR) has announced his decision to retire from his position as ISAF Secretary General on 1 January 2008.
“The experience of working for the International Sailing Federation has been incredibly rewarding and I have greatly enjoyed working with such a diverse and passionate group of people. I am especially grateful to the ISAF
“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish him all the best for the future. I am very pleased Arve has accepted to take on a role as a senior advisor to the ISAF Executive Committee for the upcoming Olympic Games and the Annual Conference in
Arve was brought to the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU) by the then newly elected President Paul Henderson to replace Mike Evans as Secretary General in June 1995. He joined the IYRU after an extensive career in the Royal Norwegian Navy and the Norwegian Sailing Federation, with experience from the Olympic Games in Montreal/Kingston in 1976 through to
His more than 12 years as Secretary General, have witnessed a period of great change in the sporting and sailing world and within the Federation.
From eight staff members and a budget of £750,000 in 1995, the
During his tenure as Secretary General, there have been some landmark moments in ISAF’s history. Shortly after Arve joined ISAF in October 1995, the IYRU became one of the first International Sports Federations to move online with the launch of the www.sailing.org website. Following on from 1996 Olympic Games, the IYRU changed its name to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and moved its office from
Arve said, “I wish Jerome every success in his new role as Secretary General and have every confidence in his ability to continue the development of ISAF. Over the past 12 years it has been a privilege to work with so many committed and enthusiastic people from every corner of the sailing and sporting world. I look forward to saying a final goodbye to my friends and colleagues next November at the ISAF Annual Conference in
HARKEN International Youth Match Racing - Day 1
Adrian Short from Sandspit Yacht Club NZL also had a good day with his team winning 4 out of 5 matches in his first appearance at the "HARKEN". But its very early days with 4 teams having sailed only 1 match so far whilst Perths Robert Gibbs and James Williamson NZL had their only match postponed due to a broken main batten. Earlier this year Gibbs won the Cowes Youth Week Match in the UK and is expected to make a strong showing here.
The host clubs Tom Spithill, Nina Curtis, Andy Hudson and Ian McKillop set the early pace today winning all 5 of their matches on Day 1 of the HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship.
It was no easy run for Spithill though who copped a penalty just 20 secs into match one of the regatta for a tardy dial-up. Trailing by three boatlengths at one stage he closed up the game and forced RSYS Jordan Reece beyond the Committee boat, unloading his penalty on the way back up to the finish line to take the match. In Flight 5, Phil Robertson from RNZYS looked set to take the gun ahead of Spithill but a last minute penalty turned the tables.
Young Ted Hackney from the CYCA incurred a pre-start penalty in Flight 6 but led off the line and was first into the increasing puffs from the left. But RSYS David Chapman managed an overlap at the bottom mark and Hackney was penalised twice more as he rounded too close and it was out with the black flag!
The breeze was light from the East and very shifty early on eventually settling to around 7-10 kts. A light NE'er is expected to build to 15-20 kts tomorrow which should provide some exciting downwind action. Racing finished at 5pm today to allow competitors to join the Sydney 38 fleet for some twilight racing.
Phil Robertson RNZYZ - NZL 2 wins/ 3 losses
Robert Gibbs RPYC - AUS yet to race
Josh Junior RPNYC - NZL 1 win/ 0 losses
Tom Spithill RPAYC - AUS 5 wins/ 0 losses
Adrian Short SYC - NZL 4 wins/ 1 loss
David Chapman RSYS - AUS 1 win/ 0 losses
Ted Hackney CYCA - AUS 0 wins/ 1 loss
Byron White CYCA - AUS 3 wins / 2 losses
Richard McPharlin RFBYC - AUS 1 win/ 4 losses
James Williamson RNZYS - NZL yet to race
Sam Sexton RPAYC - AUS 0 wins/ 1 loss
Jordan Reece RSYS - AUS 0 wins/ 5 losses
Rolex Trophy One Design
Fresh off the plane from the Farr 40 10th anniversary regatta in Miami, two-time Rolex Farr 40 world champion, Vincenzo Onorato and his team of ‘rascals’ are back in Sydney to take part in the Rolex Trophy One Design Series which begins tomorrow off the Heads.
Ready to throw down the challenge is Matt Allen’s team on Ichi Ban who were also at the Miami event last week.
Eleven Farr 40 teams will hit the start line tomorrow with up to nine races planned over three days.
Nine local teams are keen to line up against the world champions. Four Australian teams tested themselves against Vincenzo and his crew in Denmark at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship earlier this year. On that occasion, Ivan Wheen’s Sputnik was the best placed, finishing fourth overall. Also sailing was Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, Allen’s Ichi Ban and long time class member Lang Walker and his team on Kokomo.
"It's great to be in Sydney, we promise that we will always enjoy being here", commented Onorato today. "It is a lot warmer here than in Italy. The racing here is always fun and last year it was very close. We won in 2005 then Matt [Allen] managed to beat us last year so we will try to win it again".
The Farr 40s will begin their three-day regatta tomorrow and on Saturday, they will be joined off Sydney Heads by two more one design classes.
Thirteen Sydney 38s, five of them using the Rolex Trophy as a shakedown for the Rolex Sydney Hobart starting on 26 December, will sail up to six races over Saturday and Sunday.
Two interstate boats will line up with the strong Sydney fleet. Lou Abrahams has had his Sydney 38 Challenge delivered to Sydney from Victoria and will join his crew tomorrow afternoon.
Eighty year-old Abrahams, who is lining up this year to equal the record for the most Rolex Sydney Hobarts for an individual, 44, regards this weekend as a good opportunity to brush up on their crew work in the lead up to the bluewater classic. A win would be a bonus.
"We are using this weekend for crew work but we’ll be trying for a win…it’s going to be a good fleet," said Lou this morning.
He will be sailing against West Australian owner Alan Brierty and his Sydney 38 Limit. Sailing master Roger Hickman is looking forward to the opportunity to race against the venerable Abrahams, laughing "we are going to extend the Limit to meet the Challenge".
The Rolex Trophy One Design Series will also see the M30 fleet contest six races over the weekend. Victorian Bruce Eddington, who is the current Australian M30 Champion, will make the journey up to join his class mates from New South Wales and Queensland.
Guy Stening’s Optimumm raced against Onorato at the recent M30 World Championship in Sardinia where Stening finished a credible fourth at his first international class event.
"We are looking forward to getting back to racing with the Australian fleet. This event is a great chance for us to train for the upcoming M30 Australian Championship in February 2008 which will be raced on the same waters as this weekend", said Stening.
Sailability’s Andrew Hartley – new book
In Melbourne 2004, Andrew Hartley sailed into sporting history by being the first ventilated quadriplegic person to compete in a world championship in any sport anywhere.
In the same year, he was named Yachting Australia’s Sailor of the Year with a Disability. This was the culmination of years of relearning his childhood sport of sailing.
A new book, Oceans of Courage, by noted
This well-illustrated book describes how Andrew was able to sail independently using an electric chin control. It describes the features of the Australian-made Access Liberty dinghy that make the boat user-friendly for sailors of all ages and abilities.
Oceans of Courage tells about Andrew Harley’s heroic life, his love for sailing and the way he courageously faced up to life as a quadriplegic following a pile-up during a local rugby club game in 1982.
After many happy years of sailing with the help of his friends from Sailability South Australia (a volunteer organisation which fosters sailing for persons with a disability), Andrew Hartley died from complications in February 2005 leaving his wife Anne and son Sebastian.
Some people think Andrew’s story is sad. Others say it's amazing and even inspiring. Oceans of Courage tells about Andrew Hartley's life, his love for sailing and the way he faced a terrible tragedy. His story will inspire readers of all ages.
Oceans of Courage is published by respected educational publisher Era Publications and costs $11.95 plus mailing. To order on-line, go to www.erapublications.com.au
470 Australian Championship
The 470 Australian Championship is currently being held out of Manly 16ft skiff club in Sydney. The event started on Saturday 1st December and is due to be completed today.
To date, the 37 boat fleet has completed 10 races in tricky conditions over the last five days. Racing is being conducted in the Middle Harbour area.
Australian Sailing Team (AST) members and current world number one's in the 470 class, Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page are sitting in first place with Sven Koster from the Netherlands. Benjamin Bonnaud from France is in third place.
To read the full results, click on the link below:
National Lifejacket Wearing Study Released
The first major study of Personal Flotation Device (PFD) wearing rates to be published in Australia will provide a basis from which to develop strategies to encourage PFD wear amongst recreational boaters.
One major finding in all four states was that if skippers wore a PFD, passengers were more likely to be wearing a PFD. When the skipper was wearing a PFD, the wear rate amongst passengers in each state ranged from 50% to 94%. In contrast, the wear rate amongst passengers of skippers who were not wearing PFDs ranged from 4% to 17%.
NMSC Chair Neil Aplin announced that the report had influenced a new education campaign for 2007/08 “Lifejackets - Skippers Take the Lead” with cricketer Matthew Hayden that motivates skippers to wear lifejackets and asks them to ensure their passengers do the same.
“This campaign gives me the opportunity to demonstrate that not only do incidences happen, they happen really quickly and you have people’s lives at stake,” explained Matthew, referring to the day a few years ago when his boat hit a wave, capsized and sank off
It took the trio an hour to swim to shore, battling currents, crashing waves and eventually, shock and exhaustion.
During the study, observers noted information on the site, weather and water conditions and the type and length of boat, boating activity, people on the boat and their PFD wear status. A total of 9 537 boaters on 3 847 vessels were observed in QLD, NSW, SA and WA over the 2006/07 summer boating season. Study highlights are as follows (individual state statistics not identified):
· The overall PFD wear rate in all states was low, ranging from 6% to 22%.
· PFD wear was higher among children (aged 0-17 years) than adults (20-64%). PFD wear rates were also consistently higher in younger children (aged <10 years) than older children/adolescents (aged 10–17 years). The rate for children aged less than 10 years varied between 33% and 78% and for children aged 10 – 17 years the rate was between 11% and 57%
· In all four states, the overall female PFD wear rate was 3% to 6% higher than the male rate.
· In all states except one, the wear rate of seniors (60 years and older) was 2% to 5% lower than the wear rate of adults aged 18-59 years.
· The PFD wear rate on open boats was very low to low, ranging from 3% to 11%.
· The PFD wear rate on cuddy/half cabin cruisers was very low to low ranging from 2% to 11%.
· Fishing was the most commonly observed boating activity. The PFD wear rate among fishers was consistently very low from 2% to 8%.
· General boating/pleasure cruising was the second most common boating activity observed. The PFD wear rate of persons engaged in general boating activities was very low to low, ranging from 4% to 15%.
· In all four states the PFD wear rate was highest among PWC riders – 78% for one state and above 90% in three states. (PFD wear is compulsory for PWC riders in all states and territories except NT.)
The public awareness campaign will run from December 2007– February 2008 and features magazine and radio advertising, television and radio community service announcements and promotional material for boat shows around the country. The national campaign also complements state based awareness campaigns such as NSW Maritime’s You’re the Skipper, You’re Responsible Campaign.
According to NMSC’s Incident Database, 88 people died in
“What this clearly shows is that most fatalities occur from people ending up in the water – and that’s why safety equipment such as PFDs are important,” concluded Neil Aplin.
“There is a long-standing requirement in most of
NMSC’s Industry Advisory Committee Chair and Managing Director of major boat operator Riverside Marine, Hume Campbell endorsed both the release of the Personal Flotation Devices Wear Rate Study 2007 and the “Lifejackets - Skippers Take the Lead ‘ 2007-2008 summer boating campaign.
“I fully endorse the wearing of lifejackets as a safety precaution,” Mr Campbell said. “It doesn’t matter how sound the boat is, skippers should always be aware of their own safety and the safety of their crew and passengers”.
Another NMSC study, The National Assessment of Boating Fatalities in
The NMSC aims to achieve nationally uniform marine safety practices and is made up of the CEOs of Australia’s marine safety agencies.
For further details on the Lifejackets - Skippers Take the Lead campaign or the PFD Wear Rate Study 2007, go to www.nmsc.gov.au or www.safeboating.org.au. Please contact your local marine safety agency for information about personal flotation device laws in your state.
Hayden Wants Skippers to Take the Lead
The 2007/08 summer campaign - “Lifejackets – Skippers Take the Lead”, aims to motivate skippers to wear lifejackets and asks them to ensure their passengers to do the same.
“When you are the skipper of a boat, you’ve got people’s lives in your hands,” added Matthew.
“When you go out boating, and I have been in this same mindset, it’s easy to think “oh, nothing is going to happen today, so the “x” factor gets removed.”
“This campaign gives me the opportunity to demonstrate that not only do incidences happen, they happen really quickly and you have people’s lives at stake,” referring to the day a few years ago when his boat hit a wave, capsized and sank off
Matthew had gone out for a relaxing day of fishing with fellow cricketer Andrew Symonds and friend Trent Butler, when in a matter of minutes; they found themselves in the water without lifejackets on.
“We were in a position where mistakes exponentially mounted and suddenly we were hit by waves, there was engine failure, we were sitting on the bar right on the crunch zone and we got smashed.”
It took the trio an hour to swim to shore, battling currents, crashing waves and eventually, shock and exhaustion.
The public awareness campaign will run from December 2007 – February 2008 and features magazine advertising, radio advertising, television community service announcements and promotional material such as flyers and stickers for boat shows around the country.
NMSC Chair, Neil Aplin thanked Matthew for volunteering his time again for the campaign.
“Matthew is a wonderful role model for young and old, and our campaign is also backed up by our latest research statistics.”
“An NMSC sponsored Personal Flotation Devices Wear Rate Study 2007, of boaters in recreational vessels conducted during 2006/07, reinforces the influence that skippers have on their passengers, especially in relation to personal flotation device wearing.”
The study recorded PFD wearing from at least 26 popular freshwater and saltwater boating locations in each state including
One major finding in all four states was that passengers were more likely to be wearing a PFD if their skipper was wearing a PFD.
“When the skipper was wearing a PFD, the wear rate amongst passengers in each state ranged from 50% to 94%, however, in contrast, the wear rate amongst passengers of operators who were not wearing PFDs ranged from 4% to 17% for each state,” explained Mr Aplin.
“We are encouraging boaters to wear PFDs because they do save lives, for example, another major study showed that those who survive a boating incident are more than twice as likely to have been wearing a PFD compared to those who died.”*
According to NMSC’s National Incident Database, 48 people died in boating incidents last year, and the main contributing factors were: the wind/sea state, error of judgement, alcohol or drugs and excessive speed. The major incident types were person overboard, capsizing, collision of vessels and swamping.
The NMSC aims to achieve nationally uniform marine safety practices and is made up of the CEOs of Australia’s marine safety agencies.
“And as such, this national campaign compliments state based awareness campaigns, including NSW Maritime’s You’re the Skipper, You’re Responsible Campaign.”
For further details on the PFD awareness campaign or the Personal Flotation Devices Wear Rate Study 2007, go to www.nmsc.gov.au or www.safeboating.org.au. Please contact your local marine safety agency for information about personal flotation device laws in your state.
HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship
The 15th annual HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championships, one of the premier events for youth on the match racing calendar, gets underway tomorrow with competitors' filing in for registration, weigh-in and the event launch at the RPAYC before the match racing begins on Thursday 6th December on Pittwater, on Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Hosted by The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, the 2007 HARKEN International Youth heralds the 10th consecutive year with HARKEN Australia as naming rights sponsor. Their ongoing commitment to the development of youth match racing is a credit to this leading manufacturer and marketer of quality sailboat hardware and accessories.
Carl Watson, HARKEN Australia’s Managing Director said, “We are delighted to be celebrating our 10th year with the HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championships and our ongoing association with the RPAYC.”
This year 12 teams from Australia and New Zealand will compete for the Rockin’ Robin Perpetual Trophy* including 4 teams from New Zealand, 2 from Western Australia and six from Sydney. The Harken will be sailed on the RPAYC’s purpose built fleet of six Force 24’s performance keelboats with a crew of four, all of who must be under 21 years of age.
The teams will sail a complete round robin with every team sailing once against each other. The teams will then progress through to a top eight knockout round followed by semi finals and a final. The two team’s remaining will sail a best of five final to decide the winner of this year’s event.
The 12 teams are:
The host club, the RPAYC will provide two teams for the event one being skippered by 18 year-old Sam Sexton, this his 3rd HARKEN and the other by last year’s runner-up 19 year-old Tom Spithill, who will be hoping to go one better this year to become the 6th RPAYC sailor to win the title.
Tom, comes from a pedigree of family match racers with sister Katie currently ranked 3rd in the Women’s World match racing rankings and a previous winner of this event and brother James, a dual winner of this event and former World Champion of Match Racing.
Under the race rules, Tom still has two more years in this event to capture the title. With his team of Nina Curtis, Andrew Hudson and Andrew McKillop, all part of the RPAYC’s revered Youth Development Program, they will go in to the event as one of the favourites.
“Its great to meet up with the other teams from Australia and overseas, we are really looking forward to the competition” said Tom.
A stellar line-up of umpires have been assembled for the 2007 HARKEN, providing International quality umpiring, with enormous talent & professionalism. Several of the umpires were recently involved with the Louis Vuitton and America's Cup events.
The umpire team is: David Tallis IU / IJ (AC Umpire), Richard Slater IU / IJ AUS, Andrew Baglin NU AUS, Garry Manuel NU AUS, Shane Borrell IU / IJ NZL (LV Umpire), Roger Wood IU NZL (AC Umpire), and Bill Pringle NU AUS. Principal Race Officer is Ted Anderson who was a Race Committee member for the 2000 Olympic match racing and is the current Volunteer of the Year for the Club.
The 2007 Harken International event is certified Grade 3 for ISAF match race rankings. Racing will be conducted on the magnificent waterways of Pittwater, on a course to the north of Scotland Island, on Sydney's Northern Beaches from the 6th – 9th December 2007.
The naming rights sponsor of the event is HARKEN AUSTRALIA, a leading manufacturer and marketer of quality sailboat hardware and accessories.
Follow all the action of the HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championships by following the HARKEN link at www.rpayc.com.au.
* The ‘Rockin’-Robin Trophy’
Robyn Wiltshire presented the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club with a perpetual trophy named the ‘Rockin’-Robin Trophy’. Robyn presented the trophy in memory of her husband Grant and son Robert, Andrew Young & Jeff Smith, all Club members who tragically lost their lives at sea aboard the yacht ‘Rockin’ Robin’ whilst on passage to Fiji in 1990. Many Club members provided financial assistance and volunteered their time to help with the Search & Rescue, after the group was spotted next to their partially submerged yacht approximately 200 nautical miles off the Australian Coast. Even after an extensive Search & Rescue lasting more than one month, the sailors or the vessel were never sighted again.
2008 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival
The Australian National Maritime Museum is inviting vessel registrations for the colourful Classic & Wooden Boat Festival in March next year.
With ‘restoration’ as its central theme, the festival on the weekend of 8-9 March will be bigger and better than ever…. loaded with live entertainment, maritime activities and demonstrations, and talks by maritime heritage experts.
The museum plans to display more than 100 privately-owned heritage vessels, from graceful yachts and streamlined speedboats to tugs and other workboats.
By registering, owners have the unique opportunity to showcase their boat in front of thousands of interested visitors and boating enthusiasts.
Boat owners will not only have the ability to network with other classic boat owners – their vessels will be reviewed for possible inclusion on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels and owners will also receive tickets to the special welcome BBQ.
The entertainment program for the festival will inlcude traditional maritime skill displays alongside a host of activities, such as…
· the deckhand’s line-throwing competition
· children’s activities and crafts in ‘The Boat Shed’
· festive marketplace with display of boating products on sale
· blacksmith, rope knotter, caulker and sail maker demonstrations
· and giant model boat display!
Vessel registrations are now open with fees ranging from $50 (ashore) to $75-$150 afloat (depending on vessel size).
For more information or to register your vessel visit www.anmm.gov.au/2008CWBF or contact the Festival Coordinator on (02) 9298 3777. Registrations must close
The museum is also seeking registrations for trade stall holders. Trade stall fees start from $150 (not including equipment hire). For more information visit our website.
Victorian’s ready for OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship 2008
Victorian youth sailors are set to sail at the 11th OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship 2008 to be held from 6 – 10 January, 2008 at Frankston Yacht Club, Victoria.
Held annually, the event attracts over 150 competitors from across
The Championship includes events for Laser 4.7 (Girls and Boys), Laser Radial (Girls and Boys), Laser Full Rig (Boys), 420 (Girls, Boys & Mixed), Hobie 16 (Open) and for the first time the Bic Techno 293 Sailboard (Girls and Boys).
He commented “I really enjoy sailing because I am able to travel around
“And I’m really looking forward to competing in my home town and against some tough competition from
Richard Taylor (Laser Radial) is 17 years of age from
Sam and Lewis Duncan, 15yrs and 13 yrs from Altona are about to embark on a full season competing in the 420 class. Both have achieved great results in the International Cadet class including winning the Sandringham Yacht Club International Cadet Class Championship and placing second in the same regatta on two occasions. They have also won the 2004 Victorian International Cadet Class State Championship with the youngest combination and more recently they represented
The pair will now look forward to not only competing at the Australian Youth Championship this season in the 420 class but also the Victorian State Titles, Go for Gold Regatta on
“The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship 2008 is Yachting Australia’s pinnacle event and is made possible only because of the generous support from our Principal Partner the Australian Sports Commission, our major sponsor OAMPS Insurance Brokers and our sponsors Frankston City Council and our host for the event, Frankston Yacht Club.
“During the Championship, Port Phillip will provide both light shifty breezes and large seas and strong winds ensuring excellent and challenging racing conditions for all competitors.
“Off the water,
Entries closed on Friday 30th November, 2007 however late submissions may be accepted at the discretion of Yachting Australia (late fees apply).
The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship 2008 is the selection event for the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team. A Team of up to 10 competitors will compete at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship to be held in The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship 2008 is proudly supported by: Australian Sports Commission, OAMPS Insurance Brokers and Frankston City Council.
The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship 2008 is proudly supported by: Australian Sports Commission, OAMPS Insurance Brokers and Frankston City Council.
Skandia Geelong Week 2008
Above and beyond is the theme of Australia’s largest sailing event however Friday’s launch of Skandia Geelong Week was all about providing a sailor’s perspective. Royal Geelong Yacht Club treated media and invited guests to a series of short sails aboard the 30m super maxi Skandia Wild Thing followed by a luncheon and the official launch.
During the launch Skandia Geelong Week Chairman
The 2008 event will play host to six National Championships and draw competitors from all over the world. Every state and territory in
“We already have entries from the
Skandia Geelong Week will feature Leg 1 of the Audi IRC Australian Championships, the Morris Finance Sydney 38 Australian Championship, the Elliot 7 National Championship, and inaugural Australian Championships for the SB3, Melges 24 and the recently formed Australian Sports Boats Association. The latter promoted as the Bundaberg Rum ASBA National Sports Boats Championship. Details of a National Trailer Yacht Championship are also being finalized.
The five day program includes multiple race series for; cruising - spinnaker and non spinnaker, Multihulls, Classic Yachts, Super 30, S80, International Cadets and the Yachting Victoria Open Dinghy Championships.
In keeping with the theme of above and beyond, Skandia Geelong Week will boast a wide variety of free entertainment, including Skandia Come Try Sailing. Waterfront stages will feature
M30 class racing at Rolex Trophy series
After a very successful year for Australian M30 teams, interest in the class in Australia is growing at a rapid rate.
New boats have arrived in
Guy Stening, who joined the class a little over 12 months ago, finished fourth in his first class Australian Championship in February 2007 and went on to compete at the M30 class World Championship in Sardinia, Italy in October. Sailing against a number of former M30 class World Champions, including Vincenzo Onorato and Erik Maris, Stening finished second in the pre worlds regatta and fourth in the 40 boat fleet that raced for the 2007 World Champion title.
“It's been a terrific year and we're really pleased with how things have gone. We went to the Worlds for some experience against the international fleet and came away with a fantastic result. The class is growing across Australia and we are looking at a large fleet for the Australian Championship in February”, said Stening.
Bruce Eddington has enjoyed a very successful year racing against fellow class members in the
“We had a great year both here and overseas and are looking forward to seeing the class grow in
Klim back in the water to set a new record
Former Olympic and World Champion swimmer, Michael Klim, will be back in the water today hoping to set records of a different kind. He will join Nick Moloney, one of Australia’s most successful ocean racers, on Sydney Harbour aboard the ultimate grand prix racing sailboat – the iShares Extreme 40.
In what is sure to be a great spectacle, Klim and Moloney, a former holder of the Jules Verne (no-holds barred round the world) record, will race the iShares Extreme 40 catamaran from Manly to the Harbour as they kick-start the week-long iShares Celebrity Challenge.
Designed two years ago by Yves Loday, in collaboration with Olympic Tornado sailors Australian Mitch Booth and Dutchman Herbert Dercksen, the iShares Extreme 40 is normally sailed by four professional crew with a fifth VIP ‘guest spot’ available, which Klim will fill today.
Klim’s course time will be the first recorded online at www.iSharescup.com and will be the benchmark against which other celebrities and media personalities including Wild Oats skipper Mark Richards, Olyroo Mark Milligan and former NBL basketballer
The iShares Extreme 40 is the latest breed in high-performance sailing and is built using similar technology to that employed in Formula 1. A 40ft lightweight carbon fibre catamaran, it is one of only nine in the world and the first Extreme 40 to visit
Skipper Moloney said: “The iShares Extreme 40 is a fantastic beast and great fun to sail. It is one of the fastest and most exciting race boats on the water today and I cannot wait to showcase this new class of boat to an already highly informed sailing audience here in
Just as the Extreme 40 boats are revolutionising the world of sailing, iShares, part of Barclays Global Investors the world’s leading provider of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), is revolutionising the world of investment. iShares ETFs were launched in
Adam Seccombe, Co Head of iShares
eBay auction raises close to $6,000 for SOLAS Trusts
Next Tuesday when a multi-million dollar fleet lines up for the annual SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, the five successful eBay bidders who raised close to $6,000 for charity will be part of the spectacular clash of the titans on Sydney Harbour.
Four bidders will step aboard speed machines Wild Oats XI, Skandia, Ichi Ban and Andrew Short Marine Brindabella for the 14 nautical mile race around the Harbour on Tuesday 11 December while the fifth successful bidder will fire the 19th century replica cannon to mark the 12.30pm start off Steele Point at Nielsen Park.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is delighted to announce today that its first eBay auction for its own Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts, which support search and rescue organisations around the country, has raised $5,856 in total.
As was expected, a late round of bidding before the close of the auction on Sunday morning drove the dollars up to impressive levels.
An extraordinary 12 bids in the last hour for Grant Wharington’s 30m Melbourne maxi Skandia pushed the price up to $2,100, just $50 short of Wild Oats XI’s final amount of $2,150.
Wild Oats XI led the bidding from the start and looked to be the stand out auction item until the late surge of bidding for Skandia almost put them on par with the current Rolex Sydney Hobart record holder, two-time line honours winner and overall winner in 2005.
The two 30m maxis will again go head to head, this time for line honours, as the largest entrants in the invitation-only SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.
Two guest places aboard Andrew Short Marine Brindabella raised $760 while two places on Matt Allen’s Jones 70 Ichi Ban generated a winning bid of $570.
The person who will have the important job of firing the cannon to signal the race start paid $276, which includes places for the winning bidder and their guest aboard the CYCA’s spectator boat.
This Wednesday, the CYCA’s SOLAS Trusts will make a timely and significant donation to the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol at Eden, one of the most important coastal ports between Sydney and Hobart for the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet, which is preparing to set sail in 23 days time.
To recognise the close working relationship between the CYCA and the community of Eden, the SOLAS Trusts will at 1.30pm this Wednesday at the CYCA make a donation of $25,000 worth of radio and computer equipment to the RVCP Eden Division, allowing this division to become SARS compliant.
Since they were established in 1999 following the stormy 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the SOLAS Trusts have donated close to $350,000 to search and rescue organisations in every Australian state and the ACT.
Tickets for the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge spectator vessel, which will depart at
12 midday from the CYCA in Rushcutters Bay, are $90 per person including the three-hour charter, lunch, limited wine thanks to Oatley Wines and a cash bar thereafter.
Tickets are available from reception on 02 8292 7800 or email email@example.com. Proceeds from the charter will also go to the SOLAS Trusts.
World Champions head down under for Rolex Trophy Series
Hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in the lead up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, this event is a closely fought regatta within this highly competitive one design fleet.
Reigning Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Vincenzo Onorato and his Mazcalzone Latino team, translated means 'Little Rascals', will be racing alongside their Australian class mates in the upcoming Rolex Trophy One Design series being sailed off Sydney Heads December 7-9.
Onorato, who is a regular competitor at this event having won it in 2005, is the only Farr 40 owner who has achieve a class first this year by winning back to back Rolex Farr 40 World Championships in 2006 and 2007.
“We always look forward to sailing in beautiful
Onorato and Australian Farr 40 class President Matt Allen have both been at the Farr 40 class 10th Anniversary Regatta which was held in
Returning to the helm of
This regatta will be the fifth event on the schedule for the Australian Farr 40 class 2007-08 circuit and local fleet members have their eye on the prize which will be decided in February 2008. Martin Hill currently leads the pointscore with Guido Belgiorno Nettis in second and Matt Allen in third.
Racing will kick off on Friday with eleven teams racing over the three days of competition.
Potential GBR Olympian to race in Sail Brisbane
A member of The Royal Navy, Clark was given two years leave to campaign for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and together with her husband, coach, manager and mentor Russell, the two are traveling the world giving Clark a strong advantage and more training time prior to the final trials.
Great Britain Laser Radial sailor Penny Clark has arrived at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron on Manly to race against the strong, talented and world champion fleet for the upcoming Sail Brisbane regatta.
“I’m looking forward to racing next week. Everyone here has given me such a warm reception right down to being invited to the 6 hours training sessions with the locals!” said
“There is some brilliant talent amongst the local fleet here and there will be some close racing for the regatta,” continued
The team from Fremantle Sailing Club arrived at the Squadron at 7pm last night (Saturday 1 December) and will join the local sailors over the next few days during some intense training sessions. The Korean team is due to arrive on Monday to train and enter for the regatta.
27th Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Race
With a strong fleet of 58 yachts already entered for the start of the 27th Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Offshore Race commencing on January 2nd 2008, Chris Stone, Race Director has extended the entry deadline until December 14th as more entries are expected due to a flood of enquiries in recent days. The provisional close of entries was today Saturday 1st December.
“Entries have been flooding in the past week along with a large number of enquiries via email and phone, so we’ve made the decision to extend the deadline to the 14th December to coincide with the last day for correcting documentation according to the NoR. This will allow those competitors the time to enter and get all their documentation together. It will make for a bigger and better race,” Chris Stone commented.
With just on a month away to the start of the 27th Pittwater to Coffs race, the 58 yachts from more than a dozen yacht clubs entered to date, just pips the number of entrants that started the race in early 2007. It is now anticipated that at least 65 yachts will assemble on the start line for the “warm water” classic starting off Barrenjoey headland, after the New Years hangovers have cleared.
Three Mumm 30’s, ‘Cleopatra’ & ‘K2’ both from the Sandringham Yacht Club in Vic and ‘Immigrant’ from the Port Curtis Sailing Club in Qld, at 9.43m will be the smallest boats in the fleet with the John Santifort ‘Carats ‘n’ Kilos’, a Hick 31 at 9.45m not far behind.
At the other end of the fleet, the battle for line honours at this stage will come from four big boats; Bob Oatley’s Reichel Pugh 66 ‘Wild Oats X’, the 2005–06 winner to be skippered by Mark Richards, Roger Sturgeon’s STP65 ‘Rosebud’ from the USA’s Lauderdale YC, the MDB66 custom ‘Scooter’ (formerly Sean Langman's AAPT Xena- Grundig, winner in 2001-02), now owned by Steve Zaphin. She will be racing under the name ‘Spirit of Queensland,’ to be skippered by Peter Harburg from the RQYS and rounding out the quartet, the 2006 overall series winner Reichel Pugh 60 ‘Wild Joe’, owned by Steven David.
Together will be out to break the record of 18hrs 29mins (held by ‘Wild Oats IX’ now ‘Wild Joe’) if conditions suit. Bob Oatley and his ‘Wild Oats’ franchise have won line honours in this event for four of the past five years and will be keen to retain the Line Honours Bell in his trophy cabinet.
Seven Beneteau 40.7’s have entered this year, including regular RPAYC’s Chris Lancaster’s ‘First Priority’, competing in his 9th Coffs race along with three of the Flying Fish sailing school; led by Chief Instructor James Dobie with ’Leisel’, ‘Let loose’ and ‘First Fish’, first time entrant from the RSYS Max Prentice’s ‘Ticket of Leave’, the Newcastle CYC entrant Phil Arnall’s ‘Anger Management’ and rounding out the French class will be the aptly named ‘Chancellor’, owned by Morgan Rogers representing the CYCA.
Hosts of the event, The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will provide regular updates on the progress of the yachts which will be posted on their event website at www.pittwatertocoffs.com.au. Once again, they are being assisted with fleet communications by the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol who have arranged special monitoring procedures and round the clock volunteer service. A provisional list of entries as of today, December 1st, has been uploaded to the event website.
The receiving club is Coffs Harbour Yacht Club who provide warm hospitality and a great opportunity for the competitors and their families to enjoy the carnival feeling of the “Festival of Sail” in and around the marina and the atmosphere provided by the Coffs locals & volunteers to the welcoming yachts.
As with past year’s the Coffs race is part of the overall Pittwater and Coffs Series which this year includes a new series opener with an overnight 50nm ocean race on the 28th December, two windward/leeward races off the Palm Beach circle on the 30th December, the traditional passage race from Pittwater to Coffs Harbour on the 2nd January and the popular final race around the South Solitary Islands in Coffs Harbour on the 5th January.
Race merchandise is now on sale at The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and includes Line 7 polo shirts, long and short sleeved t-shirts and caps. The Line 7 merchandise sponsorship will also see them providing some fantastic prizes at the prizegiving at CHYC on January 5th.