Yachting Australia Corporate Partner
Australian Sailing Team patron claims World Speed Record
The Australian Sailing Team would like to congratulate patron Simon McKeon on his new World Speed Record, achieved last Thursday night when Macquarie Innovation powered down the Sandy Point speed course near Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, at an average speed of 50.43 knots.
McKeon has been a long time supporter of the Australian Sailing Team, an inaugural patron and keen follower of the team’s success in recent years.
Yachting Australia CEO Phil Jones said that the new World Speed Record was an amazing achievement for McKeon and his team.
“This record is the culmination of a number of years hard work for Simon and the Macquarie Innovation team and the entire Australian Sailing Team would like to take this opportunity to send them our congratulations,” said Mr Jones.
“The commitment and determination shown by Simon and his team in their continual pursuit of this record is an inspiration for the athletes in the Australian Sailing Team as they continue to strive to achieve their own goals,” he said.
McKeon and fellow sailor Tim Daddo made history in 1993 with the Lindsay Cunningham designed Yellow Pages, when they set a 500-metre world record of 46.52 knots that lasted 11 years.
In 1994 they started to build the boat that has now become Macquarie Innovation. Cunningham came up with a new design but it was a long time in the build and it was 2001 before they got back to serious campaigning. But since 2001, the team has been plagued by light wind conditions for much of the time.
In November 2008, McKeon and Daddo did a 500-metre run at 48.14 knots, claiming a class ‘C’ world speed record. Now in March of 2009, they have lifted their own ‘C’ class record and come within a whisker of breaking the outright record of 50.57 knots, now in the hands of kite boarder Alexandre Caizergues.
Yachtmaster Ocean Course Helping Rowers Reach Mauritius
Yachting Australia’s RYA/YA Yachtmaster Ocean theory course is arming four West Australian’s with the navigational skills needed to achieve what many see as the impossible, rowing from Australia to Mauritius.
Matt Hort, Andrew Taylor, Pete Tomic and David Louw are taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, a 6,000km epic journey beginning in Geraldton on 19 April.
The Go West team are the only representatives from Australia and in order to safely make it across the Indian Ocean are taking part in the RYA/YA Yachtmaster Ocean theory course.
Rower Matt Hort says that while the RYA/YA Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased theory course qualification is a mandatory requirement for the race it is proving invaluable in raising the team’s knowledge and skill level.
“The Yachtmaster Ocean course has been totally new to us and we’ve been getting a lot out of our lessons. Our confidence level has risen dramatically and we now feel that our route planning is better than what we could do with a GPS,” he said.
“If our electronics fail we now know how that with a time piece, sextant and compass we can make it to Mauritius without relying on electronics.”
Matt says that while the thought of rowing across the Indian Ocean is daunting all the information they have been taking in will come together to get them to the finish safely.
“The four of us are all experienced rowers and athletes but a challenge such as rowing across the Indian Ocean is a huge undertaking.“
“Our goal is to make it to Mauritius in 45 days, it’s David’s birthday on the second of June and we’d much prefer to have a cold beer on the beach instead of a warm beer on the boat,” said Matt.
Matt has found the content of the Yachtmaster Ocean theory course to be relevant while shining a new light on mathematics.
“When I was younger I struggled with maths, it didn’t mean anything to me,” said Matt. “It’s a pity they don’t teach maths in the way we’re being instructed,
The Go West team has been instructed by Peter Robinson, Chief Instructor and Principal at Fremantle Yachtmaster Academy, a RYA/Yachting Australia recognised training centre.
“The team are progressing through the course very well, they’re very bright lads,” said Peter. “We are working with an abstract concept which takes a lot of commitment to understand and the Go West team have shown a high level of determination and made up their minds that they’ll complete it.”
“Throughout the RYA/YA Yachtmaster Ocean course we’ve been working with full scale charts of the Indian Ocean and even utilising tennis balls on string to symbolise sunrise and sunset so that if their electronics fail, the boys will still find their way to Mauritius,” he said.
Peter has more than 30 years experience in the yachting industry and says that the content of the RYA/YA Yachtmaster Ocean course will allow the Go West team to be self-sufficient and capable of navigating by the stars without electronics.
The Yachtmaster Ocean qualifications signifies that an individual is knowledgeable about ocean passage making including planning, celestial navigation,
The Indian Ocean Rowing Challenge is the first ever official rowing race across the Indian Ocean and whilst rescue vehicles will support the fleet, each crew must be completely self sufficient, carrying approximately 500kg of dehydrated expedition food and the boats are fitted with solar panels to power a watermaker.
Of the 279 recorded trans-ocean port departures, 174 of which were completed, only four have been across the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is hotter, has less favourable winds and currents and has less predictable weather than the Atlantic Ocean meaning the Go West team will have their work cut out for them in their quest to be the first team to reach Mauritius.
Distress beacons critical to saving lives
Yachting Australia recently attended the AMSA AUSSaR Consultative Forum and discussions focussed on the importance of distress beacons in times of emergency.
The key message at the recent Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) coordinated Australian Search and Rescue (AUSSaR) Consultative Forum was that distress beacons such as EPIRBs and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are critical to recognition of an emergency and rapid response by search and rescue authorities.
A vessel with a 406 MHz EPIRB with GPS may have their distress signal recognised as quickly as one minute, with daylight rescue possibly as quick as two hours.
It is also critical to appreciate the importance of 406 Mhz PLBs to crew on deck. AMSA estimated that the chances of a man overboard being found by rescue authorities to be as remote as 99.9% unlikely. Wearing a PLB with GPS will greatly improve chances of survival if a crew member goes overboard.
The difference a GPS distress beacon will bring is that it will transmit it’s coordinates with the distress signal enabling authorities to know its location with far greater accuracy, all pointing to the possibility of a far quicker rescue.
For the distress beacons to be effective it is also critical that they be registered with AMSA. Boat owners should refer to the registration template on Yachting Australia’s website to supply AMSA with vessel and crew details for both EPIRBs and PLBs.
There have been cases where borrowed EPIRBs or PLBs have been activated causing unnecessary confusion to authorities and families because registration details haven’t been updated with current information.
AMSA also encourages that old 121.5 MHz distress beacons be disposed of thoughtfully. Unwanted beacons can now be disposed of at no cost by placing them in collection bins in any of the Battery World stores around Australia.
Yachting Australia made a brief presentation to AMSA and other attendees of the AUSSaR Consultative Forum on the various training schemes and what aspects address search and rescue.
Various schemes such as the National Powerboat Scheme, RYA/Yachting Australia Yacht Training Schemes and the Sea Safety Survival Course (SSSC) all address emergency communications, techniques and distress equipment in some way.
The presentation about the training schemes enabled Yachting Australia to highlight how the syllabus of the schemes related to the Yachting Australia Special Regulations. The SSSC will teach people about flares, communications, fire drill, liferafts and importantly EPIRBs and PLBs etc, all of which are referred to in the Special Regulations.
The 2009 Yachting Australia Special Regulations which come into effect on 1 July 2009 bring changes to the EPIRB and PLB requirements.
Refer to 2009 SR 5.18 which require a 406 MHz EPIRB for Category 1, 2 and 3 races.
Refer also to 2009 SR 5.05 which requires 406 MHz PLBs for crew in Category 1 and 2 races. Note that for this regulation the PLBs must be carried by or attached to the crew when they are on deck.
When fitting out your vessel with this equipment, you should be careful to check that the PLB you are buying or renting is a PLB and not a “Satellite Personal Tracker”. AMSA said that the commercially available personal trackers do not replace the need for an EPIRB or PLB which are tied into the search and rescue network and manufactured to meet certain standards.
For more information contact Glen Stanaway.
Yachting Australia CEO appointed to role of Chairman of Olympic Commission
ISAF has announced the members of the newly formed Olympic Commission, which is tasked with developing and promoting long-term strategy for the sport of sailing at the Olympic Games.
The ISAF Council approved the creation of a new Olympic Commission at the ISAF Annual Conference held in Madrid, Spain last November. The new Commission replaces the Olympic Advisory Board and will be tasked with assisting the Executive in ‘developing, agreeing and promoting a comprehensive vision and strategy of the sport of sailing in the Olympic Games’.
Yachting Australia CEO Phil Jones, who was Technical Delegate for sailing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, has been appointed as chairman of the Commission.
"It is a great honour to have been asked to chair the Olympic Commission and I am grateful to the members of the Commission that are contributing their time and expertise. I look forward to the working with them and others in putting together a strategy for sailing in the Olympics. We should not underestimate the task," said Jones.
The Commission also includes representatives from both the Events Committee, who are tasked with making recommendations to the ISAF Council on Olympic issues, and the Athletes’ Commission, which is both formed of and elected by sailors campaigning for the Olympic Games.
Göran Petersson, President of ISAF, said, “Sailing has a very proud Olympic history having featured on the Olympic programme for over 100 hundreds years. We should respect this tradition, but we must also continue to innovate and take the long-term view. ISAF has made major progress in developing the sport of sailing at the Olympic Games, with the successful introduction of the Medal Race format at Beijing 2008 the most recent example. I am greatly looking forward to the inputfrom the new Olympic Commission to help guide our future decision-making and ensure the continued success and growth of sailing as an Olympic sport.”
The full list of Commission members, confirmed during the February meeting of the ISAF Executive Committee in Los Angeles, is:
Phil Jones (AUS) – Chairman
The Olympic Commission will meet for the first time during the ISAF Mid-Year Meetings, held in Warsaw, Poland this May.
The creation of the Olympic Commission follows on from the ISAF Council decision to approve Submission 082-08 from Yachting
Page and Belcher look for award winning performances aboard Nicole
Reigning Olympic 470 champion Malcolm Page and new skipper Mathew Belcher have started a new Olympic campaign with a new boat with a new name: Nicole.
Page and Belcher have continued the tradition Page had with fellow Gold medallist Nathan Wilmot in naming boats after films starring Australia’s Oscar winning actress Nicole Kidman.
From Bangkok Hilton and Dead Calm through to 2008 Beijing Olympic Games champion Australia, the legacy has continued with Page and Belcher today christening their new 470 Nicole, after the actress herself, during an Australian Sailing Team training regatta at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
“This all started through a joke by a mate of Nathan and mine, he said we were so skinny we looked like we’d just got out of the Bangkok Hilton,” said Malcolm. “We thought it was a cool theme and continued on with it from there.”
“When Nicole Kidman found out we were honoured and surprised with how she followed our results in the lead up to the games and even gave us a call on the morning of the first race in Qingdao,” he said.
Skipper Mathew Belcher is looking forward to spending a lot of time on the water with Malcolm aboard Nicole in the years to come.
“This has been a great tradition for Malcolm and Nathan and I’m honoured to be able to keep that going,” said Mathew.
“Hopefully the new boat and new name brings the same luck for our new partnership as we head towards London 2012 as it did for Malcolm and Nathan in 2008,” he said.
Page and Belcher will spend the weekend aboard Nicole on Sydney Harbour before loading the new boat into a container on Monday morning and shipping it off to Europe.
The 470 European Championships will be held in Austria in June followed by the World Championships in Denmark in August. Page and Belcher will also contest a number of ISAF World Cup regattas.
RORC and UNCL announce new website
The Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Union National pour la Course au Large joint owners of the IRC Rule, have given IRC its very own website.
“We felt it was time to give IRC its own identity now that it is established in over 38 countries worldwide,” commented RORC Technical Manager, Jenny Howells.
“The web site is designed for sailors to get information about IRC including news and technical guidance. We hope to get feedback from the visitors to the web site, to make it as useful and practical as possible.”
The new web site is packed with information, with news feeds from both the RORC rating office and UNCL, new boat information from builders and designers and news of IRC events, race reports and results. A new feature is ‘Concentric cIRCles’ covering areas of IRC not usually in the limelight.
It is a one-stop shop for IRC technical information covering all of the following topics:
• IRC Rules & Definitions
The new website can be found at: www.ircrating.org
2009 Australian Sailing Development Squad creating champions of the future
The Australian Sailing Team has begun the search for Olympic champions for London 2012 and beyond with the announcement of the 2009 Australian Sailing Development Squad.
After a successful 2008 saw Australia win two Gold and one Silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, along with three World Championship and two European Championship titles, Australia’s elite sailors will once again be looking for a strong showing in 2009.
The Australian Sailing Development Squad is the national development squad for Olympic and Paralympic class representatives in Australia. Selected annually, the Australian Sailing Development Squad is designed to assist up-and-coming athletes on their path towards becoming a member of the Australian Sailing Team.
The Squad's goal is to develop talent and create athletes capable of being a part of future Australian Sailing Teams, and win Gold Medals for Australia in 2012 and beyond.
The 2009 ASDS features 42 sailors representing a range of Olympic classes, in addition to these athletes the Australian representatives of the new Women’s Match Racing Olympic class are still being determined.
Yachting Australia CEO Phil Jones believes that a number of future World and Olympic Champions are in the 2009 ASDS.
“Australia has a proud sailing history and in the 2009 ASDS I see a group of athletes who will certainly continue this legacy for many years to come,” said Mr Jones.
“As we head to London 2012 and beyond it is pleasing to see such a strong group of Australian sailors coming through the ranks and competing for a place in the Australian Sailing Team,” he said.
Two time Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion and ASDS member Gabrielle King has her sights set firmly on a place in Australia’s 2012 team aboard her Laser Radial.
New South Wales Laser sailor Ashley Brunning is a part of the ASDS once again, having recently claimed victory at the Asia Pacific and Australian Laser Championships, and having strong results at Sail Melbourne and the Sydney International Regatta.
Fellow ASDS member Iain Jensen will be sailing a 49er alongside current World Champion and Olympic representative Nathan Outteridge.
Sam Kivell from Victoria joins the ASDS and will be sailing a 470, having recently finished third at Sail Melbourne. Sam claimed a second place at the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship which was held in Weymouth, the London 2012 sailing venue.
Athletes for the Paralympic classes are currently being assessed and an announcement on those selections will be made after a national camp in May.
2009 Australian Team Racing Championship - Notice of Race
Notice of Race for the Australian Team Racing Championship has been released.
2009 Australian Team Racing Championship - 28-31 May 2009, Port Adelaide Sailing Club, SA
The Notice of Race for the 2009 ATRC has now been released.
For further information regarding the event visit the event website.
Mirror Worlds Event website launched
The International Mirror is making a strong come back Down Under as the fleet builds towards the 2011 World Championships in Albany Western Australia.
The Mirror has been the breeding ground for a number of champion Australian sailors. Australian Mirror World Champions are Paul Eldrid (1987, Ireland) who went on to be runner up in the 420 Worlds in 1990 and Tom King (1991, Holland) who in 2000 claimed an Olympic Gold Medal in the 470 class. Australian runners up include David Graney (1987) Mark Padgett (1999), Torvar Mirsky (2001) and Nick Davis (2007).
Reigning 49er World Champion and Olympian Ben Austin also entered the sport through the Mirror as did Olympic 470 Gold medalist Tessa Parkinson.
The strong holds of the class are in Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales, although there are literally hundreds of Mirrors across Australia waiting for a make-over to get the next generation of champions sailing.
Albany in Western Australia has been selected as the venue for the 2011 World Championships which is a huge boost for the tourist town of 35,000 on the South Coast of Western Australia. Worlds Project Director, Anthony Galante said, 'We have one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. The whole town is excited with the announcement of this event.'
Together with the Antarctica Cup and the Great Australian Ocean Race, Albany is putting itself on the map for sailors. He added, 'We expect to see an expansion of the class across Australia as people identify the opportunity to sail in a World Championship in Australia. We believe that the boat is a great stepping stone from the Optimist, Sabots and other junior classes to the Olympic classes. With a full sail plan, it equips sailors with the skills they need for their sailing careers, just look at likes of Tom King, Tessa Parkinson and Torvar Mirsky.'
In resounding support for the class, World Match Racing Tour young gun, Mirsky said, 'Mirrors, for me were the building blocks of my sailing career. I learnt to sail in Mirrors! I think it is important to sail a good youth dinghy class while you are growing up. Mirrors are a great boat to learn all the 'ropes'. The racing is always close and the world championships in Albany are going to produce some champion sailors.'
Promotion of the 2011 Mirror Worlds has commenced through the launch of the event website www.mirrorworlds2011.com and the regatta is expected to attract in excess of 100 boats. Britain and Australia will be squaring off again in what will be a sailing battle of the Ashes. These two countries are the superpowers of the Mirror class and they will be pushed by Ireland and South Africa.
Fleets across Australia are picking up again as people can access good boats at reasonable prices to either get sailing again or learn to sail. With the current financial crisis, the Mirror provides great value for money and excellent competition and the Worlds in Australia just around the corner.
If you are interested in this event, sign up to the Worlds Newsletter through the expression of interest on the website - www.mirrorworlds2011.com
Funding available for International Classes
Yachting Australia and the ASC is offering financial support to skippers and crews who competed successfully in recent World Championship events of International and Recognised Classes.
Limited funding is available from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to be used in support of Australian athletes competing in ISAF International and Recognised Classes World Championships.
The grants are paid retrospectively based on the class World Championship held between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009. The purpose is to assist athletes with the cost of their World Championship campaign. The funding support is calculated using a formula that considers the athlete’s performance and where the World Championship was conducted.
The funding is limited and applicants do need to meet certain criteria. The criterion includes the applicant being a member of a Club affiliated to a MYA, a current financial member of Yachting Australia, and a member of their class.
The eligible classes are any ISAF International or Recognised Class, and that class must be affiliated with Yachting Australia at the time of the event. The event itself is any ISAF recognised World Championship.
Yachting Australia has already received applications from the athletes in the International Flying Fifteen, OK and Contender classes.
Other classes that Yachting Australia expects to receive further applications from include the International B14, Farr 30, International 14 and 505 classes. Depending on the outcome of the World Championship currently underway, perhaps even athletes from the International Etchells class will be eligible.
Past recipients of this funding include well known champion athletes such as Rohan Veal in the International Moth class, Stephen McConaghy and his crew of Michael Spies and Doug McGain in the International 11 Meter class and Scott Anderson Jr. in the International A class catamaran.
This policy does not apply to Olympic, Paralympic, ISAF Youth World’s participation or for World Championships where the Australian representatives are contracted members of the Australian Sailing Team, or if they have already received funding, either through direct funding or class based coaching support, from Yachting Australia.
Athletes intending to apply should check their and the class’ eligibility against the policy documents on the Yachting Australia website.
Applications for funding must be submitted to the Yachting Australia office by 4 May 2009.
For more information contact Monique Schaefer.
Coach Courses coming soon!
People wanting to become a sailing coach or improve their coaching skills should book to attend one of the sailing coach courses on soon.
Various Club Coach and State Coach courses are being placed on the calendar this year providing aspiring and current sailing coaches opportunities to up skill and improve their knowledge and techniques.
Yachting Australia recognises Club Coaches as people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to work with sailors who are learning to race as well as sailors preparing to represent their Club at Regional Championship events. They encourage and help new sailors to develop their skills quickly so that they get maximum enjoyment from the sport. This helps to recruit and retain the Club’s new members.
The first opportunity under way is the Yachting New South Wales delivered YA Club Coach Course being offered in Sydney by Jenni Bonnitcha and coordinated by Andrew Cribb. This course is being run out of the Middle Harbour Yacht Club and is scheduled to begin on 18 March.
Yachting Tasmania and Yachting Victoria are planning to follow the same pathway by offering Club Coach Courses in each of their states.
The Club Coach Course planned for Tasmania will be delivered by Richard Scarr and is scheduled for the weekend of 27 and 28 June.
In Victoria, whilst dates are to be confirmed, the Club Coach Course will be delivered by Mark Jackson assisted by Anna Davis.
Yachting Australia will roll out the new State Coach Course by delivering the first seminar in Adelaide on 8 to 10 August. The State Coach Course will be delivered by Kristen Kosmala and Brendan Todd at the South Australian Sports Institute.
This seminar is typically aimed at sailing coaches needing the knowledge and experience to assist sailors to successfully prepare for State and National Championship events.
Coaches play a vital role in our sport. They are responsible for introducing new sailors to racing in a way that motivates them to continue to sail as well as reach their racing potential.
The Yachting Australia Club and State Coach training programs have three distinct phases, all of which must be completed satisfactorily to meet the criteria for the Club Coach award:
• Australian Sports Commission’s Coaching General Principles Course
Undertaking training as a coach is an important step in ensuring that you reach your coaching potential, and that you are providing quality coaching to the sailors you are working with.
To find out more about becoming accredited as a coach please contact your state MYA.
IRC Measurer Seminar in Sydney
People wanting to become an IRC measurer can attend a seminar hosted by Yachting Australia in Sydney on 19 and 20 April 2009.
The seminar will be presented by Malcolm Runnalls, Yachting Australia's Chief IRC Measurer and member of the IRC Policy Steering Group. Also attending will be the RORC Rating Office's Technical Director Mike Urwin. Key staff from Yachting Australia and current IRC Measurers will also be in attendance.
The seminar is open to people working towards becoming an IRC measurer. Topics covered will include:
• Overview of how IRC works
Seminar details & online registration can be found here.
Safety and Special Regulations - calling for expressions of interest
Yachting Australia is reforming the National Safety Committee and is inviting expressions of interest from persons able contribute to the development of the ISAF and Yachting Australia Special Regulations
For many years the National Safety Committee has provided a significant and valuable contribution to the development of the Yachting Australia Special Regulations. The commitee's current efforts may be found in the recently published 2009 Blue Book.
Yachting Australia is looking to adopt the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations and apply prescriptions where necessary. This will require greater input to the development of the international regulations, and also careful analysis of what risks any move away from the current regulations may introduce.
When considering how best to approach this project, Yachting Australia has elected to reform the National Safety Committee to a structure that it feels will most efficiently achieve the desired outcomes.
The new National Safety Committee will be initially chaired by Yachting Australia Director David Gotze and will include another three persons based on their skills, qualifications and experiences that contribute to their understanding of safety at sea and risk management.
Persons with a strong background in yachting and recognised experience, or relevant recreational or commercial qualifications, are encouraged to submit expressions of interest. This may include people from areas such as, but not limited to, the following:
Practising SSSC Instructors
To make an expression of interest please forward a brief covering letter outlining your relevant experience, skills, and how they are applicable to the Yachting Australia Special Regulations. This letter should also include a brief resume outlining any applicable training or other qualifications. Expressions of interest close on 27 March 2009 and should be addressed to Glen Stanaway.
In addition to the committee’s membership, consultants to the committee are Adrienne Cahalan and David Lyons, members of the ISAF Offshore Committee and Special Regulations Sub-committee respectively.
Other consultants may be co-opted on an as required basis for their specific skills. The skills that the National Safety Committee may need to refer to may include those such as naval architecture, marine electronics, Australian Standards or medicine.
For further information or to submit an expression of interest please email Glen Stanaway or call 02 8424 7408.