Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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.

NaiadBIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82

Related Articles

29er Worlds - Damage control on first day of Finals in Medemblik
It was about damage control on the first day of the final series of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik It was about damage control on the first day of the final series of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik, Netherlands. Gwendal Nael and Lilian Mercier from France won this game and have taken over the lead, followed by their fellow countrymen Benjamin Jaffrezic and Chauvel.
Posted today at 11:40 am
RS Feva Worlds – Brits dominate top 10 after Day 4
The sun and thermal breeze arrived late but turned out for a glorious day on the water. It was a guilt edged day after a ‘not so promising’ start at the 2016 PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds in Santander. The sun and thermal breeze arrived late but turned out for a glorious day on the water. Race 2 of the final series (i.e. first race of Thursday) was set off in a very gently building seven – nine knots
Posted today at 7:38 am
Tight battle for top spots on penultimate day of the OK Dinghy Worlds
Race seven got away under black flag with a pin end bias allowing those that end to tack and cross the fleet. Race seven got away under black flag with a pin end bias allowing those that end to tack and cross the fleet. First out was Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) and Mats Caap (SWE). Caap led around the top mark, but Hansson-Mild took the lead offwind and led to the finish to find his sail number on the black board for a black flag starting penalty, along with five others.
Posted on 28 Jul
Jake Lilley bridges the experience gap as he prepares for Rio Olympics
Lilley is one of the tallest and heaviest Finn sailors in Rio, but also, at just 23 years old, one of the youngest. An intensely physical sailor Lilley stands head and shoulders over most of the fleet and is beginning to show some of his huge potential on the racecourse, with several top results in the past year.
Posted on 28 Jul
RS Championships at Travemunder Woche + Video
Several of the UK travellers had horrendous travelling tales, such as 18 hours to go five miles approaching Dover port. Our RS100 sailor from Australia had actually had a shorter travelling time than some! Hats off to the guys who showed real character and perseverence through such horrible journeys. Once here, everyone relaxed into the 30 degree sunshine and the amazing festival that is Travemunder Woche.
Posted on 28 Jul
SAP 505 Nationals and Pre Worlds - Smith and Needham make early charge
Andy Smith and Tim Needham, carried form shown in winning Keil Week last month into first two races of 505 UK Nationals The UK duo, Andy Smith and Tim Needham, carried the form shown in winning Keil Week last month into the first two races of the 505 UK National Championships.
Posted on 28 Jul
Over 600 sailors from 43 nations to participate in Laser Youth Worlds
To support the top-class sailing events, the government of Schleswig-Holstein has confirmed to provide financial means To support the top-class sailing events, the government of Schleswig-Holstein has confirmed to provide financial means in 2016 and 2017. This aid money can help to bring top events to Schleswig-Holstein.
Posted on 27 Jul
29er Worlds - Team Postma/Bramervaer wins opening day in Medemblik
Dutchmen Lars Postma and Quinten Bramervaer won the opening day of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik, Netherlands. Dutchmen Lars Postma and Quinten Bramervaer won the opening day of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik. They are leading after three races on Monday July 25, on equal points with the 2015 Optimist World Champion Rok Verderber and his crew Klemen Semelbauer from Slovenia. The Australians Tom Crockett and Harry Morton are in third position, also on equal points with the numbers four and five.
Posted on 26 Jul
KBC Laser Radial Youth & Men’s Worlds - Shifty start on Dublin Bay
Shifting winds, general recalls, black flag penalties and one abandoned race led to a drama–filled opening day Shifting winds, general recalls, black flag penalties and one abandoned race led to a drama–filled opening day at the 48–nation KBC Laser Radial Youth and Men’s World Championship on Dublin Bay. Ireland, Croatia, USA and the Cayman Islands were four countries that made the most of the day's sub ten–knot breezes, each winning a race in their respective divisions of the 229–boat boys fleet.
Posted on 26 Jul
World of Sailing in review - July 2016 edition - Round the Island Race
World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race (around the Isle of Wight) and preview several personalities and aspects of the upcoming Rio Olympics
Posted on 25 Jul