Please select your home edition
Edition
Musto AUS 2017 728x90 2

Hart Marine Championships - Jackson receives standing ovation

by Chris Jackson on 4 Feb 2014
Principal Race Officer receives standing ovation from over 1000 people for regatta success - Hart Marine International Optimist Australian and Open Championships 2014 Peter Barker http://www.skypics.com.au
At the Hart Marine International Optimist Australian and Open Championships, Principal Race Officer Chris Jackson received a standing ovation from around 1000 people attending the Presentation Night at Mornington Yacht Club in early January. Chris led a team of 150 volunteers from several clubs who delivered an outstanding regatta for 350 young Optimist sailors and their families.

In January 2012, Chris Jackson and Greg Sharman drove out of Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Their children had just completed the Australian Optimist Championships, and although they faced the long drive home, back to Melbourne, they decided then and there that they would bid to host the very same event in two years’ time.

Little did these two know, but what they set in motion that day would turn out to be the largest single-class event ever held in the Southern Hemisphere, and herald a new milestone in junior sailing in Australia.

At the time of their bid, they knew that success would depend on ensuring the sailors and their families had a sensational experience. Once they had won it, they knew they would need to engage all of the clubs members to deliver this.

Not only were there 350 competitors at the event, but over 500 family members and supporters, 150 volunteers, and 100 support boats.

For the first time at an Optimist Nationals, three different levels of sailing were provided, offering a fun, competitive environment that anyone could participate in, they included:

- Open Fleet, which uses the full International Optimist Dinghy Association Class Rules and ISAF Rules, catering for the ‘hot shots’ of Australian junior sailing
- Intermediate Fleet, which was the same format as the Open Fleet, but with a lower wind limit, catering for anyone who didn’t want to sail in the Open Fleet
- Green Fleet, which used the ISAF Introductory Rules, and provided on water coaching support to sailors to help the get around the course and sail in an environment that focused on participation and fun rather than results.
Events of this magnitude cannot operate without the help and support of volunteers, and at Mornington, there were plenty, not just from Mornington members but neighbouring clubs which include: Davey’s Bay, Frankston, Mt Martha and Safety Beach.

Over 150 volunteers donated their time, experience and expertise to the event. Led by Chris Jackson as Principal Race Officer, over 8000 volunteer hours were given to the event. Even former Commodores undertook duties as varied as car park attending, to rubbish bin emptying. In fact, volunteers could have been seen at 1 a.m. moving coach and support boats around Mornington harbour to ensure that equipment wasn’t damaged.

When you have over 1000 people in the one place, catering for the needs of such a large number could be quite daunting. However, Mornington’s focus on family involvement and customer satisfaction was clear.

What is usually a hard stand for Etchells and trailer sailors was transformed into a 300m2 marquee, which served as the hub of activity for the event providing:

- A competitor services desk for help with everything
- A toy and colouring in section for young siblings of sailors
- A ‘gear locker’ manned by club volunteers, with all proceeds going towards funding a junior clubhouse
- A bar for mum and dad (as well as volunteers!) to wind down at the end of the day
- A walk-through boat wash that sailors could walk their fully rigged Optis through
- A coffee van and kiosk serving great hamburgers (a major talking point around the boat park).
The boat park was buzzing with how successful these facilities were during one of the days with a long postponement!

There is a saying from sailing author Stuart Walker that states, ‘fifty million Frenchman can’t be wrong’. When the Event Organiser and PRO get a standing ovation from around 1000 people at the presentation function, then you can be pretty sure that the mob has spoken.

With the Australian Optimist Championships and Australian Youth Championships being hosted at Fremantle Sailing Club in January 2015, the benchmark has been set for future major junior and youth regattas.

Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Yachtspot J Boats Sportsboats 660x82Beneteau SAIL Oceanis 35.1 37.1 41.1 660x82 1

Related Articles

Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominees announced
World Sailing, the international federation for the sport, and Rolex are proud to announce a diverse lineup of nominees The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards is the most prestigious award of recognition in the dynamic sport of sailing. Since the awards' inception in 1994, the trophy has proudly accumulated the names of those who have demonstrated unparalleled, performance, endurance and accomplishment in sailing.
Posted on 21 Sep
Laser Standard Men's World Championships – Day 6
Although there was no racing, the bonus was that celebrations could begin straight away for 27-year-old Pavlos Kontides The islands around Split were reporting various wind directions after the storm and significantly, the forecasted north westerly had not developed by the 14:00, the latest launching time to achieve a start before the final warning signal cut off. At the final start time, there was zero wind.
Posted on 19 Sep
Laser World Championship - Australian duo jostle for podium finishes
The competitive camaraderie between two of Australia’s finest sailors will reach another peak tonight The competitive camaraderie between two of Australia’s finest sailors will reach another peak tonight when Rio Olympic Gold medalist Tom Burton and recent World No.1 Matthew Wearn battle out the final stages of the 2017 Laser World Championship at Split in Croatia.
Posted on 19 Sep
Laser Standard Men's Worlds - Day 5 - Another champagne sailing day
Fears of wind coming from all directions on Day 2 of ‘Finals’ at Laser Standard Men’s World Championships were unfounded Fears of wind coming from all directions on the second day of ‘Finals’ at the Laser Standard Men’s World Championships were unfounded when a westerly breeze developed just after noon. All three fleets were sent afloat to another new course area three miles from Split harbor in front of island ?iovo. In the gold fleet, three races were completed.
Posted on 19 Sep
Laser Worlds - Electrical storm and light airs set scene for Day 4
The weather changed again for the first day of Final Series racing in the Laser Standard Men's World Championship The weather changed again for the first day of Final Series racing in the Laser Standard Men's World Championship in Split, Croatia. The start of racing was delayed to wait for an impressive electric storm with golf ball sized hail to pass over the city.
Posted on 18 Sep
The Star shines brightly at the end of the Bart's Bash rainbow
The fourth year of the world's largest sailing event got off to a terrific start in New Zealand at the Whangaruru SC. When asked about the age range of the sailors, their sailing ability and the types of boats that were out sailing today, Pete confirmed that, yet again, this annual sailing fest attracted sailors from across the generations competing in Oppies, Lasers, RS Fevers, Toppers, Foiling Nacra 17s, Venture Keelboats, 29ers and even a couple of Foiling Moths
Posted on 17 Sep
Laser Worlds - Big breeze and fast rides on Day 3 in Croatia
The final day of qualifiers in Split, Croatia delivered the promised 20-knot southeasterly wind, gusting up to 27 knots The final day of qualifiers in Split, Croatia delivered the promised 20-knot southeasterly wind, gusting up to 27 knots and giving great surfing conditions downwind with a tough workout upwind. If there were any doubts that Laser sailing is not athletic, they were quelled today watching the world's best battle of skill in three back-to-back races.
Posted on 17 Sep
Nine changes in the top ten on Day 2 of the ILCA Standard Men's Worlds
The single race held at the end of the second day, after a delayed start, was worth waiting for. The single race held at the end of the second day, after a delayed start, was worth waiting for. The race committee expected light wind today and last night postponed the scheduled start by two hours. On arrival at the boat park a further three-hour postponement was needed as the gradient wind was completely neutralized by a feeble sea breeze thermal wind.
Posted on 16 Sep
Laser Standard Men’s World Championship – Day 1
Total entry list is divided daily into three equal fleets, all racing two races a day in a three day qualifying series At the opening press conference, in Split, Croatia, the 2016 Olympic Gold and Silver medal winners predicted a tough championship with any one of 30 sailors capable of scoring a top five place in the 147 strong fleet from 52 countries. Australian Tom Burton and local sailor Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia proved the reasons for their predictions...
Posted on 15 Sep
Teamwork a key to Australia's Laser prosperity
Australian Laser class Coach Michael Blackburn credits a strong sense of camaraderie within national team for success. Australian Laser class Coach Michael Blackburn credits a strong sense of camaraderie within the national team for its enduring success. Australia will enter the Laser World Championship at Split, Croatia, this week seeking to extend its proud history in the class, which includes back-to-back Olympic Gold medals at the past two Games.
Posted on 14 Sep