As your IACA editor isn't on site for another week, I asked Bob Griffits to do us some pre Aussie Nationals talk, but I know that will cost me beers....
The sailors and their boats have started arriving at the Hervey Bay Sailing Club. Dave Shaw and Daniel Phillpot have been there for the best part of a week, and they were recently joined by Jean-Louis Le Coq, from France. There has been a steady stream of boat trailers bearing registration plates from the southern states of Australia , making an entrance.
At latitude 25:24 degrees south, it is but a mere 140 nautical miles south of the Tropic of Capricorn, and it has a distinct tropical feel . The humidity is up, and the daytime temperatures are in the low 30’s. The sea temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius. Don’t worry, it is at the Southern extremity of the cyclone belt, and they do not happen to after Christmas. There will not be a repeat of the Islamorada World’s. You will probably not need anything warmer than a tee shirt, but bring plenty of sunscreen.
The HBSC team have been extremely welcoming, efficient , and organised. The car park was being transformed into a boat compound by the volunteers last Monday. The Australian Championship will commence next Monday on November 12, with the two discrete fleets of the foilers and Classic boats.
Glenn Ashby and his fellow Team New Zealand sailors Pete Burling and Blair Tuke have been in training at Glenn’s home club of McCrae, on Port Phillip Bay . They were joined in training by Mark Bulka , also from the McCrae Club. Mark has previously excelled in both Etchells yachts and the International Contender dinghies, and his tall height is going to add plenty of righting moment to his A cat. A little further north at the Steve Brewin Sailing Club at Lake Macquarie, Steve Brewin, Darren Bundock, Mark Johnson, Andrew Williams and Simon Nelson have also been hard at work (sailing work that is).
The NSW State Titles were held two weeks ago at Vincentia , at the beautiful Jervis Bay, on the NSW South Coast. The winds were moderate to fresh, with crystal clear blue skies on the Saturday, with more subdued overcast skies on the Sunday. Additional entertainment was provided by a couple of Humpback whom stopped in for a bit of a rest from their southern migration back to Antartica. Steve Brewin won the event from Andrew Williams, with Mark Griffith in third place. Although Brewin easily won the event , he did not have things entirely his own way, and three other skippers took out a race each in the 8 race series.
The perennially affable Andrew Williams had his foiler singing, using the shorter mast rig configuration. Andrew will be another man to watch at the Hervey Bay Championships.