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Volume 8 Issue 2

Inside: The curse of Black Mountain Pacer Nationals 2017 - Canberra

The Wild Side

Javelin Nationals 2017 - Gippsland Lakes

Foolish and 56

Two men in a boat head south

35th America’s Cup

A last look before the action starts

Commodore Will Sharp Vice Commodore Phillip Connard Rear Commodore Michael Brown Secretary Colin Symonds Treasurer Charmaine Smith

Committee Paul Hardie - Bruce Fraser - Peter Sharp Thomas Rüether - Connor Gallagher Susan Sharp - Dan Redman - Geoff Perkins Michelle Theron - Brigid Vaughan

Learn to Sail team Peter Sharp - Dan Redman Thomas Rüether - Lachlan Sharp Silke Weber - Jon Pulham - Mun Chin Ian McHugh - Peter Kemp - Rod Smith Phillip Connard - Conor Gallagher

Race Management Team Rod McCubbin - Lesley McCubbin Geoff Perkins - Chris Perkins - Mike Kenyon Charmaine Smith - Dick Adair - Mike Skinner Sally Gallagher - Pam Sharp

Contact Us! Email: Post: PO Box 16, Black Rock Vic 3193 Phone: 03 9589 6222 Past issues of The Reef:

The Reef Editor Will Sharp Email:

Contributors Michael Brown, Peter Sharp, Jon Pulham, Peter Kemp, Dan Redman, Bruce Fraser, Mun Chin, Mark Harrick, Lachlan Sharp, Stephen Whiteside, Silke Weber

Front Cover Pacer 2115 Banana Split (N. Jenvey) at BYC Photo: W Sharp, April 2016


afety considerations are a significant part of operating a sports club, and become even more significant when the sport concerned, in this case sailing, is conducted in an environment of heightened risk and limited access. Our risk is heightened due to the increased susceptibility of participants to adverse weather and conditions, and the access is limited because you need a power boat to render effective assistance.

There is little the Club can do about the weather, other than ensuring we don’t put our members at risk by sailing in forecast poor conditions and exercising due caution with regard to conditions when we are sailing. However access, specifically access via power boats, is something we do have control over. Our two rescue boats, Narina and Mulloka are vital pieces of equipment for the Club’s sailing operations. Without these boats we would be unable to hold formal racing as we couldn’t lay courses or perform starts and finishes, and we would be unable to provide a safe environment for our members to sail in, as we would be unable to access them in the event they required assistance. This is the reason why the Club spends a significant amount of money each year in keeping Narina and Mulloka in good condition, through regular servicing and maintenance as well as occasional equipment upgrades. Over the past few years, the Club has invested significant funds towards maintaining and upgrading our rescue boats to provide a safer, more reliable platform from which to run sailing events at BYC. Every year both boats have an extensive (and expensive) mechanical service before the season commences, this season being even more expensive than normal due to Narina requiring a new motor swivel bracket and Mulloka requiring her transmission to be rebuilt. There are also occasional upgrades to the boats. Last season Narina was completely rewired and Mulloka is on the cards to be done this winter. Narina’s rewiring has eliminated many of the electronic issues experienced in previous years and by using marine grade wiring, gives us confidence in the electrical systems for many years to come. Both boats also received new windshield Perspex last winter to replace the worn and scratched original windshields giving the skippers far better vision when driving. As many rescue boat swimmers over the years will know, one of the riskiest activities on a rescue boat is going forward to drop and retrieve the anchor, especially so in a decent sea. Because of this, the committee recently decided to have an electric anchor winch installed on Mulloka over the winter, as Mulloka is the boat most often using her anchor in her role as the start boat each week. While expensive, this will greatly reduce the risk of accident or injury to Mulloka’s crew as there will be no requirement in the future to go forward to raise or lower the anchor. Depending on finances and possible issues arising from the winch installation, the committee will also discuss installing a winch on Narina in winter 2018. We are also looking at reducing risks onshore. The Club is in the early stages of a project to replace the current heavy wooden rescue boat shed ramps with a permanent concrete ramp, removing the need for the awkward, unwieldy and heavy ramps to be moved by hand each week. As this project requires a concrete ramp to be built on public land, it is going to take some time. Initial discussions with Bayside Council have been promising and we are confident we can work with Council to develop a satisfactory solution to what is a significant manual handling issue. The movement and operation of our rescue boats, while vital to the continued operation of BYC, is also one of the riskiest aspects of our Club. We hope that these projects, along with others such as the recently upgraded clubhouse lighting will go some way to mitigating some of these risks and providing a safer place for all our members now and in the future.

May 14

Commodore WILL SHARP wraps up the 2017-18 season.

Mother’s Day

May 26 to June 27 35th America’s Cup A full month of racing, egos, money, legal action, possible espionage… what more could you want? The AC Class boats in 2017 are smaller than 2013 but are boasting of speeds in excess of 50 knots and foiling for the entire race. It’s going to be impressive to watch!

May 28 2016-17 Presentation function Come along for a Sunday afternoon tea at the Club with a short AGM followed by a presentation of trophies and awards for the past season.

June 12 Queen’s Birthday

September 3 Father’s Day

October 1 Opening Regatta 201718


hat’s a wrap! Season

2016-17 is done and dusted and the Club is in a good position. Our fleets have been slightly up on previous years, the Learn to Sail programs were fully subscribed, progress is being made preparing BYC for the future and there has been significant continuing investment in our equipment and people. Before I go further I want to thank the members of the BYC committee for their enthusiasm and hard work over the season, it has been a pleasure to work with you all and I look forward to doing so next year. There are two people I would like to single out from the committee for a special mention, Michael Brown and Charmaine Smith. Michael steeped into the Rear Commodore role at the beginning of this season and has proved himself to be a quick learner, taking to the variety of required tasks easily, effectively and with good humour. The ease with which he has taken on a relatively demanding role has made my life much easier in my transition out of the role of Rear Commodore and into the Commodore’s. My other special mention, Charmaine Smith, has been our Treasurer for three seasons of efficiency, detail, reconciliations and more paperwork and reports than you can throw a stick at. Charmaine has been a valuable asset for the committee however she has decided it is time to step down from the job and leave the way open for the next BYC treasurer. “Who will that be?” I hear you ask? Well, if you have a financial background or even just a head for numbers, some spare time and a desire to become involved in one of the most important roles in the Club, then please nominate at the upcoming AGM! If you would like to know more about the requirements of the position or have any questions please contact me (details inside front cover).

Presentation and AGM This year the annual Presentation and AGM function has been brought forward to the 28th of May from its usual home in the deep, dark, cold depths of late June or early July. The committee has resolved to hold the Presentation function on the last weekend of May each year from now on. This will address several issues with the previous timing, specifically the lack of connection with the previous season, the variability in date and the typically nasty weather in the middle of winter. This year we have opted to go with an informal afternoon tea format in order to keep the price down and

encourage attendance by members and their families, please make the time to come along and support your Club and those members who will be recognised for their service and sailing achievements.

Race Management team I’ve waxed lyrical about the Race Management team before, and mindful of the space constraints of the printed page, (as opposed to a captive audience and a microphone!) suffice to say that without them we could not enjoy the safe, structured racing environment we currently do. Over the next few seasons we will face some challenges with staffing, both of the tower and rescue boats. We are currently anticipating a shortage in the tower next season with many of the current crew unavailable for much of 2016-17. Next season is also likely to be Geoff Perkins’ last as a regular member of the rescue boat team, the siren song of the caravan and open road meaning he will be out of action sooner rather than later. Both the tower and the rescue boats require training of crews to ensure smooth and safe operations so please take the time to read the enclosed flyer and consider if you or someone you know has the time and inclination to become involved in the BYC Race Management team.

Learn to Sail Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work which continues to be done each and every season by our invaluable Learn to Sail team. Teaching people to sail is one of the core functions of BYC and is something we do very well. Indeed, our club would not be here today were it not for the Learn to Sail programs, accounting as they do for upwards of 60% of our current membership. Specifically I would like to point out the results of the Junior program this season for their successful efforts to transition some of their program participants to the afternoon racing sessions. With the help of a dedicated Junior Series and close support from a dedicated rescue boat we have regularly seen juniors sailing in the afternoon races in the second half of the season. Regular afternoon junior fleets in haven’t been seen for some time at BYC and it is heartening to see kids out on the water racing again. Next season we will be implementing a more structured Green Fleet program to further formalise and support the transition of juniors to fleet racing. This, in conjunction with BYC becoming a Tackers Centre in 2017-18 should further assist our young sailors to learn the ropes and make the change to fleet racing. Thank you to all our members and volunteers for making BYC the great club it is and I look forward to seeing you at the Presentation and AGM function on May 28.

Rear Commodore MICHAEL BROWN sums up the sailing scene at BYC.


nother great season at

BYC has drawn to a close and from the increased number of people around the Club and on the water, participation in our unique yacht club is building! Thank you to everyone who has made it a success – the new members, children, parents, volunteers, canteen crew, tower crew, rescue boat team, committee and of course all the sailors. You have all contributed to the development of a friendly and dedicated membership group. Remarkably, the weather has been relatively kind during summer and autumn, except for Twilight Sailing during February that almost always exceeded our 15 knot limit. For me, in my first year in the role of Rear Commodore, the weather made decisions easy, as did the assistance of the race management team – we could not conduct fantastic racing without you!

Fleets BYC has been experiencing a slow, but consistent rise in fleet numbers for the past few years and the 201617 season has been no exception to this trend. We recently had a fleet totalling 22 boats, and this did not include a boat containing a Sharp and only one boat containing a Kemp! I look forward to enjoying the continued growth of the fleet next season. I hope everyone has been enjoying the sailing; the Race Management Team has undertaken a splendid job all season and should be very proud of their professionalism. It has been great to see the growth, development and participation in our Sunday afternoon racing. Welcome again to the new members that have joined in the racing, particularly Mark Sonnemann and son Jack who have quickly transitioned from the Learn to Sail program to racing this season. Congratulations to the fleet of junior sailors in their Minnows. Toward the end of the season, we had a total of five Minnows racing very competently, and from the amount of chatter around the start line, the level of enjoyment has been invigorating. We will continue to encourage and support all our new and young sailors to join in the afternoon racing – racing on a larger course will help you develop your skills and raise your level of enjoyment. While the Pacer contingent remains the strong core of the fleet, again we have regular appearances from our Javelins, Tasars, Lasers, Impulse, 125’s, Pacer Pursuit, Sabres, Mirror and Minnows. This season we have seen a couple of our members purchasing “new and

improved vessels” in the pursuit of speed. Silke Weber’s “Kerplunk” has brought a wider smile from Silke, as well as a shrill of enjoyment from those that enjoyed a glass of champagne before her maiden voyage. Peter and Lachlan Sharp recently showcased their new metallic grey rocket ship Javelin, on a cold Pacer National Results and gloomy Sunday afternoon, when no-one else was 1st – Peter, Lauren & Eliza Kemp keen to get wet. They returned from their maiden - Bebop voyage with smiles of greatness frozen in position (or nd was that smiles of “thank god we did not capsize un- 2 – Geoff, Isabella & Skye Wood - Pacheetah Magic der jib only, coming in via the northern reef mark?”). rd 3 – Jon Pulham & Jackie White 3193 Sailing Cup - Ysera On Saturday 4 February 2017, Black Rock Yacht Club th hosted the annual 3193 Sailing Cup, an inter-club 7 – Phillip & Janette Connard - Wildwood regatta between BYC and Black Rock YC. Unfortunaterd ly light winds prevailed on the day and the 0.9 nauti- 3 – Nicole Jenvey & Bruce Gray - Challenge (Non Spinnaker) cal mile (windward leg) in “drifting conditions” only saw three of the BYC boats finish within the time limit. Congratulations to Michael and Will Sharp for winning Javelin National Results Division 6 and Jonathan Pulman and Martin Cottrell 1st – Peter & Lachlan Sharp - Razor for winning Division 3. Unfortunately for Jonathan 4th – Rod Smith & Paul Leitinger and Martin, the powers that be at BRYC would not - Aero award them their trophy as they were the only boat to finish in their division. Next season it is back to BYC Tasar National Results to host the event. 37th – Andrew Ryan & Michelle TheNational/State results ron - Harmony (Silver) Congratulations to all our sailors who competed at their respective State or National Championships over the past few months. Sailing in a multi-day event improves your sailing in a way that weekly sailing cannot. Lessons learnt one day are built on the next, with very little lost in the blur of life between Sundays. If you are yet to compete in a State or National event, I encourage you to do so - you won’t regret it.

Minnow National Results 38th – Lauren Kemp - Sparkle (Open) 9th – Eliza Kemp - Willow (Novice)

Pacer State Results 1st –

Peter, Lauren & Eliza Kemp - Bebop

A special mention must go to Peter, Lauren and Eliza 2nd – Geoff, Isabella & Skye Wood Kemp for winning the Pacer National Championship - Pacheetah Magic and the Pacer State Championship! Also congratulard tions to Peter and Lachlan Sharp for winning the Jave- 3 – Jon Pulham & Martin Cottrell - Ysera lin National Championship. th 6 – Paul & Judy Hardie - Limelight

Learn to Sail

Once again both our Adult and Junior Learn to Sail programs were fully booked and extremely successful. The buzz on the beach every Sunday morning with excited children rigging up to get on the water as quickly as possible was fantastic to see. It was equally impressive to witness the immense improvement of the adult Learn to Sail participants. Having been involved in many yacht clubs around Port Phillip Bay, I am proud to say that the BYC Learn to Sail program and particularly the experience of the instructors, is absolutely first class. A huge thanks to all the BYC members who volunteered their expert time to develop the new sailors. Well done to everyone who participated in the programs, and all the very best with your future sailing – we hope it will continue at BYC.

7th – Phillip & Janette Connard - Wildwood 8th – Nicole Jenvey & Silke Weber - Banana Split 10th – Thomas Ruether & Nathalie Braussaud - L’o 13th – Mun Chin & Sarah McKinna - Runaway

Javelin State Results 2nd – Michael & Will Sharp - Warren 4th – Peter & Lachlan Sharp - Razor 5th – Paul Leitinger & Rod Smith - Aero

I don’t know about you, but I am already missing Tasar State Results getting on the water and enjoying the sailing at BYC. I th look forward to seeing you on the water next season 18 – Michael & Myles Brown - Funny As and encourage all members to get out there as much as possible to enjoy one of the best places to sail on 37th– Andrew Ryan & Michelle ThePort Phillip Bay. ron - Harmony

Eleven-time Australian Champion and seventeentime Victorian Champion PETER SHARP shares his knowledge about light weather sailing


irstly, what exactly is light air sailing? Generally a boat is designed to sail most efficiently in a windspeed of 11-12 knots. Therefore any windspeed under this is classed as light air.

However, this article is about the really light stuff – where frustration sets in as you try to get (and keep) the boat moving while sitting in a position that you wouldn’t think a five year old would fit into. It has been said that the first piece of advice for this type of sailing is to stay home! However, for those desperate souls who live in hope that the conditions won’t be that bad or for those who by necessity need to sail in light breezes at an event, the following will be of some help:

On the shore Effective light air sailing starts with on-shore preparation. When rigging:

De-tension full length mainsail battens. Lessening batten tension reduces (flattens) sail camber, allowing more leech twist and also lets battens to ‘flick’ across more easily when tacking and gybing. A starting point would be to use just enough tension to remove wrinkles on the batten pocket. De-tension the rig (can usually be increased on water if necessary). All forestays sag to some degree in response to wind pressure and sailmakers will allow for this in the design of their sails. How-

ever, when there is little or no breeze there is insufficient force to induce sag at normal rig tension. So, some reduction in tension is necessary to assist the sail to achieve and maintain its design shape.

On the water At very low windspeeds the ‘attachment’ of air flow to the sails is the key to generating boat speed and maintaining directional control through the rudder. Sail settings – minimum tensions on main and jib sheets, jib luff and vang. No mast chocks or lowers and in very light air a firm outhaul (these settings tend to flatten the lower section of the main thereby assisting air flow attachment, reduce drag and, for sloop rigs, minimising interference to air flow exiting the jib leech). Pay particular attention to tell-tales – especially those on the jib luff and upper main leech. Upwind, the jib luff tell-tales will indicate how far sheets can be eased to maintain height and speed. Mainsail upper leech tell-tales should stream most of the time which indicates attached air flow (conversely if they are not streaming the sail is stalled).

Malcolm Page has his first taste of sailing as a five year old in his grandparents’ boat in Lane Cover River. He hated every second of it and cried until he was returned to shore.

Wins his first National Championship in the Manly Junior class as a 13 year old. 7 years later, the same event is won by his future skipper at the Athens and Beijing Olympics, Nathan Wilmot. This is followed by a Flying 11 Nationals win in 1991 at age 18.

Winning a Gold medal in the Mens 470 at the Beijing Olympics with skipper Nathan Wilmot fulfilled one of Malcolm’s earliest dreams, and set him on the course to be the most successful Australian sailor in history.

Always sail to areas of wind pressure (look for ripples on the water) – even if you need to take a knock to get there (especially in very light air). Where possible, sail to the shore side of a course which will be where any local seabreeze influence will develop.

Continuing on from an unbeaten run of regattas in the previous four years, Page and new skipper Mat Belcher blitzed the fleet and took home Gold again in a stellar Olympics for Australian sailors.

The skipper and crew should be further forward than normal to get the stern out of the water and minimise drag. A slight heel to leeward to allow gravity to maintain the aerofoil shape of the sails also helps. Air flow can easily detach from the sails if the mast is moving around excessively – so crew movement should be kept to a minimum and when it is necessary it should be done slowly and smoothly.

ISAF (now World Sailing) appoints Page as their international head of Media and Marketing placing him in a powerful position to influence how people view sailors and sailing events in the crucial lead up to the 2016 Olympiad.

There are few things more frustrating than sailing in very light airs, but it is a skill which is necessary to learn because at some point it will be required. With these tips and a few adjustments of your own you can at the very least ease the pain of the drifter, and possibly even snatch the win.

In a surprise announcement, Malcolm Page is announced at the new head of the US Sailing Team. This is part of a huge investment in sailing in the USA and while it is a big win for the States, it is undoubtedly a lost opportunity for Australia.

Tackers Centre project The planned conversion to a Tackers Centre next season is progressing well. Thanks to Dan Redman and Conor Gallagher, the Club passed its annual Australian Sailing audit with flying colours. There is some additional training of instructors which will take place over the winter and a few other small items to put in place however we are on track to be registered by the beginning of the 2017-18 season. This is an exciting new chapter for junior sailing at BYC and we hope that everyone is looking forward to it as much as the Learn to Sail team are. As a result of the AS audit, BYC is also now registered as a Powerboat Training Centre. While this has no impact on our day to day operations, it will allow us to run Powerboat Handling and Safety Boat courses in house in the future. This has the benefit of potentially proving another income stream for the Club as well as allowing us to facilitate training on our own boats; in our conditions for our members should we choose to do so in the future.

Learn to Sail programs This season we had two fully subscribed programs, with twelve juniors and fourteen seniors all learning to sail at BYC. The programs enjoyed good weather for the most part, allowing almost all of the on water sessions to take place as scheduled. It is fantastic to see so many of our new sailors taking the plunge and getting involved in the afternoon racing sessions towards the end of the season. It can be a daunting step to go from learn to sail sessions in the morning to the afternoon races and anyone who makes the leap and has a go should be congratulated. There are always people who are happy to answer any questions about afternoon racing and help with the transition. If you’re thinking about taking the next step in your sailing journey I encourage you to have a chat to any of our members, we are all here to help each other. Thank you to our Learn to Sail instructor team, another job well done.

Green Fleet Keen observers of the Sailing Calendar will have noticed the addition of a Junior Series which has been scheduled to take place in April for the past two seasons. While there weren’t many takers last season, there have regularly ben several Minnows sailing in the afternoons this season. The plan for next season is to transition to a more structured Green Fleet sailing in the afternoons. This will essentially be a modified racing format with a separate start, shorter courses and a lower wind limit. There will also be close support from instructors in an IRB during racing. We hope this will further ease the transition for our next generation of sailors from the learn to sail programs to afternoon racing.

New boats for the fleet Sabre 1879 - Kerplunk Deciding it was time to retire her previous Sabre Erna; Silke Weber took the plunge this season and invested in a much newer Sabre in the recently renamed Kerplunk (previously known as Sasha II and Catalpa). Built by Brett Young in 2011, original owner Peter Hackett sailed it to 5th in the 2011-12 Sabre Nationals in a fleet of 130 boats. The boat’s colour scheme wasn’t as specified when ordered so once a replacement boat was delivered; Kerplunk was sold to Peter Reid at BRYC. Unfortunately, due to medical reasons Peter was unable to continue sailing it so it was sold again, this time to Silke Weber. A beautifully built boat which has been carefully maintained throughout its life, Kerplunk looks like settling in for a long sailing career at BYC.

Pacer 2695 - Ysera I helped build Ysera in 2001 while I was working with Jim French. She was originally named Dragonfly, and was sailed by a Welsh couple on Albert Park Lake. She was sold to McCrae Y.C. and then again to Balnarring. I bought Dragonfly in March 2016. I changed her name to Ysera, which sounds vaguely Celtic and is intended as a nod to her Welsh history and my misspent youth! After finishing 3rd at both the Canberra Nationals and Parkdale States, Ysera and I are looking forward to sailing on Sydney Harbour at the next Pacer Nationals in 2018. - Jon Pulham

Javelin 683 - Racing Red Built in 2011 by WA boat builder Ben Lawrie, Racing Red was the second boat in as many years (also the second boat of the same name – the original actually was red too) to be commissioned by Perth Javelin sailor Chris Woodward. Not satisfied with the original Victorian design, Racing Red was specified with the mast and centreboard positioned further back in the boat along with some cosmetic mould changes. The boat is also built with a full carbon fibre layup which makes for a very strong, light boat. Racing Red is a two time Australian Championship winning boat and new owners Peter and Lachlan Sharp will be hoping to build on that record in the boat’s new home at BYC.



AMERICA’S CUP UPDATE BERMUDA, 26th May - 27th June 2017

After a four year wait, the America’s Cup is about to start and DAN REDMAN is getting excited...


t’s time to get excited about the return of the America’s Cup racing later this month in Bermuda.

The warm up event to this last year was the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, the races were held in the home countries of the six teams racing for to win the America’s Cup. If you are yet to see any of the racing, it involves a course set close to shore to maximize crowd viewing from the grandstands – think the Pacer States at Parkdale with a few grandstands. The course has gates at either end and the start and finish lines are purposely situated quite close to shore. The gates are fantastic for this style of foiling catamaran, allowing for many different tactics as they all try to out sail each other over the course. The digital overlay and graphics that NBC use enhances the viewing experience at home, displaying out of bounds and current boat speeds of every boat so you can stay on top of all the placings and statistics. I wish we could get this our own races at the Club! This also allows the racing to be understandable to non-sailors (sailing on TV is hard to understand even for those who know what’s going on, the different angles and shots can make it quite confusing), further enhancing the appeal of the event and sport in general. The schedule of racing begins with a round robin with all six teams racing hoping to sail into the semi-finals and end up in the final race series for the cup. As of late last month, all six teams have launched the new America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats in Bermuda. Speeds of these boats are up around 47-48 knots, they expect that these boats will be able to get to 50 knots by the time the racing starts on 26th of May.

THE TEAMS Oracle Team USA – Defender – Helmsman Jimmy Spithill (AUS) Artemis Racing Sweden – Helmsman Nathan Outteridge (AUS) Emirates Team New Zealand – Helmsman Peter Burling (NZ) Groupama Team France – Helmsman Franck Cammas (FRA) Land Rover BAR England – Helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie (ENG) SoftBank Team Japan – Helmsman Bean Barker (NZ)

WHO WILL WIN? Land Rover BAR won the World Series, followed by Oracle, Emirates, Artemis, SoftBank and Groupama. With the crews still testing and adjusting to the ACC boats, it is hard to know if the early form means anything. Artemis is looking very fast, but SoftBank and Groupama are looking better the more time on the water they get. It will be close, but I think Oracle and Artemis will race off for the final. Don’t worry if you end up getting hooked on this year's racing, the new World Series will start later in the 4th quarter this year, as the race for the cup moves from a four-yearly to a two-yearly format. We can only hope an Australian team makes a serious play to join the race and bring the Cup home.

HOW TO WATCH: America’s Cup: 26th May - 27th June 2017 in Bermuda The NBC feed for the race is broadcast by Fox Sports, or you can get audio and graphic coverage via the AC App.

AKE BURLEY GRIFFIN - A SAILING VENUE OF EXTREMES. Survivors of the 2001 Canberra Nationals still tell thrilling stories sixteen years on of winds capable of picking up a Pacer and throwing it several metres; of Pacers scattered by ferocious winds washed up on the shores near various ACT landmarks; of devilish whirlwinds spinning down Black Mountain and bestowing the ‘fickle finger of fate’ on hapless bedraggled sailors while leaving others seemingly untouched. Those Pacer sailors who recovered by the time the 2011 Canberra nationals were held were not well prepared for the complete contrast dished up by the great lake. The sun reflecting in the pristine mirror-like, deadpan flat surface of the lake sent many a poor sailor mad. A three time national champion forgot how to sail and was lapped by the fleet. A certain Pacer Pursuit begging the gods for a bit of wind became the only boat to capsize for the entire series when presented with a gentle breeze. Many of those who escaped with their mental faculties intact swore never to sail there again but after being struck with severe amnesia entered the 2016 series anyway. So what would we get in 2016? The physical hammering of 2001? The psychological battering of 2011? Well you would not have believed it - it was straight down the middle – we had perfect sailing conditions, 10 to 15 knots every day! Now, I’m going to have to be very careful here. As some of you know I am a member of two clubs, Beaumaris Y.C. and Albert Park

Y.C. As I am writing this article for the two separate club newsletters I shall try not to favour one over the other. (What’s that? I should just write two separate articles? Do you know how much effort it takes? Who do you think I am, Shakespeare? Most people don’t even write anything so be grateful you’re getting this one from me!) (Note to editors – you can thank me later for the heap of contributions you’ll get next issue). The fleet numbered only thirteen this year, with ten Pacers and three Pursuits. The numbers were a little disappointing (though unsurprising given past Canberra history, see above) but happily both Beaumaris and Albert Park were strongly represented with

five boats each. Three Canberra boats, a South Australian and Darren from Parkdale walk into a bar… sorry!, comprised the rest of the fleet. Keen eyed mathematicians will at first be puzzled by the numbers not appearing to add up, but Jon Pulham and Geoff Wood were members of both Beaumaris and Albert Park so are counted twice! Got you there didn’t I? To the great amusement of the Beaumaris sailors and the embarrassment of Albert Park, Graeme Cox sailing with daughter Sophie (henceforth known as the Champion Crew) in the Pursuit set a new record for the fastest capsize, tipping over 4.58 seconds after the first start, smashing the previous record by 6 seconds. (Actually the Albert Park sailors were also rather amused and not at all embarrassed). The three Pursuits (all Albert Park crews) were a colourful bunch on the water, whether racing in a tight knit pack or touring the National Capital, proving beyond a doubt that the bridges over the lake were built just high enough to accommodate the height of a Pursuit mast. What remarkable foresight the architects of Canberra had! The prestigious title of Captains of the Swimming Team was presented to Harry Cox and Lisa Taig in the Pursuit. They were clear winners on both quality (length of time in the lake) and quantity (the record keepers lost count). Harry also did a fine job of single handedly steering the boat back to rescue mum Collette whom he had thrown overboard for some reason. Previous experience on Lake Burley Griffin was not enough to help Chris Pulham and Paul Taig win the Pursuit title. Despite the early swim, Graeme with his Champion Crew won the series. Instead of the trophy they were presented with a spanner to undo the bolts fastening said trophy to Jon’s bookshelf after the former champ got a little too attached to it. (It’s now bolted firmly to the Cox family dining table). To the Beaumaris contingent now… Is there some truth to the rumour of a titles curse? If so, Phil and Janette Connard were unable to break it, though they did tire themselves out winning their division in a challenging Cock of the Bay in Melbourne on Boxing Day. Nicole Jenvey had fun in a borrowed boat with local Bruce Grey as crew and tour guide providing excellent navigational assistance and information on the local attractions as they sailed by. Unfortunately he wasn’t very good at counting laps. (Now, as a tyrannical skipper myself I’m always up for blaming the crew for anything I can get away with, but maybe Nicole could have been counting too?) Nicole also only discovered she had a ratchet block on the mainsheet on the final day. It will be the first thing she checks if she borrows a boat again… Peter Kemp with daughters Lauren and Eliza were at the front of the fleet most of the time, but had a few tight races. On two occasions Peter attempted to claim a rare tie for first place alongside Jon and Jackie, but mucked it up, accidentally winning one and letting them slip through in another. Possibly not accounting for the lack of a tide and less buoyancy in fresh water? Or maybe his crew had other ideas? The Pacers enjoyed some close racing, with four different race winners over the series. Adam Kohler and son Reiley from South Australia showed you don’t necessarily have to have a spinnaker to do it, winning one of the early races. Ron from Canberra almost won a couple without not only a spinnaker but minus a crew as well. Canberra locals Eamon Grey and crew Joseph McCauley sailed smartly to win the Junior title from Eamon’s sister Orla. Those with a foot in both the BYC and APYC camps did well. Geoff Wood with daughters Skye and Isabella in their first Pacer Nationals sailed strongly throughout the series and won the last race to secure second overall, and Jon Pulham with aunt Jackie White finished third (the only ones roughing it in tents the poor sods). Peter Kemp with Lauren and Eliza showed their class with great consistency in the shifty lake winds, winning the series for Beaumaris. (Sorry Albert Park, there’s no equaling that). Perhaps the Kemps would like to become members of APYC as well?!

PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: Sailing in the shadow of Canberra’s Black Mountain brings some challenges; Geoff and Skye Wood on their way to second overall in a boat bought just weeks prior to the series; Peter and Lauren Kemp keeping it cool on the way to another Pacer Championship; Phillip and Janette Connard wrangling the spin in the light airs; Nicole Jenvey and Bruce Grey rounding the wing mark; author Jon and aunt Jackie on the hunt.

Words: Lachlan Sharp

Photos: Trevor Dix

2016-17 Javelin Australian Championships

he Australian Javelin Championships for 2016-2017 were held at the Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club in Paynesville on Lake Victoria from 2 January to 7 January 2017. Unfortunately, circumstances conspired resulting in only seven Victorian boats being able to make the trip up to the Lakes this year with the usually strong West Australian contingent being unable to send a container. What made this more unfortunate, though for the benefit of those who attended, was the absolutely fantastic regatta that we enjoyed. When sailing a skiff you want wind, and unless you enjoy filling your jocks on the downwind legs, you would prefer it if the water was flat. This year the lakes delivered in spades. We did not have a single drifter, nor a blow out, what we did have was an excellent range of conditions from moderate 10-12kt tactical chess games to 22-27kt thrillers. The invitation races were sailed in a steadily increasing breeze, beginning in 10-15kts with myself and Peter showing good upwind speed, whilst often being hunted down on the downwind legs by Steve and Lachy in Sledgehammer. Dave Boyle and Pete ‘Rose Gold” Isaacs started to really get One Last Roll of the Dice motoring upwind as the breeze started to increase. As Razor’s capsize count started to mount, Sledgehammer’s lead began to increase and she sailed away to win the invitation series. The first day of the series proper got underway with a building breeze. Even though they had sailed together just once in the past six months, Brett and Tim got Honky honking downwind in the moderate breeze to charge to victory in the first race, with Paul and Rod in Aero came in with a second, and Steve and Lachy third. The second race saw Razor get moving again in the increased wind strength, and recorded her first win of the series.

Day 3 of racing may well be the day that those who sailed will add several knots to the maximums in future recollections when recounting their efforts to family, friends, acquaintances or strangers, with strong winds really testing the teams. Luckily, those brave, fine specimens in their harnesses saved the day and dragged their skippers around the course. Razor took the first heat, Sledgehammer blasting though the finish line a close second and managing to find the only wave on the lake, burying the bow on the line but somehow managing to save it. The second race saw some high speed jostling between the Sledge and the Razor, both boats trading gybes and position several times, before the Sledge, due to Lachy’s fine acrobatics no doubt, saved an ugly gybe while Peter Sharp’s now-empty bag of heavy weather survival gybes resulted in one boat hitting the drink and the other sailing away for the win. Razor managed to hold on to a second, with Laragh capsizing a tack on the final beat to the finish. Rod and Paul had one to forget, capsizing no less than eight times, giving Rod plenty of material for Paul’s page-long rap sheet come the forward hand inquisition (a traditional roasting of the skippers held at the presentation). Brett and Tim shredded their jib sheet and had to sail the second race with a fixed jib, which apparently was not exactly ideal when bearing away at the top mark. With Wild Wednesday concluded and now able to be enjoyed in hindsight, the crews retired to the club for an evening of pizza, refreshments and increasingly outrageous stories. Day 4 arrived and the wind had thankfully decreased somewhat. Three races were scheduled and Razor took all three. It was tight racing with often the whole fleet finishing within five minutes of each other.

Just two seconds separated 2nd and 3rd in the first two races, with Honky and the Sledge trading places. The last day of racing presented moderate conditions and saw some extremely close racing with multiple lead changes in the first race with Honky winning the first race. The last race of the series saw Paul and Rod get Aero really moving and they sailed away for the win without a boat crossing their bow from start to finish. The series done and dusted, Peter and I took out the big trophy, followed by Brett and Tim in Honky in second and Steve and Lachy in third and also overall winners on handicap. Peter Sharp took out the oldest b*stard of them all (the Masters trophy) and Steve took out the not quite as old b*stard trophy. All that was left was for the crew brotherhood to extract their pound of flesh from their blunt end oppressors, and head to the bar and toast to another series where though their names may be written on the trophy second, they will always cross the finish line first.

PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Winners are grinners Peter and Lachlan Sharp are the 16-17 Champions; Steve and Lachy Low on Sledgehammer; Rod and Paul on Aero; Brett and Tim on Honky; Dave and Pete getting wet on Last Roll of the Dice.

Words and photos by MARK HARRICK ailing to Hobart down the East coast of Tasmania, via Refuge Cove and Deal Island, down the east coast and then down the beautiful D’Entrecasteaux Channel, involves two important elements – one is to be foolish and the other to be fifty six years old. The reason these are the most important elements is because Andrew English, the owner of Laafin, a 30 foot Currawong and I lacked the other important elements such as having sufficient experience (we didn’t), having a big enough boat (it wasn’t), having a fast enough boat (it was far too slow) and sufficient people on board (it was just the two of us). Despite the lack of these important elements, we left St Kilda on 1 February 2017 at 5.30 am to get to the Heads at 11.30 to meet up with the other three boats from Royal Melbourne Yacht Club’s cruising division, Allira 1 – 48 feet long and five crew, Mrs Overnewton – 44 feet and seven crew and Seeya – 44 feet and four crew. We were clearly the runt of the litter.

The first day (and night and part of the next day) we headed to Refuge Cove. Unfortunately, a large wave crashed over the boat at 3.00am, breaking a staunchion to which our safety lines were attached and washing over the side, although still attached by bungee straps, three of our 20 litre water storage containers.

Andrew went forward and retrieved the water containers. At that point I assumed the coward’s position and stayed at the helm. We arrived at Refuge Cove after thirty hours’ motor sailing, and promptly broke out the cheese and biscuits and a good bottle of red. It was much needed. The next day, Andrew noticed at 7.30 am, that the other three much larger, faster and more extensively crewed boats were on the way out from Refuge Cove to Deal Island – without us. We scrambled and soon had Laafin on the way and ended up having the most beautiful day sailing to Deal Island, even arriving in time to walk up the light house cottage and museum. The next day we decided on advice from the convenor that we really should be leaving earlier than everyone else, as Laafin was very slow compared to the others. So…. the next morning having woken at 4.30am, we left Deal Island at 5.30am heading to the bottom of Clarke Island which was to be a day sail. Clarke Island is the last stopping off point before crossing Banks Strait and heading down the Tasmanian East Coast. However mid-way down past Flinders Island we received a radio call from the convenor advising that due to threatening weather, he was to revise the sailing plan and that we were to stand by for new sailing instructions. While standing by, I confidently predicted that the message would be to stop in at Lady Barron and wait overnight. But I was wrong and the message was that we were to pass Clarke Island, cross Banks Strait and head to Wineglass Bay. This being our second overnight sail, we were more organised and we arranged to get more sleep, have food prepared in advance, reef down and away we went – arriving at Wineglass Bay thirty eight hours later. This time we were in much better shape which was critical as we were due to head off the next day for Triabunna, a very shallow port, but where we were lucky enough to find hot showers at the Spring Bay Yacht Club. There really is nothing like a hot shower after four to five days’ sailing.

IMAGES CLOCKISE FROM MAIN: Stunning sunset over Port Arthur; One of the slightly larger (in both length and crew size) sailing companions Allira 1; Andrew the skipper gets busy in the galley; The whole fleet anchored at Deal Island; Laafin herself tied up at Kettering in Tasmania.

The next day I had the distinct embarrassment of putting Laafin in the mud not once, but twice as we headed out of Triabunna. I am eternally grateful for the Maria Island Ferry which pulled us out of the mud the first time, such that I could have the opportunity to drive Laafin back in the mud five minutes later. Then the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife boat arrived and pulled us out of the mud the second time with the only comment “you’re not having a good day are you?”. From Triabunna we headed to Port Arthur which was a beautiful day’s sailing with a large pod of dolphins surfing the bow of Laafin for about half an hour. We were due to leave Port Arthur the next day for Hobart but in this instance, we were the last boat out of Port Arthur. While travelling down towards the sea, Allira 1 radioed all the other boats and suggested that we turn back as they were experiencing Force 9 or 10 conditions. We didn’t need much convincing and turned back to anchor in Port Arthur for another night settled in with a game of cards while checking the condition of our casks of red

wine. We then travelled to Hobart the next day where the staunchion was repaired and we showered, washed clothes and cleaned up for the second part of the trip down the D’Entrecasteaux channel for a week. The D’Entrecasteaux Channel is the body of water between Bruny Island and South East of the mainland of Tasmania. Sailing down the D’Entrecasteaux channel was very easy sailing with no sailing legs longer than six hours, lovely overnight spots to anchor and plentiful pubs and restaurants for eating. After a week of sailing in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, we headed back to Hobart, where I flew back and was replaced by a new crew member. Things I learnt? Don’t miss an opportunity to go on such a trip. Secondly if the weather is not good, then don’t go and just stay where you are. Cruising is about having fun and seeing places that very few non sea faring people get to see.

BRUCE FRASER sheds some light on what’s involved in keeping BYC operating


here is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in order to keep a club like BYC operating. Many members only hear about the surface issues such as building upgrades and boat acquisitions however there is much, much more involved in the day to day activities of a sailing club, even more so when special projects are involved.

At the AGM the committee reports on our Club’s activities, finances and assets, including our buildings and boats, and members elect the committee for the following year. The committee meets monthly to discuss various issues, advance projects, receive reports and continue to minimise risk wherever possible. BYC has essential insurances including public liability, building, contents and various marine hull policies. On top of this all BYC sailing members have personal accident and injury insurance cover which is provided by Australian Sailing (AS) as a result of the Club’s affiliation with AS. Then there are various registrations: VicRoads and Marine Safety Victoria boat and trailer registrations, AMSA registration, AS Discover Sailing Centre registration, Bayside Council Food Handling certificates, Department of Justice Restricted Club Liquor Licence, and a VHF band radio licence. There are six monthly safety checks on fire extinguishers, annual race management boat safety gear audits and an annual AS audit on all aspects of the Learn to Sail programs such as dinghy condition, PDFs, radios and safety gear on IRBs and more. The Club’s facilities include our building and Minnow shed, both of which are leased from Bayside City Council. Our clubhouse Lease expires in 2024, and initially included BYC tenant’s works which included a new roof replacing the deteriorating asbestos roofing. The new roof and cladding works which were also completed at the time required BYC to take out a loan to fund them however Bayside City Council provided the loan guarantee, not the BYC committee. The Club simply has to make regular monthly repayments. It is anticipated that the loan will be fully repaid by the middle of 2018. The Club also facilitates training of our volunteers in many aspects. For example, regular tower staff hold marine radio licences, rescue boat skippers hold Victorian Powerboat Handling and Safety Boat Operator certificates (as well as the normal powerboat licences), Learn to Sail

2016-17 Flag Officers and Committee Commodore Will Sharp Vice Commodore Phillip Connard Rear Commodore Michael Brown Secretary Colin Symonds Treasurer Charmaine Smith

Committee Paul Hardie - Bruce Fraser - Peter Sharp - Thomas Rüether Connor Gallagher - Susan Sharp - Dan Redman - Geoff Perkins Michelle Theron - Brigid Vaughan

team members hold various Assistant Instructor, Instructor, Tackers Instructor and Coach qualifications on top of Powerboat Handling and first aid certificates. The committee are also responsible for organising and overseeing maintenance, repairs and upgrades of the buildings and boats. - and upgrades, such as the ladies vanity room. The outboard engines on Narina and Mulloka were purchased in 2001, and require expensive annual servicing to keep them in top condition and we have a reserve term deposit that will cover the majority of the cost of one new outboard (approx $16,000), when that becomes necessary in the future. Both rescue boat trailers have been replaced in the past ten years and all training dinghies are maintained to meet strict safety requirements. Some facilities and equipment upgrades are funded by grants, others through club funds. Some recent grants include the Federal Government Stronger Communities Program grant for the ladies vanity room and community grants from Hampton Rotary Club and Beaumaris Community Branch of Bendigo Bank which funded much of the restoration and new sails for three Learn to Sail Pacers, a project which concluded this season. The Club also received a Department of Justice grant which allowed us to substantially upgrade the security measures of the building, specifically the new master key locking system and alarm system. Unfortunately we have still been the subject of several break ins in recent years (specifically targeting the small outboard engines on the IRBs. These instances all require notification of police, insurers and our landlord and subsequent repairs, like the new door into the boat storage, upgraded locks and so on. There are roles for all BYC members in our Club. If you feel you have the time and enthusiasm to contribute to the club we encourage you to nominate for the committee. There are many roles in need of volunteers, including but certainly not limited to: treasurer, maintenance organiser, grant identifier and drafter of applications, sailing instructor, rescue boat crews and skippers, canteen staff, social program organiser, assistance with BYC promotions (banners, brochures and displays) and more. Other roles include buying stock for the kitchen and bar, cleaning supplies, fuel for the boats and involvement with hiring of the clubhouse by yoga groups, local community groups and families. There are also opportunities for you to assist with special activities such as the annual 3193 Sailing Cup between BRYC and BYC funded by Bendigo Bank, Victorian class State Championship regattas, and social events at BYC, such as the recent Pop-up Marine Art Show in February. Finally, there is the ongoing MESAC (Marine Education Science and Community Centre) project which is an opportunity for renewal of our building facilities in partnership with Bayside Council, DELWP, the Victorian Government and local community groups, such as Marine Care Ricketts Point. This is still in the early stages at the moment and there is unlikely to be any impact on our club until 2019 or later, but there is considerable work continuing behind the scenes. So while it may look like things are just rolling on as normal, make no mistake – the committee is working hard to continually improve the assets and facilities for our members and is also working to secure the long term future of BYC for the next generation of sailors at Rickett’s Point.

MUN CHIN reveals how he came to love the humble Mirror dinghy


s usual, I was not actually looking for

a boat when I bought my Mirror but was intrigued by an ad on eBay for an auction of a Mirror dinghy and trailer. So I dragged John along to have a look at the boat. It was very well made and named "Wombat" by the maker (his ignored spouse apparently called it "the Bitch"). So I put a bid in and three years later, still enjoy sailing and motoring on it even though I bought yet another boat since (more about the Pacer in a later article). The Mirror celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. It was designed as an affordable DIY boat by Barry Bucknell, a TV DIY man, and Jack Holt who designed more than forty different boats, including the Heron and Pacer. It was named after the Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK which also suggested the Viking Red sails and designed its stylised M class insignia. It has a Gunter rig, with a wooden gaff which doubles the height when lifted. The dinghy can be rigged with a jib and spinnaker, and sailed by 2 people or just with a mainsail and sailed solo. Over 70000 have been built worldwide, and while the Gunter rig is still popular with older boats, newer versions have fibreglass hulls and single aluminium mast with a Bermudan sloop rig. A lot of people would remember the Mirror as the boat from their childhood or younger days. There is a Mirror Association in Victoria and a Mirror regatta sailed on Albert Park in mid -winter. The Mirror is a really fun boat to sail. I take it with me to the Gippsland lakes (it doubles as a handy suitcase holder). The Gunter rig masts, gaff


he seafloor near where the club’s windward

mark these days gently bobs very likely holds some grisly secrets. Approximately 150 years ago sailboat racing also took place off the waters of Beaumaris, but it took a very different form to what we see today. Large skiffs sailed large courses. They would start somewhere off St. Kilda, beat down towards Beaumaris, then reach halfway across the bay before returning home. These were boats with high masts, incredibly long booms, and acres and acres of sail. The trapeze had not yet been invented, of course, so they were reliant on large numbers of crew lined up along the gunwhale to “keep her level”. Needless to say, this was a fairly thankless task, and volunteers weren’t exactly dropping from the sky. Saturday mornings often saw press gangs roaming through the downtrodden suburbs of Sandridge and Emerald Hill rounding up likely suspects. Teenage boys aren’t very heavy as a rule, and something else was needed. Each young urchin would have a lead weighted belt strapped around his waist before forced to ‘walk the plank’ (onto the boat on these occasions, rather than off it, but the final result didn’t necessarily vary all that much). A long kicking strap, one along each side of the cockpit, was all that lay

Fifty-five years young: The Mirror is still going strong half a century after it was first designed. and boom packs neatly on top of the car and it is easy to rig and launch singlehandedly. I installed rubberised padding on the transom to mount a 3.3hp outboard. It has patiently taken three of abuse by me and my family, and while not as fast as the Pacer, it is very reliable even in rough weather. In 1997, an Australian sailed his dinghy from North Shropshire, UK to the Black Sea, a distance of 4900 km. AJ MacKinnon's book, The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow is a great read for anyone interested in dinghies and slightly unhinged journeys.

between the crew and oblivion, but no doubt many of the poor little tykes could not reach them. Whatever the reason, it is known without a doubt that more than one went over the side in the middle of the bay. With a lead belt strapped around the waist, and no buoyancy vests, this was a guaranteed one-way trip to the bottom. There is one fabled story of a boat that almost capsized approaching the windward mark one day, and lost several crewmembers in this way in a matter of seconds. The waters a couple of kilometres off shore from Beaumaris beach don’t appear to hold much appeal for snorkelers or scuba divers, and the sands beneath the windward mark may well hold their secrets forever. Perhaps we should not be too surprised, however, if a small thigh or pelvis bone washes up on the lonely shoreline of Frankston beach one day. N.B. This story is a work of fiction.

- Stephen Whiteside

FOR SALE Sabre 1511 ‘Excuse Me Two’ Good condition – ready to sail Stored inside – can be viewed at BYC Comes with beach trolley, one sail, mast, boom, foils and rigging. All in good condition.

$1000 ONO Contact Chris on 0416192861


re you an Imperialist? I know I am. When it comes to buying nuts and bolts for your boat, what system do you chose? Metric or Imperial? It used to be that Imperial sized hardware was all you could buy. 5/32, 3/16, 1/4 inch were the standard sizes for your average dinghy. Now metric is just as common, if not more so.

The imperial sizes are close to the standard metric sizes of 4mm, 5mm and 6mm, as the table below shows. And usually a fitting from the well-known brands will have pre -drilled holes to suit either standard. But you can’t mix them. If you accidentally try to fit a 3/16 nut onto a 5mm bolt, it may slip on easily to start with. But it quickly starts tightening up and if you keep going you will ruin the thread on both. Because, sure enough, the threads have a different ‘pitch’. And when it comes to drilling holes in your own hull or mast, if the hole is a bit too big for the fitting it could come lose prematurely. But it doesn’t just stop at the nuts and bolts. You’ve also got to think about the drill bits and spanners. Those imperial drill bit sets and spanner sets in your hardware store are being superseded by metric as well. So you may be thinking you should go with the metric system of measurement because it’s the trend, the way of the future since it was introduced in Australia since 1970. But then if you go to buy the regular self-tapping stainless steel screws for those fittings that can’t be bolted on, you will find they only come lengths measured in inches, and widths measured in old-fashioned ‘gauge’. The same goes for poprivets. Whether its marine grade stainless steel, aluminium or monel (nickel alloy), pop rivets come in imperial. A while ago I started buying boxes of nuts, bolts, washers and screws from online suppliers in sizes that I most frequently use. Its handy having spares and saves those frequent visits to the chandlery. It’s been imperial sizing all the way for me. Standardise where you can, and you’ve got one less decision to make when you’re fitting out or maintaining your boat.

Imperial (Inches)

Metric (mm)







Autumn 2017  

Summer-Autumn issue of the Beaumaris Yacht Club magazine.

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