Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

A-Cats – John Cootes supports sailing

by 2012 John Cootes Furniture A-Cats Titles media on 8 Jan 2012
John Cootes © .
Competing at the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Catamaran Championship fleet, sailed out of Wangi Amateur Sailing Club, was a snowy haired 71 year old sailor, John Cootes, an Australian sportsman who made history.

An avid catamaran sailor, Cootes sponsored the 2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships and we talked to him before sailing yesterday.

‘When I was in high school I played Rugby League with the Marist Brothers in Hamilton, Newcastle and I also had a chance to play at the university when I was studying (for the Priesthood) in Rome, playing Rugby Union with the college team. I was spotted by the local Lazio Rugby Team, the Roman team. They asked the Rector if I could play for them.

‘That's basically how I got the start back in Australia because Frank Hyde, the well known rugby league commentator, had been over to the World Cup in England with his tour and came back through Rome, he was a devout Catholic, and we got in touch with him and invited him to one of our college games and I think I scored about five tries that game and he was rather impressed.

‘When he was invited to speak at the Western Suburbs Club in Newcastle he asked if this young priest who had returned from Rome could come and hear him. Frank gave me such a great rap that the club actually approached my superior, the Bishop, and asked if I could play in the local competition. That's how it all started.

Father John Cootes became the first Roman Catholic priest to play international rugby league. He played for Australia as a three-quarter in 1969 and 1970.

Cootes eventually left the priesthood to marry and after retiring from football, Cootes enjoyed a long and successful media career, becoming a sports commentator for Channel 10. From 1979-1983 he was the host of Channel 10's Saturday Night Live programme. He started a successful furniture store chain in the 1980’s.

‘At Channel Ten in Sydney, we kicked off Eye Witness News. It seems I had quite a high profile and a cousin of mine and I met a beautiful old gentleman who was just about to retire and he offered to finance us into his business and that's how we started.

‘I had a Hobie 14 which I just loved. I bought it because I used to surf a lot and when I found out they have a boat that actually surfs the waves, I said I have got to have one. That's how I started the Hobie 14s and came across some good friends like Curly Corlett, who is still associated with Hobie, and learned a great deal from him.

‘Then unfortunately because of the business commitments I was unable to continue, that was a seven day a week job.

‘Lately I have become a little bit more free with my time and I’ve delegated wisely and that allowed me to get back on the water.

‘Actually I was sitting on the porch at my house in Marks Point (Lake Macquarie) when they had the Worlds in Belmont Bay in 2009 and I guess when I had sailed the Hobies I had seen this incredible looking A Class catamaran on the water. Way back in those days, I thought if ever I get the chance …. that's when it went on the bucket list.

‘When the Worlds came up I couldn’t help it, I had got to try the A-Cat. Fortunately I bumped into Glenn Ashby on the shore and he said ‘John I have a boat I can sell you.’

‘He had leased it to Manuel Calavia, a young Spaniard, so I finished up with Manuel’s boat and I loved it - I loved it as soon as I got onboard.




‘It’s a great lake boat and this is a great spot for it. We are so lucky to have this lake at our doorstep.

‘When I bought the boat, I had no idea how to rig it and I called Bob Fussel and said ‘who is someone that can teach me?’ Bob said call this young fellow. It was Nathan Outteridge - Nathan was my first coach. What a great start. He was great.

‘When I sailed the Hobie I was with the Speers Point Club but I was really impressed with the camaraderie and the ethos of the club and I find this is true right through the whole sailing world. That impresses me and I appreciate more and more the camaraderie and just the atmosphere around a sailing club.

‘Although I am 71 I have always been a sports nut and always tried to stay fit. I learnt that from the footy days. I just like to be fit and I know the fitter I am the better I will sail and the fitter I am the longer I will be able to sail - that's the philosophy.

‘I cycle and swim. They are the main things and I still do a bit of upper body work in the gym although it didn’t serve me too well this week because I am sporting a bit of a tear of the biceps at the moment, but I am hoping to remedy that with a bit more upper body work in the gym.

‘Sailing is very cerebral I have found as well. That's another challenge I enjoy. I think I am reasonably intelligent and it is a challenge but it is exciting and it’s fun and stimulating.

‘I really enjoy the A-Cats and just how everyone is being really supportive

‘I love the sport. I love the people involved and I have gotten a great deal of enjoyment out of it. I have been very fortunate being successful in business and I am more than happy to encourage the sport itself, the people involved and especially the younger generation (hence the sponsorship of the event.)

‘I just think if people can enjoy this as much as I do and I can help the sailors to get there, then I have done my bit for the sport.‘

www.a-cat.org.au

http://www.johncootesfurniture.com.au/


Zhik ZKG 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

Downwind trapezing on the A Class Cat - The Drum
Glenn Ashby so often sails away from the A–Cat fleet downwind, he explains why. The new boats don’t seem to pay a huge penalty if you trapeze. With the curve boards the faster you go the more they lift so the more the boat unweights. You are sailing faster but because the boat has got slightly less wetted surface area your apparent (wind angle) goes forward and you end up sailing in roughly the same depth as what you do when you are sitting in, or very close to it anyway.
Posted on 11 Jan 2012
Downwind trapezing on the A Class Cat - The Drum
Glenn Ashby so often sails away from the A–Cat fleet downwind, he explains why. The new boats don’t seem to pay a huge penalty if you trapeze. With the curve boards the faster you go the more they lift so the more the boat unweights. You are sailing faster but because the boat has got slightly less wetted surface area your apparent (wind angle) goes forward and you end up sailing in roughly the same depth as what you do when you are sitting in, or very close to it anyway.
Posted on 11 Jan 2012
A-Cats and multihull development
The A Class is great for really honing your skills for sailing on the bigger multihulls. ‘The A Class is great for really honing your skills for sailing on the bigger multihulls. Everything happens at double speed on the A Class compared to what happens on an bigger boat, so learning the do’s and don’ts and what you can get away with and what you can’t is absolutely applicable to boats like the extreme 40’s, AC45’s and bigger multihulls going forward into the America’s Cup.
Posted on 8 Jan 2012
A-Cats and multihull development
The A Class is great for really honing your skills for sailing on the bigger multihulls. ‘The A Class is great for really honing your skills for sailing on the bigger multihulls. Everything happens at double speed on the A Class compared to what happens on an bigger boat, so learning the do’s and don’ts and what you can get away with and what you can’t is absolutely applicable to boats like the extreme 40’s, AC45’s and bigger multihulls going forward into the America’s Cup.
Posted on 8 Jan 2012
A-Cat Australians - High drama in last race
Glenn Ashby declared this 2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships star-studded fleet ‘the best ever' The final day of the Championships was another postcard day on Lake Macquarie, NSW. Blue sky and a light 10-12 knot sea breeze greeted competitors for the last race in the 2012 Australian Championships with the minor placings to be decided in another race of 'champions'.
Posted on 7 Jan 2012
A-Cat Australians - High drama in last race
Glenn Ashby declared this 2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships star-studded fleet ‘the best ever' The final day of the Championships was another postcard day on Lake Macquarie, NSW. Blue sky and a light 10-12 knot sea breeze greeted competitors for the last race in the 2012 Australian Championships with the minor placings to be decided in another race of 'champions'.
Posted on 7 Jan 2012
A-Cat Championships- Best fleet ever says The King
Glenn Ashby, seven times A Class Catamaran World Champion, has won the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Nationals Glenn Ashby, seven times A Class Catamaran World Champion, has won the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Australian Championships.
Posted on 6 Jan 2012
A-Cat Championships- Best fleet ever says The King
Glenn Ashby, seven times A Class Catamaran World Champion, has won the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Nationals Glenn Ashby, seven times A Class Catamaran World Champion, has won the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Australian Championships.
Posted on 6 Jan 2012
A-Cat Australians - Champions clash
The start of the first race delayed until 2pm, after Michael Clarke Australia's cricket captain reached 300 runs. The first race of day 3 at the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Australian Championships hosted by the Wangi Amateur Sailing Club was delayed until 2pm. By then the east south easterly had lifted to six knots and Australia's cricket captain Michael Clarke had reached 300 runs
Posted on 5 Jan 2012
A-Cat Australians - Champions clash
The start of the first race delayed until 2pm, after Michael Clarke Australia's cricket captain reached 300 runs. The first race of day 3 at the 2012 John Cootes Furniture A Class Australian Championships hosted by the Wangi Amateur Sailing Club was delayed until 2pm. By then the east south easterly had lifted to six knots and Australia's cricket captain Michael Clarke had reached 300 runs
Posted on 5 Jan 2012