The Champs are here! Peter and Lachlan Sharp take out the 43rd Javelin Nationals
All About Sailing Malcolm Page on life after London
A Leap of Faith The transition from training to racing
Women in Sailing The new BYC program to promote womenâ€™s involvement in sailing
Commodore Bruce Fraser Vice Commodore Ian McHugh Rear Commodore Will Sharp Secretary Phillip Connard Treasurer Chris Neyland Membership Susan Sharp Webmaster Phillip Connard Committee Paul Hardie - Peter Sharp - Grant Berry Thomas Ruether
Training Paul Hardie - Thomas Ruether Ian McHugh - Bruce Fraser - Peter Sharp Phillip Connard - Chris Neyland Lachlan Sharp - Grant Berry
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Post: PO Box 16, Black Rock Vic 3193 Phone: 03 9589 6222
www.beaumarisyc.com www.facebook.com/beaumarisyc www.youtube.com/beaumarisyc Past issues of The Reef: www.issuu.com/beaumarisyc
Editor Will Sharp Email: email@example.com Phone: (03) 9878 1997
Contributors Malcolm Page, Bruce Fraser, Peter Sharp, Paul Hardie, Lachlan Sharp, Mun Chin, Janette Connard, Cheryl Steele, Sarah McKinna, Peter Kemp, Ian McHugh, Christopher Moews, Tobi Moews, Nicholas Berry
Front Cover Javelin 393 Razor - Peter and Lachlan Sharp (Photo: G. Berry, February 2013)
WENTY-TWO METRES LONG, fourteen metres wide with a forty metre mast and six hundred and sixty square metres of sail area… all weighing less than six tonnes and capable of speeds approaching fifty knots. On hydrofoils. For the first time the 34th America’s Cup, to be held on San Francisco Bay in September 2013, will be contested exclusively in huge, fast catamarans with not a fixed keel in sight. There are many sailors and members of the general public who see the America’s Cup as the shining example of sailing being inaccessible, exclusive and ridiculously expensive. I used to be one of them however since the America’s Cup has moved into its new phase I now take the opposite view. Yes, the money involved in an America’s Cup team is obscene. The estimated cost of mounting a successful Cup campaign has been pegged at over $AUD100 million. Despite this, these cashed up teams are redefining what is possible when it comes to sailing. The idea of using a rigid wing in place of a soft sail is not a new one, but previous examples have usually been fixed to dedicated speed record boats or on a smaller scale in development classes such as C Class catamarans - with mixed results. The AC72 class catamarans to be used in the America’s Cup finals utilise a rigid wing mainsail, soft jib and gennaker and are made to sail at all points of the wind. The AC72s are also fitted with hydrofoils, effectively allowing the crew to “fly” the boat around a metre off the surface of the water, thereby reducing drag and greatly increasing speed (think foiling Moth – just ten times as long with two hulls). However, this speed has a drawback. The internet is filled with videos and images of BMW Oracle Racing’s prototype AC72 nosediving and cartwheeling in October 2012 during testing in San Francisco. The crew escaped with no injuries however nobody was under any illusions as to how bad it could have been. Getting thrown from the back of a cartwheeling AC72 gives you a long, long way to fall and a
Oracle’s AC72 the wrong way up shortly after the capsize and before the boat started to break up. And yes, those black marks are two of the crew climbing down lot of rigging, sails, wings and boat to hit on the way down. Thankfully this incident led to a raft of new safety measures and training being implemented across the teams. While it doesn’t remove the danger to crews, they are now better prepared if something does happen. The 34th America’s Cup telecast will beam sailing into homes across six continents. The boats are specially designed to have onboard cameras and microphones fitted to them to give the audience an idea of what conditions are like on board while racing. Millions of people will see firsthand what sailing is like and will hopefully help to dispel the generalised image of white keelboats, deck shoes, navy blue blazers and flat, calm water - replacing it with images of wetsuits, helmets, nosedives, collisions and incredible speed. Yes it is insanely expensive and highly specialised, however the 34th America’s Cup will do two very important things. Firstly, the AC72s being developed for the Cup are demonstrating to the sailing community just what is possible in our sport and possibly the future direction of high performance sailing. Secondly, and more importantly, with the addition of more media and what promises to be a high quality telecast, the Cup will promote a whole new image of sailing to a big audience in a more comprehensive way. And hey, we’re not the ones paying for it all.
NOTHER BUSY AND SUCCESSFUL SEASON AT BYC! The BYC Committee has been hard at work behind the scenes ensuring smooth running of the club and planning for the future. Here is a brief overview of where we stand: Financial
The Committee has worked hard to reduce the Club’s costs and increase revenue to achieve stable and sustainable bank balances. This has been helped by our third successful grant for the season – $1600 for a new weather station and webcams awarded by the Victorian Boating Safety and Facilities Program. The three grants this season have allowed us to improve our facilities and facilitate greater skills and involvement by our members at minimal cost.
The second Discover Sailing Day was held at BYC in January 2013 and over thirty family groups were taken for a sail in a Pacer. BYC conducted minimal publicity for the second Discover Sailing Day, preferring to focus on the November day. The fact that we had around two thirds the amount of people turn up with little publicity suggests that the Discover Sailing Program is starting to really take off. Several new family memberships and new adult trainees resulted from the event. The Club has compared our Discover Sailing activities with those of other local yacht clubs and have a number of ideas to improve our future efforts.
Learn to Sail All three of our training programs: Adult Training, Junior Training and the January Tackers program, have now wrapped up for the season. The 16 juniors had a mixed bag of weather which kept them off the water for a few weeks but they got all their sessions in by the end of the program which was capped off by the annual Junior Live-In where the kids sleep over at the club on a Saturday night. The January Tackers program was BYC’s first experience with the Tackers training model and we were impressed, to say the least. The program was run by the Yachting Victoria Mobile Boatshed and was very successful. More about this on page 6. Eighteen adults learnt to sail at BYC this season with most staying right up to the end. Several of BYC’s newest sailors sailed in the recent Pacer State Championships at Parkdale Yacht Club with Ian McHugh, Peter Sharp and Lachlan Sharp skippering. Congratulations to all the skippers and crews. More details about this on page 13. Many thanks to all the BYC members who have assisted with the Learn to Sail programs throughout the season. It’s a huge time commitment but an essential part of the Club.
Sailing Congratulations to those BYC sailors who have recently competed at their State and National Championships over the past three months, especially Peter and Lachlan Sharp who are the Australian Javelin champions after winning the Nationals at Cairn Curran Sailing Club and Peter and Lauren Kemp who came second overall at the Pacer National Championships at McCrae Yacht Club (in a boat that had only been launched six weeks previously!). A full report on these events can be found on page 10 (Javelins) and page 12 (Pacers). The Club conducted Twilight Sailing sessions each Thursday evening during February and this gave another opportunity for members and friends to enjoy casual sailing at BYC. Twilight Sailing will definitely be on the calendar next season.
Marine Environment Science and Community Centre (MESAC) proposal Members have endorsed the Committee’s endeavour to progress this opportunity - a not-for-profit, multiuse, environmentally friendly facility, designed to foster sailing, marine science, disabled access, and associated community interests. An important part of the design is to increase the building utility within its current area footprint. BYC will remain the Lessee under the MESAC proposal (and therefore control of the facility) under the current lease arrangements with Council. BYC benefits from a substantially upgraded facility at no cost to the Club. There has been significant support from the major stakeholders, including Federal and State Local Members of Parliament, Bayside City Councillors and council staff, as well as Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Multiple use of foreshore buildings is also a key plank of Bayside City Council's recent coastal management plan. What stage is the MESAC proposal at? RMIT architecture department has agreed to manage on a pro bono basis the design process for MESAC the first step will be to seek Expressions of Interest to design the facility. They expect to have responses that would include a variety of notional design ideas by April 2013. An internal workshop will be run when the design ideas are available. We hope that with appropriate community goodwill and council and state government support, where required, the MESAC project will become a reality and will benefit the whole Bayside community. This is my final report at Commodore of Beaumaris Yacht Club as I will be stepping aside at the AGM in June. I have held the position for three seasons and it is time to move on to other roles within the Club. I have greatly enjoyed my time as Commodore and I hope the incoming Commodore receives as much support and enjoys the position as much as I have.
April 7 BYC Championship Series Race 5 - The Roger Fagan Trophy
April 14 Class Sampling session - have a go on something different!
April 28 2012-13 Closing Regatta - Championship Series and Club Race resail day End of season function after sailing - keep the evening free!
June 22 2012-13 AGM and Presentation function more details closer to the date.
September 7 - 21 34th America’s Cup finals. See the huge wing-sail AC72 catamarans wreaking havoc on San Francisco Bay
October 6 2013-14 Opening Regatta - it all starts again!
HE BOAT IS JUST OVER TWO METRES LONG; white in colour and looks like the box another boat came in. It has a gaff rig, a brightly coloured sail and is battling valiantly to reach the top mark. The 8 year old skipper is working hard in 18kts of wind and is about to sail a 0.7 nautical mile course. That’s a long way in a little boat and big seas. The boat of course, is an Optimist, two of which were recent additions to the BYC training fleet to be used in conjunction with the existing fleet of Minnows. The skipper was Cameron Berry and that afternoon he displayed a level of determination and tenacity that would be impressive for someone twice his age. The best part was, when he reached the beach after the race, he was over the moon that he had completed the course and his only capsize was after the finish. Kids like Cameron are the future of our sport. Check out the video of him rounding the weather mark on the BYC YouTube channel.
Junior Development Juniors sailing in the afternoon have been pretty thin on the ground in recent years at BYC. The training programs always fill quickly but there has been a deficit of kids wanting to make the switch from training in the morning to sailing in the afternoon. Next season, BYC has a plan to change that. Grant Berry (Cameron’s father) will be running an advanced race-based coaching program in conjunction with afternoon racing. The program is aimed at juniors who wish to make the change but want to do so in a gradual and orderly way. The exact format has yet to be worked out but it will be designed to introduce juniors to racing and to help them develop their skills while doing so. Sailing’s future lies in its youngest sailors.
Adult Training It’s a big step to sign up as an adult to learn how to do something brand new and so alien in many ways. Something such as sailing maybe… Well done to all our new adult sailors as you complete your program for the season. We hope you got a lot out of it and decide to return next season because we’d love to have you back! It’s great to see you all getting out on the water in a variety of conditions and enjoying (almost) every second of it. We’ve been lucky this year with some great conditions for training and only a couple of sessions lost due to poor weather and it was wonderful to see a number of you putting your hand up to sail with Peter, Ian and Lachlan at the Pacer States at Parkdale. Again, well done for sticking it out through the challenging times and I’m sure you are well on your way to falling in love with sailing.
State and National success As the front cover announces, BYC has broken the decade-long drought of Australian Champions with Peter and Lachlan Sharp bringing home the top shelf silverware from the 43rd Javelin Australian Championship at Cairn Curran Sailing Club. Congratulations guys! Here’s a bit of trivia: Peter has been sailing Javelins since 1970 and has been Australian runner up 5 times. In the end it took 43 yeas (including a 18 year break sailing Pacers) but he got the win in the end!
Merchandise The BYC merchandise range is still available! Currently the range is comprised of stubbie holders, a limited stock of hats and BYC branded polo shirts in both a standard and a CoolDry style. Samples of sizes and styles are available. For all orders or suggestions for other items to add to the range please contact Will Sharp (contact details inside front cover).
Another Javelin skippered by Peter’s eldest son Michael and with yours truly crewing (and doing all the work) sailed into second place in the Javelin Victorian Championship this season, missing out on the top spot by one point. There’s always next year…
had only been sailing the boat for six weeks before they competed in the Nationals at McCrae Yacht Club against 34 other Pacers and finished second overall. A great effort and definitely a boat to watch in the future.
BYC would like to welcome a new local chandlery to the Bayside area. OTB Marine is a specialist dinghy, skiff and stand up paddleboard supplier stocking all manAfter recently departing from the BYC Javelin ner of gear and equipment from fleet, Peter Kemp moved back into Pacers sailing the big names in sailing. Head on with his eldest daughter Lauren (age 9). They down and check them out!
Congratulations to Jon Pullham and Silke Weber who took out the 2012-13 Pacer Pursuit Victorian Championship at Parkdale YC over Labour Day. The Pursuit is an up-and-coming class and is a great option for crews who are looking for a bit more power but want to stay with Pacers.
Fleets Our fleet has been in good shape this season, certainly in better health than recent years. Numbers have been buoyed by the addition of several new boats from unexpected quarters. An example is the addition of two Paper Tigers who sailed several times during the season. Welcome to Bryan Anderson and Mark Wiggins, it has been quite some time since we have had multihulls on the beach at BYC and it’s nice to see some back. Hopefully we will see more of Bryan and Mark next season as we try to rebuild a multihull fleet.
6/347 Bay Rd Cheltenham (near Reserve Rd, next to the carwash) Phone: (03) 9917 2554 www.otbmarine.com.au
ISAF iPhone App Want to know the Racing Rules but don’t want to lug a blue book around? Get the new smartphone ISAF RRS app. Just 99c in the App Store, have the Racing Rules at your fingertips. Great for settling arguments and discussions quickly. Study the rules anywhere to know just where that boundary is and how far you can push it.
Shipmate iPhone App At a regatta and cant find a chandlery to replace broken bits and pieces? Get your hands on a Shipmate directory which lists all the chandleries and marine services in Victoria. They also have a great free iPhone app out so you have access to the entire directory anywhere.
It’s April now and we’re winding down towards winter in all its cold, wet and windy glory. Time to start making those lists of repairs now while the detail is still fresh. Then the jobs can be delayed or forgotten about right up until the end of Visit www.shipmate.com.au for September when the mad rush starts. You can’t more information. fight it, it always happens this way…
ARK ROUNDING — DOES IT MATTER? The answer is an emphatic yes. Mark rounding needs to be done in such a way that minimises the distance sailed and maximises boat speed. In this issue I will focus on rounding the weather mark because trying to squeeze all three marks into one column would not do them justice. I have also focussed on double hander boats. Single handers will approach the marks in the same way but without the complication of spinnakers. Approaching and rounding the weather mark requires the most planning and preparation of any course mark. Firstly: port or starboard course? A port course is common for championship regatta because boats will generally approach the mark on starboard tack and then bear away to a reach or run also on starboard tack towards the next mark. At Beaumaris we experience the port course in northerly wind conditions. For a starboard course (typical Beaumaris south westerly breeze) boats will approach the mark on port tack and then bear away to a reach or run, also on port tack. The challenge with this course is that boats approaching the mark on starboard have right of way but must tack at the mark in order to round it.. Plan your approach. I generally consider the following to try to optimise my approach to the weather mark:
1. Does the wind direction and strength indicate a favoured side? Boat speed and distance sailed are always paramount. 2. Clear air – are other boats approaching or leaving the mark likely to produce significant disturbed air? Sometimes disturbed air from boats that have rounded the mark in front cannot be avoided – but be prepared to give way if necessary and for the instantaneous pressure loss as boats pass. 3. Is there a procession of boats on the starboard lay line (port course)? This is a significant consideration in big fleets as the longer the procession and the earlier boats join it, the wider they need to stand off the lay line to maintain clear air. However, as boats converge on the weather mark this offset diminishes. So joining late minimises the distance sailed, maximises clear air opportunities and maintains boat speed. Options are to (a) tack underneath the procession – this requires confidence and well-timed exe-
cution not to infringe other starboard tack boats but will place you on the inside at the mark rounding or (b) find a gap to sail through and tack above the procession – which will place you on the outside at the mark rounding but in clear air.
If the procession is on the port lay line (starboard course) then an approaching boat on starboard tack has right of way. 4. Be on the lay line on the same tack as for the next leg within about 50 metres of the mark. It is important to avoid getting to the lay line too early for the following reasons: Reduces the opportunity to benefit from shifts. Can be locked into sailing in disturbed air behind another boat. Can be difficult to judge the correct line if too far out – a low approach means another two tacks and possibly sailing in very disturbed air closer to the mark as other boats join the rounding procession. Whist a high approach results in sailing a longer distance than necessary. Admittedly, approaching the mark on port on a port hand course in a big fleet can set the adrenalin flowing. However, there are usually gaps in the starboard procession to penetrate, or the procession boats have had to overstand the weather mark considerably to maintain clear air, thereby creating sufficient room to tack underneath. The other important part is to prepare for the downwind leg. This will reduce what needs to be done to set the boat up after rounding the mark. Before the weather mark, as a minimum, set the spinnaker barber haulers (windward cleated and leeward free) and un-cleat spinnaker sheets. If possible set the spinnaker pole. Ease vang tension if necessary. Set the main and jib roughly as the boat bears smoothly away around the mark then it’s a flurry of activity to hoist and set the spinnaker, set the centreboard position, move to the crew locations suitable for the conditions and further trim the main (mainsheet, vang, outhaul, cunningham) and jib. With practice these steps will become a seamless set of actions that skipper and crew will do automatically.
The 49er concept was born over a lunch in Newport, Sydney between Julian Bethwaite and Peter Johnson of Sunfish Laser. After consultation with Takao Otani of Performance Sailcraft Japan the length was decided on 4.99m to avoid Japan’s import taxes on boats over 5m in length. Hence the name ‘49er’.
A balsa and fibreglass prototype is used to test the hydrodynamic performance of the hull. Within weeks it has a test rig on it and is logging hundreds of hours on the water. In the same year IASF released its High Performance Olympic Dinghy (HPOD) criteria in order to rejuvenate a stagnant Olympic sailing scene for the 2000 Olympics. The ISAF HPOD evaluation event is held at Lake Garda, Italy. Eleven teams attended. The 49er dominated. In response to claims that the 49er was fast but exceedingly hard to sail, designer Julian Bethwaite demonstrated the 49er’s accessibility to the ISAF committee by going for a sail in a 15 knot afternoon breeze. Upwind and downwind under spinnaker, tacking and gybing… solo. The 49er was quickly selected as the Olympic one-design skiff.
49ers make their Olympic debut at the Sydney Games. They prove to be an instant hit with the crowds for their speed and excitement compared to the established classes.
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen win gold for Australia in the 49er at the London Olympics. The 49er FX – a standard 49er hull with a smaller rig – is approved to be the women’s skiff at the 2016 Rio Olympics
The kids had a variety of conditions with two days blown out entirely and the other three days had everything from 3 to 18 knots. Despite the average weather the kids were enthusiastic and were very keen to get out on the water and learn and all were sailing well by the end of the week. The Boatshed sent along Louise Poland, a professional Tackers Instructor who ran the program. Louise was assisted on the water by BYC members Mick Smith (who is a Tackers Assistant Instructor) and Floyd Bromley. Of course the Tackers week could not have run without the support and help from a small army of volunteers who organised the onshore side of the event. Pam, Mike and Bruce in the tower, Avril, Lorraine, Christine, Janette, Cheryl, Roger, Colin, Victor, Silke, Bronwyn, Mun and Judy in the canteen (not all at once – that might be a bit of a squash!). Thanks to everyone who helped out during the week. A lot was learnt from this inaugural Tackers week at BYC which will be put to good use in January 2014 when The Boatshed comes back to BYC. The Club is hoping to book the program a little later next time in order to encourage a greater level of attendance. Stay tuned!
Kid’s Corner At the Tackers course, we had a good time. We learnt many things. We learnt about boat parts. We had to sail an Opti. We learnt how to move the tiller and sail. The instructors are nice and not very strict. They never get angry when you make a mistake. They play fun games and look after you. What I learnt at sailing was that you have to be quick to duck under the boom when it passes over your head. What I learnt about the boats is that boats’ centreboards sometimes get chipped when they pass over rocks. We played all sorts of games like Wink the Murderer, Ninja and Time Games on things about sailing. They give you oranges and cordial for morning tea and sausages and cordial for lunch. Christopher Moews (Age 9) On an Opti there is a main sheet which controls the big sail and there also is a rudder, foot straps and a centre board. Our instructors told us a lot about sailing that includes games, set up tips and how to draw an Opti I learnt about tacks and pull turns which are the main things about Tackers 1. Tobi Moews (Age 9)
The Lidgett Trophy The Lidgett Trophy took place a few weekends ago, which was a sailing regatta that only allowed people from the ages of 8 to 15 to compete. I was in the Green Fleet level for the race; which is the level in sailing where you are starting to race. The regatta meant I got a full weekend of sailing. The first part was a bit of sailing around some markers, but there was hardly any wind so I practised some capsizing. We went back to the yacht club, had a break for lunch, and then did some more sailing. Some kids thought they had over taken me, and thought they had beaten me, but they had only done one lap, whilst I had done two. On the way sailing back in to the yacht club, I did some more capsizing. The next day started with no wind, so they gave everyone free time to play in the water while they waited for the wind to come up. When the wind finally did come up, we did some more sailing. We had to sail into the wind to get to the first marker. This sounds impossible, but if you zigzag, you can get there. After that, we had to sail downwind (with the wind behind us) to get back. We did a few laps, then went back to get our places announced. The first trophy given was to me, Nicholas Berry. I was 3rd place in the Green Fleet level. I got a trophy for it, and as I walked back to my place I saw my brother Cameron, with a jealous look on his face (he is very competitive). The 1st place winner also got a Canon camera. Later on, Cameron got an encouragement award. We were the only two sailors from Beaumaris Yacht Club there, meaning Beaumaris had complete success. Nicholas and Cameron Berry at the Lidgett Trophy
YC IN EARLY January. Normally a quiet period for our Club with little sailing between mid-December and mid-January. But not in 2013 as BYC hosted a week-long Tackers 1 and 2 course run by the Yachting Victoria Mobile Boatshed. This was BYC’s first foray into the Tackers program so we were a little unsure of what to expect. The numbers were down somewhat on what The Boatshed expected however that is likely due to early January being a popular time for family holidays.
PAUL HARDIE discusses the move from training to racing HE NEXT STEP after training is to go out and join the afternoon races. All of us have had to start this process and although a litte daunting to start with it is relatively simple to pick up. Other members are only too keen to assist with advice and to answer any questions so don’t hesitate to ask.
There are a number of ways to check the bias of the start line. The simplest way without a compass is to sail along the start line in one direction with the jib right off and the main out to the shrouds and then repeat this in the other direction. The end of the line you sail away from the fastest is the biased end.
Racing is a combination of the skills you have learnt during training. However there are some new factors you may not have experienced before.
If the line is not biased try and start on starboard tack and in clear air. In large fleets boats tend to become bottled up near the start boat end and it can get quite hectic and hard to start cleanly. Starboard tack is also safer as you have more rights on starboard.
I will try and go through some of the issues associated with racing in as simple a manner as possible. The main issues are the course, the start, the finish and tactics. My explanations will be what I do, whether they are right or wrong. In time you will develop your own methods and strategies for racing.
The Start Line is a line between either a separate starting flag (orange/yellow) or the bottom mark and an orange flag on an anchored rescue boat. The boat (known as the committee boat) will be displaying a red or green flag as well which signifies if it is a port or starboard course.
Sometimes it is hard to know where the line actually is, so if the start flag (pin) is silhouetted against the land, sail down the line and try to get a fix on some object or feature on the land that is an extension of the line. This means that during the start sequence you will know if you are over the line even if you can’t see the committee boat.
There are a number of course configurations however here we will concentrate on what is typical for a two person dinghy such as a Pacer. At BYC we normally set a triangle course and the race consists of three laps. The course can be (a) A “Port Course”, whereby all marks are passed on the Port side of the boat. Or (b) a “Starboard Course” whereby all marks are passed on the starboard side of the boat. The three laps are usually a triangle, a windward-return, another triangle then the finish. The marks in a triangle course are a bottom/leeward mark, a top/weather mark and a gybe/wing mark
The bottom mark is at the leeward end of the course, and is often near the start line,
The top mark is set directly into the wind from the bottom mark,
The gybe mark is set approximately halfway between the top and bottom marks but at a 45° or 60° angle to them.
THE START Starts can be very daunting to begin with but here are a few points to demystify the process. The aim at the start is to:
Cross the start line on time, Cross the start line with speed, Try and create a gap between you and the next boat to leeward of you just before the start so at the start you can bear off a little and gain speed,
Cross the start line at the biased end if the line is biased. Bias: the start line should be at right angles to the wind. If it’s not, one end of the line will be closer to the top mark than the other, (biased) and it may be best to start at the biased end.
Starts are signalled by both flags and sound signals. Sound signals are not mandatory and the flag sequence takes precedence over sound signals so you need to keep a sharp eye on the start boat and not get too far from it. BYC uses a 4 minute sequence rather than the standard 5 minute sequence.
THE START SEQUENCE 4 minutes to the start Class or Division flag is raised with a sound signal. This is known as the Warning Signal. BYC uses the numerical flags 1,2,3,5 and 7 to signify divisions. The most common are Division 2 for Paper Tigers, Division 3 for Javelins, Lasers and Impulses and Division 5 for Pacers and Sabres.
Continued on back page...
WILL SHARP catches up with dual Olympic Gold medallist Malcolm Page at Sail Melbourne 2012 for a chat about all things Olympic, sailing and skiffs. What were your general impressions of London 2012? For me, it was my third Olympic games so I probably don’t get as excited, I know what to expect compared to some other athletes. I try to keep a lid on things to keep the regatta as normal as I can. The London Olympics was a great Olympics; it was probably the first one to trump Sydney. Down in Portland and Weymouth the festive feeling was incredible. The locals really came alive and got into the spirit. They didn’t even mind the Australian team seconding one of their pubs for use as an unofficial base! From the Australian team perspective it was obviously incredible to come away with what we had always wished for, being three gold medals plus one other. So, so, so close to being four gold medals too. We delivered on what we said. In this game that’s a great result in itself as there are only ten medals on offer and we didn’t send a full team either, we only sent thirteen athletes across the ten disciplines.
ABOVE: Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page on their way to an Olympic Gold medal at London 2012
It must be very different sailing in an Olympic fleet compared to other regattas. Yes for sure. For me, to succeed at an Olympic Games is about psychology. It’s a mental battle while winning a world championship is often more of a physical battle. That’s not necessarily due to the amount of entries or the length of the regatta but because it is the circus that is the Olympic Games. It’s not that the game changes, it’s that the pressures on the competitors changes. I’ve seen many world champions do things at an Olympics that they normally wouldn’t do simply because it is an Olympic Games and the pressure changes the way they approach the regatta. The stakes seem a lot higher and people start doing abnormal things because that’s how they think they have to play the game to win at an Olympics. That usually doesn’t end up so well.
Did you feel a weight of expectation during the regatta due to Australia’s comparative lack of gold medals and Tom Slingsby throwing sailing into the spotlight? Yes, very much so. I tried to keep myself in a media bubble, I didn’t answer emails, I tried to not watch the news but there’s only so much you can do. But because the 470s were late – we didn’t start until the second week of the competition – it was really hard for Mat and I because we wanted to get into it. We were only a few days into our competition and here were our other teammates, Tom, Nathan, Goobs (Iain Jensen) receiving medals. Suddenly there was all this media attention. We went from maybe two cameramen and a presenter and five print media in the Australian contingent to more than four times that after Tom’s gold medal. Add to that Nathan and Goobs dominating the 49ers. We started to get questions like, “Oh do you realise there is all this extra pressure on sailing to deliver the medals for Australia” and a lot more like that. It certainly put some pressure on us, but I believe we handled it well. When you consider the way the crews held it together, I think it was a credit to the team and the work we put in before the Games.
Did you find that your sailing style changed as the pressure mounted and the regatta progressed? In Athens it did for sure, and the results reflected that. But not in Beijing and not in London, which was probably due to the experience from Athens. If what you normally do works well, why change it at the last minute when the stakes are so high? It’s easy to do and many sailors do it but we didn’t and I think it showed. This mindset is built over years of regattas and years of results and years of experience of dealing with pressure. Sometimes it’s racing and other times it’s stresses at home or whatever. It’s how you deal with that and how you move forward from that and separate those other issues from your racing. That’s something Mat and I achieved quite well as we grew together as a team.
Would you agree that the telecast quality and the success of the Australian team at the London Games has done more for the promotion of sailing in Australia than anything else for almost 30 years? Definitely. You could say it was overdue. It’s great to see that we are now considered to be a real sport. I used to get “so how’s your rowing going?” from people and then I would have to explain that no, I was a sailor and it was nothing like rowing. That’s changed now and sailing is instantly recognised for what it is. It’s satisfying for sure. I wish we had more in place to capitalise on it more but we are doing everything we can to make the most of the London success.
Do you think the public’s view of sailing has been changed by Australia’s 2012 Olympic campaign? Will that view last? I think sailing is now seen as a ‘real’ sport and that people now have a better understanding of what the sport really is. As for the image of sailing… well I think that there will be an improvement legacy-wise for sure. Will the sport keep the same public awareness level it had during the Games or after? No, I think it will subside a lot but I would like to think that the work that is being done will prolong that considerably.
18 Footers Mal Page talks about his experiences getting back into skiffs at the deepest of deep ends DID YOU KNOW: Malcolm Page is the most successful How has it been getting back into 18s? 470 sailor in the history of the class with two Olympic gold medals, eight World Championships and every other major 470 trophy. Malcolm is now Great fun. I was sailing 18s for a while before I Australia’s most successful Olympic sailor. started campaigning in 470s so it’s not entirely
As a Discover Sailing ambassador, what do you think of the new program? It’s great. I’m learning more and more about it every day because the work has been done over the past year or more to prepare it for the launch while I was occupied with the London Games. It’s really interesting to see where we are as a sport too. We all know we were the number one performing sport at the 2012 Games but when it comes to actual participation we’re 30th. The Discover Sailing program is acting as an umbrella program to pull together all the other participation programs that have started out and are doing well such as Tackers, Sailability, Go Sailing and so on under one overall brand. It gives the tools to the state and club level to capitalise on these programs and to support the push to get bums on boats – essentially that’s what we’re trying to do. Yes, there will still be individual twists on the delivery of the program but that’s what is great, it can be tailored to what each club needs from it.
How do you see the dinghy sailing scene on the whole at the moment? On the youth side of things I think it’s heading in a good direction, the participation levels are up and many fleets are increasing. When it comes to adults I don’t think it’s as strong as it was a few years ago. I certainly hope this is a low point and that we are on the improve, not the decline. The single handed world is going really well, however the double handed classes do not seem to be faring quite as well. I think it’s certainly something we need to keep pushing with our sport because being able to go sailing with your kids, to share experiences with your family and friends and to make new contacts and lifelong friends through this shared experience is a unique aspect of sailing and not many other sports can offer that like we can. To have two or three people on a boat and to have them work as one team and share a common experience is something that it very special to the sport and something that we need to keep promoting within the sport.
There is a rising sentiment among some sections of the sailing media that sailing suffers from having too many classes and being spread too thinly – what do you think? It certainly makes our sport hard to market. When you think about the swimming world championships there are Olympic aspirants competing in Olympic events. When you talk about sailing world championships yes it is blurred when compared with swimming or athletics or the like. In saying that… what’s the answer? I don’t know. The reality is that we all have these different parts of our sport that just make it incredible. There are some classes built locally or by yourself, some built professionally or overseas, there are classes that are strong at certain clubs or in certain regions and so on. It’s a great feature of the sport however I agree, it does make it a bit confusing for the general public.
What’s next for Malcolm Page? To be honest I actually don’t know. Lots of sailing and I really need to go and get a job! Time to re-join the real world I think. But who knows where I’ll pop up next.
Finally, where do you keep your Olympic medals? Hahaha well… In the sock drawer at home actually.
new to me but wow, the speed is just incredible. I mean, some boats are all about tactics, some boats are about height and angles and so on. Skiffs are all about speed and the 18s do speed like nothing else. It’s just amazing. Here’s a story – last Sunday (9/12/12) we sailed in a 25kt nor’easter… oh boy. Absolute ball tearer! It was pretty scary out there at some points but it was a very cool day. Four lap race, we were the last boat that hadn’t capsized and sure enough, the last bear away around the top mark – a big nosedive and in we go. The chainplate pulled out of the boat on the way in too. We spent 10 minutes in the water with the sheethand diving under the boat using the spinnaker sheet to tie up the D1 and D2 (stays) because we had to get home anyway which was back at the bottom of the course. So 10 minutes later we got the boat up. By this stage four boats had passed us so we were 5th. As we were cruising down the harbour grannying every gybe because we couldn’t afford to load up the rig we figured we may as well finish because it was on the way back. As we crossed the line we noticed a number of boats in the water around us and people on the finish boat cheering… we ended up second! Only 5 boats of the 18 starters even finished so we were pretty happy with that. We got lucky too, it turned out that the rudder had cracked almost halfway through at the water level too so we almost lost that as well as the rig. It will certainly be a race I will remember.
How much effort is needed to sail an 18? To be honest the hardest part is lifting the boat in and out of the water. Compared to sailing 470s the effort is much less. Especially for the skipper. The for’ard hand has a bit more on but still easier than sailing a 470, the way Mat and I sailed it anyway. For example, I did the Sydney to Woolongong charity bike ride the other week and went straight back and sailed the 18 in the afternoon and I was fine. Fresh as a daisy! No way would that have happened in the 470. In skiffs a lot of it comes down to setup too. If you sail it right it’s easy, they sit up on the water and go. Very different to dinghies like Lasers, 470s and the like which really need to be worked to get going. Mind you, a skipper on an 18 is a bit of a bludger. The for’ard hand has a fair bit on working the jib and spin, the sheethand works the main, all I have to do it point the boat in the right direction and not trip over during tacks and gybes.
IRED OF WHINGING WESTIES
For the first time in recent memory, the Javelin Australian Championships headed to country Victoria WORDS: LACHLAN SHARP IMAGES: Courtesy of CCSC
complaining about the terrifying waves on Port Phillip Bay, the Javelins decided to sail the 43rd Australian Javelin Championship on Lake Cairn Curran, a twenty minute drive from Castlemaine. We were expecting a hot and light series, but as is always the way at Christmas time, the weather had the locals scratching their heads saying â€˜this never happens!â€™ However, instead of huddling in the club during a cyclone or three days sitting on the beach praying for some breeze, we actually had wind! The first three days were sailed in blustery southerlies that made for some great sailing, and also made the Westies feel right at home.
Russel and Chris in Racing Red certainly enjoyed the conditions, with two convincing bullets to begin the series. But of course, as country sailing is well known for, the days got hotter and the breeze died away. Light, shifty breezes made the racing feel a little more like a Victorian Championship race with Brett and Tim on Honky starting to find their way to the front and continuing to hit the right spots. With Honky’s almost unmatched downwind speed, the leader board began to open up as the WA boats struggled in the light and shifty conditions. Rod Smith was also beginning to find his feet. Finally the new and improved ‘lightweight’ boat is on the water, and now with a new name… Aero… maybe a reference to all the bloody holes he has gone and cut out of it. But the new name is a definite step up from Happy Pants. We must never forget Happy Pants. With two different crews, a dodgy shoulder, a fractured foot and a host of hardly encouraging medical opinion, he battled manfully through the series the only way the men of BYC know how. As the points continued to stack up, Peter and Lachlan Sharp’s consistency began to show. Dad and I were always up there sniffing around the leaders. By the Lay Day we had hit the lead, consistently placing in the top few boats. With two days left to sail it became apparent that if the great Beaumaris hope was to clinch it we needed to win a race, which we duly did in Race 7. It was a close call, a 200 metre lead halfway down the last leg became a half a spinnaker pole on the finish line. Needless to say, there were some tense words. So with one race remaining it was all on the line. Brett and Tim were trailing us by just a single point, and with a count back not falling in our favour we had to place ahead of them in the final race. As Jav sailors we are of course finely tuned athletes, and on the final night we made sure we prepared ourselves properly for the next day’s racing with a few beers, a couple of bottles of red and some cheese. IMAGES CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The fleet heading downwind in breezy conditions; night sailing with some help from the local cider; Rod Smith and Will Sharp (somewhere under all the water) on Aero; the champs looking famous; Brett and Tim cruising downwind; the nice grass and not-so -nice gravel rigging area; Peter and Lachlan with the goods.
On the final day of sailing we headed out to the start line for the final race only to drift around for half an hour, and then slowly drift back to shore to wait a bit longer. At 1400hrs, with no more signals allowed to be made as per the sailing instructions, we were declared Australian Champions. Perhaps not the ideal circumstances in which to fulfil a ten year long dream, but I really wasn’t going to complain. It was a particularly sweet moment for ol’ Pete. He has been sailing in this class for as long as anyone, and has never clinched an Australian Championship. Coming second five times might be a bit of a family joke, but I’m not sure how funny he has ever found it. And for me to be a part of it is something I will always treasure. There have been a lot of frustrations on the way, the jib we couldn’t figure out, the capsizes we had last year, the tangled retrievers, the list goes on. But finally, to feel like you have it figured out, even if it’s just for a week, as long as it’s that last week of December it’s all worthwhile.
Night Rider The organised sailing on offer wasn’t enough for some with James Robinson of Chelsea YC making a habit of having dinner, rehydrating with some cider and a few reds then deciding that night sailing was the greatest idea ever. Off into the sunset he and his crew of the moment sailed, entertaining everyone on shore who had front row seats to see some great downwind reaches and a couple of spectacular swims. With the prevailing southerly blowing across the lake at around 15 knots and the ambient temperature around 20 degrees it was perfect sailing weather. Apart from it being night time of course. With the sun fully set and the darkness minutes away The Joker glided into shore and was derigged with much back slapping and further refreshments. Good times all round, especially when it’s not your boat hammering away in the dark…
PETER KEMP and IAN MCHUGH spill the beans on the McCrae Pacer Nationals
The fleet heading upwind after the start
Peter and Lauren Kemp cruising before the start
L to R: Lauren, Peter and Russell Kemp (Peter’s father), Ian McHugh and Mun Chin
HE LAST EDITION of The Reef rated our London Olympics Australian Sailing team as probably our country's greatest sailing achievement behind winning the America's Cup in 1983. Olivia Price, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen were medal winning members of that team. I was filled with admiration and, I would have to say, astonishment at the fact they spent a good hour talking to a junior sailing group that included my daughter Lauren in the relative backwater of McCrae Yacht Club. Someone at the club had the presence of mind to take advantage of their attendance at the 9er regatta (meaning the 29er and 49er classes) held at the same time as the Pacer Nationals and organised a Q&A session for the kids.
McHugh, and enthusiastically and ably crewed by Susie Groves, Brian Doig, John Lyons and Mun Chin. Conditions varied of course, but we always had wind, although sometimes too much or too little for all to try the delights of the spinnaker and we didn’t capsize! All were new to competitive sailing in large fleets but handled the sometimes rushed, erratic and garbled commands of the helmsman with fortitude and willingness.
Having said that, meeting Olympic medal winning sailors has now become a bit ho-hum for Lauren. Only recently the winner of the 470 class at the Sydney Olympics, Mark Turnbull, showed Lauren's grade 3 class (which included Mark's nephew) his Olympic memorabilia, including his medal. They were apparently disappointed to learn a gold medal is actually made of silver and only plated with gold!
The series was eventually won by the local crew Alan and Nathan Riley who sailed very consistently and excelled in the lighter breezes. Peter and Lauren Kemp secured second place and the former champions Phil and Jack Chadwick from Black Rock were third. The next National Championships will be held at Christies Beach, Adelaide. Book early for accommodation close to the venue.
There were plenty of enthusiastic juniors in the fleet of 35 Pacers sailing at McCrae over the new year; four all-girl crews, several boys, and many parent/ child combinations (with the parent not necessarily the one skippering!). We had a good mix of weather, some drama with disqualifications, and fortunately a course area well separated from the 9er fleets. The presence of the exciting and glamorous 29 and 49ers, about 60 boats, plus the Olympians made for a great atmosphere at McCrae, whose facilities and lawns make it a great venue. It’s a scenic and interesting place to sail, the buildings of Melbourne are visible on the horizon across the water, the heights of Mt. Martha and Arthur’s Seat overlook the fleet and the international ships turn at the south channel pile seemingly very close to the club.
Nathan Outteridge sailing his Moth at McCrae after the Q&A session for the juniors
The crews’ efforts were rewarded with an overall 15th place and a 1st in the Master’s division. Jealous souls and analytical mathematicians may ask how many boats were in the Masters division, but who cares, it’s now permanently recorded in the history books!
Merrily sailing along in the wake of Peter and Lauren at Macrae was the good ship Buttercup, skippered by Ian
Pacer 2115 - Banana Split Built by Peter Sharp in 1983 this fivetime Australian and six-time Victorian Championship winning boat is still sailing competitively 30 years on. Currently sailed out of Williamstown SC by Greg Parsons and his son Hayden.
MUN CHIN recounts his first series experience at the 2012-13 Pacer States CANNOT RECALL when I seriously thought about entering a boat in the 2013 Victorian Pacer Championship. I had crewed for Ian at the Nationals but... you just do not even remotely consider skippering a boat at these events unless you have had 200 years sailing experience, a surname like Sharp or Kemp, have sage like wisdom of Paul or the dogged abilities of Phil. I think it was Silke who suggested it one Sunday so I will make it a point not to sit near her in the future. Once the idea took root, I had to look for someone to swear at and blame while racing. To my delight, my daughter eagerly volunteered. After I threatened to cut her out of my will. To my second victim, "Hey, Victor, you wanna go on a sail sometime on my luxurious big yacht? Yes? Great!" That was easy.
Day One I was shaking so much that it was creating apparent wind. Hoist the spinnaker! A sudden gust blew the boat onto its side. Take it down! Take it down! And we were still on the beach. So much for the spinnaker. Onto the water. Where is the starting line? Hey, they are all going. Ok, tighten the jib, release the handbrake, let's go! Handbrake? Victor gave me a look of pure pity. Where is everyone? Behind us? Have they lapped us? Are you sure you released the handbrake? We watched a slow capsize in front of us which turned out to be Ian. And then another behind us. Hee hee! We may just win this by not capsizing. Oh no! Why is the boat spinning around and going into the water? Victor gamely leapt to windward and pulled the boat up. Completely full of water. Ian passed us. I asked whether he has any soap as Victor furiously bailed water all over me. Day Two Paul came around and glared at me. "Your mast is not correctly in its step, your jib is too far forward, your eyebrows are in the wrong position and you should not have eaten that doughnut!" Gulp! How DID he know what I had for breakfast? After fixing the mast, jib and my eyebrows, I felt confident. Invincible even while we got underway. Until we were tboned. The 10 year old pointed to his younger brother at the tiller, "It's his fault". Yeah, they all say that when they use sneaky means to knock my eyebrows off their trim. On with the race. Pull the jib in, handbrakes off. Crew not responding. Oh, it is Amelia with her iPhone plugged in. I whipped out my iPhone and txt "G&?3$ pretty please?" and she sprang into action. Wind increasing. Hike out. Hike out. A boat mysteriously appeared from the 5th dimension. CRASH! The grandfather had to fish the little boy from the water. We learnt later that the boy jumped, thinking that they hit an iceberg and sinking fast. No damage done, apologies all round and all is forgiven. Day Three After 2 days of missing the start, we finally had a decent start. And we are in the middle of the fleet! Well, middle-ish. Look for dark patches. Not on my clothes, dammit. High-5s! We are doing well! Wait. Why is everyone over there?
Paul Hardie Judy Hardie Phillip Connard Janette Connard John Pullham Silke Weber Peter Sharp Susie Groves Nimali Ekanayake Conor Gallagher Lachlan Sharp Brian Doig Jola Topolska Alex Dempsey Elaine Plumridge-Moews Ian McHugh Sarah McKinna Marco Ciobo Dan Redman Jurgen Moews Mun Chin Victor Tse Amelia Chin Oh shit! We missed the finishing line and did an extra lap! Oh well, at least we are consistent. Consistently last! So after 3 days when I can no longer feel my knees and my body resembles a Jackson Pollock painting, I learnt some big lessons. 1. Always check that your mast is in the right place and equipment correctly rigged. 2. Ask for help, sailors are a generous bunch. 3. Read the sailing instructions (or as Ian would say, "READ THE BLOODY SAILING INSTRUCTIONS"). 4. Release the handbrake. 5. It is a fun and exciting event. There is serious racing but you always feel welcome no matter what level you are. It is not as intimidating as I thought it would be. And you learn. A lot.
Editor’s Note: Janette Connard should now be referred to as ‘The MacGyver of Pacers’ after using a copy of the Notice of Race to plug a leak in the boat on day one. Apparently paper shoved into the hole worked surprisingly well. Janette’s friends can just call her Mac though.
EAUMARIS YACHT CLUB has always had women and girls involved in many aspects of the Club however like many sports they are under-represented in most areas of the Club, both sailing and non-sailing. This is not confined to BYC as female underrepresentation in Australian sport has been an issue for many years, one that only recently has started to be tackled by the various sporting peak bodies around the country. This season BYC was proud to launch our BYC Women in Sailing program which will be used to encourage an increased level of female participation in sailing, both in on water and onshore roles. BYC was fortunate to receive a grant from the Australian Sports Commission at the beginning of the season to fund the program. The aim of the ASC grant program was simply to help clubs facilitate training and involvement for women in various aspects of the club. To reinforce the new program a new logo was developed and Janette Connard was elected to become the coordinator of the Women in Sailing program.
Here’s what has happened so far:
Janette Connard attended a two day ASC workshop in August 2012 about sports leadership for women (report below).
Cheryl Steele and Sarah McKinna attended the 2012 International Sailing Summit held at Sandringham Yacht Club during Sail Melbourne in December 2012.
Silke Weber completed the Assistant Instructor course conducted by Yachting Victoria in December 2012. Silke was a skipper during the Discover Sailing Day in January 2013 and is currently assisting with Adult Training.
Pam Sharp received a Marine Radio Operator Certificate of Proficiency after completing a training session in February 2013.
Initial upgrades have been made to the female changeroom facilities with a view to further works in the coming off season. BYC continues to have a reasonable female presence in the onshore roles, training and afternoon racing however things could improve. After all, women hold up half the sky, the ratio should be the same when it comes to sailing.
JANETTE CONNARD reveals that being asked to help out isn’t all that bad ET ME OFFER all members a quick word of advice: if ever someone from the committee approaches you to ask whether you're available to attend a “Blah blah blah ...weekend away, blah blah”, don't run a mile; just say something like, “Yeah, pretty sure I'm available; happy to help out,” before someone else hears of it. You could be missing out on an all-expenses paid weekend away in a many-starred hotel, courtesy of the Australian Government. A condition of BYC's receipt of an Australian Government Sports Commission Grant was that a female member from our club attend a Sport Leadership Workshop for Women. Our workshop leader was a charismatic woman who happened to be the daughter of a teacher from my old secondary school. Almost all the other delegates were professional administrators in their respective sports – a little daunting for the volunteers. For-
tunately, Cheryl and I were made to feel welcome and included in all the workshops. These were on topics such as leadership styles, emotional intelligence, assertiveness and goal setting but tailored to women and the particular issues we might face as leaders in our respective sports. (Well, perhaps not applicable to me at BYC but useful skills to learn nevertheless.) The real female leaders in our club are those who subsequently trained as assistant instructors. I thank those women and the Australian Sports Commission, which funded the training of our female members and helped fund improvements to the females' change room at BYC. Ultimately, we hope to achieve a greater participation of women and girls in sailing and other activities at BYC. So, women, get involved!
CHERYL STEELE rubs shoulders with greatness and gets the inside line on sailing’s future ARAH MCKINNA AND I had the pleasure of attending the 11th International Sailing Summit (ISS) held at Sandringham Yacht Club on Monday December 3rd 2012. It was with much trepidation that we registered for this conference knowing that it would be attended by famous international figures in sailing. We figured the only thing we could add to such an event was our enrolment fees but hopefully we could learn something. Given how little we know it was fair to say we had to learn something. The big names like John Bertrand AM, executive director of Sail America Jonathon Banks, dual Olympic Gold Medallist Malcolm Page, Olympic Silver Medallist Lucinda Whitty, Yachting Australia Sports Development Director Ross Kilborn, Director for Australian Sailing Peter Conde, Volvo Ocean Race skipper Chris Nicholson (with CAMPER Emirates team New Zealand), ISS founder Alistair Murray, BIAA president Darren Vaux, founder and host of Small Business Big Marketing Tim Reid and of course Sarah and Cheryl from BYC. Now of course all the big names in sailing knew each other and they knew they were important to the world of sailing but as no one knew us so it was presumed we must be new players on the international scene. Well as it turned out we represent a target demographic – mature people, especially female people, who are new to sailing. Well here we are - ready willing and - well ready and willing to learn anyway! It was generally agreed that Beaumaris Yacht Club was setting the pace by sending two delegates to the ISS. The speakers were interesting, funny and very knowledgeable. There was much discussion as to how we can lift the profile
of sailing which currently ranks as about 34 of the list of most popular sports and yet it one of a very few sports in which the entire family can participate. Research has shown the youngsters become interested in sailing but as they reach the teenage years they begin to lose interest. The young adults are drawn to wind surfing and it is not until the later middle years people tend to return to sailing. Research has shown that it is hard to attract females generally to our sport and as such harder to attract family groups and the slightly more mature woman. Recent success at the Olympics will, it is hoped, change this previous trend. We listened to advice on promoting our clubs to encourage membership and using the latest technology to stay in touch with existing members. In addition to key note speakers we met two great sports people - the lovely Lucinda Whitty and Malcolm Page. Both fresh from the Olympics with stories of the work they and their teams put in to achieve Olympic glory. Lucinda is studying law and sailing competitively - a big load to take on at 21 years of age (but then she has been sailing since age 6). Her biggest problem with sailing Elliot 6m keelboats is her weight – she is a bit of a lightweight! Malcolm Page a true sporting great, the most successful 470 sailor in history, dual gold medallist and a genuinely nice guy. Sarah and I agree that our absolute highlight was Malcolm Page joining our table for dinner. Malcolm is such a lovely guy and he thoughtfully brought his two Olympic gold medals to dinner. He was more than willing for us to hold them too which was amazing. My favourite was the Beijing Gold medal not only because it was a first for an Australian sailor, although that
Sarah and Malcolm Page at the ISS is very impressive, but it the medal itself inlaid with rare white jade and was just beautiful. Reports that heavily armed security guards were required to recover said medals from our grasp were grossly overstated! To hold those medals and think of the hard work and dedication that goes into representing your sport and your country and taking that to level of world’s best is very humbling to say the least. Malcolm told us it was never about winning but rather just doing your best on the day and if you win it is a bonus! At the start of any race his focus is on getting the best from himself, his crew and his boat. His admiration for his coach Victor Kovalenko was summed up when he asked Victor after a race how he went, Victor replied, “You could not have done better!” High praise indeed from a coach not known to waste words. Sailing is definitely a sport on the rise.
...Continued from page 7 3 minutes to the start Code flag P is raised (blue flag with a white square in the centre, commonly known as the Blue Peter) with a sound signal. This is known as the preparatory signal. Different flags can be used here according to the wishes of the Race Officer including code flag I, code flag Z and a black flag. Basically these mean stay behind the start line in the last minute of the sequence or risk a scoring penalty or disqualification. They are usually used when the RO is fed up with sailors pushing the line and causing the start to be repeatedly recalled.
Numeral Pennant 2
Numeral Pennant 3 Numeral Pennant 5 Code Flag P Use: Preparatory signal
Code Flag X Use: Individual recall
Finish Line (club finish)
First Substitute Use: General recall
1 minute to the start Code flag P (or other preparatory flag) is lowered with a sound signal
Code Flag C Use: Moved mark
Start All class or division flags are lowered with a sound signal. This is it so get moving! A three lap course makes you sail the three basic points of sailing learnt while training. Beat: From the start to the top mark. You need to tack up the course sailing close hauled. Reach: From the top mark to the gybe mark. You need to reach to the gybe mark on one tack and then gybe onto the other tack to sail down to the bottom mark. Run: The second lap is usually a run. Sail downwind from the top mark to the bottom mark.
THE FINISH Finishes in sailing are in one of two formats; a ‘club finish’ where boats pass between a mark which forms the end of a line between it and the club tower (usually with a limiting mark in order to have a welldefined ‘line’.) The other format is a boat finish where the committee boat (flying a blue flag) will be anchored on station either next to one of the course marks or a separate mark which signifies the other end of the finishing line. Check the Sailing Instructions or attend the pre-race briefing to know which one will be used.
STRATEGY Determining a strategy is not always easy. For example, if the wind has shifted since the course was laid it’s important to know and build a strategy on this. Knowing the forecast helps too as it can affect what side of the course is favoured or what direction the shifts are likely to come from. How do you check if the wind has changed direction or if the course is not set up directly into the wind? I do it this way. Set your boat up head to wind below the bottom mark in line with the bottom mark and the top mark. If the course is true into
Code Flag S Use: Shortened course Start Line
Code Flag N Use: Abandoned race
Fig. 1 A typical triangle course configuration sailed by conventional dinghies. The course will usually be around 0.5 to 0.7 nautical miles from top to bottom (900m - 1300m long) the wind your boat should be pointing in line with both marks. If your boat is pointing either to the left or the right of the top mark, the wind has moved. If your boat is pointing to the left of the top mark then the right side of the course is favoured and vice versa. Initially try and keep your boat speed up ie. try not to point too high until you get a real feel for the boat, the waves and the wind. If you appear to be going slower than other boats try adjusting something to see what happens. Remember slight changes in settings may take some time to have a full effect, so change one thing at a time and wait to see if there is any effect. Keep your weight together and forward. The skipper should be up against the thwart. Being too far back in the boat will dig the back in and act like a handbrake, ruining the boats performance. Keep the boat as flat as possible. Having said all that nothing is as good as experience. So the more you race the better you will become. Work on understanding the Racing Rules. Follow other more experienced sailors, ask questions of other sailors and try and make sure your boat and rig set ups are constant, so if you vary something you know what the variation is. Lastly the most important point of all, the thing you should be doing above all else: HAVE FUN!
Code Flag H Use: Return to shore when flown with Code Flag N
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