Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Americas Cup- A visit to Ravensbourne

by Colin Preston on 2 Mar 2012
Ravensbourne Boating Club on right of pic with view up to Dunedin Colin Preston

Ravensbourne Boating Club, on the shores of Otago Harbour, Dunedin, was Russell Coutts training headquarters in his P class days before moving to Auckland, and winning gold at the 1984 Olympics.

Crossing the railway tracks to meet club commodore Warwick Graham, the blustery conditions had cancelled the Optimist training plus 29er and Z Class racing for today. The same happened the previous week with the cold dense breeze producing more guts than further north says Graham. Learn to sail and race sessions regularly take place most Sundays to keep the new blood flowing through the club.

Manoeuvring boats across the Port Chalmers freight train tracks has been a regular occurrence for many years, with the access walk bridge needing to be raised recently following track maintenance.


The club formed in 1896 and its current membership of 44 has some big modifications planned to boost its growth into the 21st century. With six 29ers, two 49ers, 10 Optimists, four Z Class, etc. the club is well equipped to get budding new sailors out racing on the water. The Z class built for the younger sailor tends to attract the ‘masters’ age group to their races providing good competition with this years South Island Z Class Champs, due to have sailed the weekend before, one good days racing and the second day lost due to 30 knot southerlies.

As well as the regular roaring forties winds to contend with, sailors must negotiate a man made obstacle beneath the waves. Built by the early settlers and running part of the length of Otago Harbour is a rock wall to force a channel up the western side of the harbour for shipping into Dunedin.


The downside is having a menacing underwater brake waiting to smash any wayward boat appendages should they misjudge its location. Warwick could tell many tales of destroyed centreboard cases and broken boats that have hit it over the years from racers trying to capitalise on as much free water to beat their competition. With the wall to avoid, most sailing is done on the southern side of the wall, with sailors needing to navigate through a small gap in the wall just east of the clubrooms.

It would be interesting to watch an AC45 manoeuvre in this challenging harbour and one shudders at the thought of those carbon fibre rocket ships hitting the wall, so best keep them in safe open waters. But the likelihood of a visit from one these latest challenging designs from the Coutts list of achievements will never be on the agenda.


Similarly the America's Cup may never get another chance to be seen in the club - with its sole hope of that happening being dashed by a protester armed with a sledgehammer. Warwick tells how Russell had organised to bring the Cup to the Dunedin club in 1997 - only for it to be destroyed the day before the planned flight south.

Despite this bad luck, Russell donated his America's Cup winning medal to the club where it is on display amongst the many other club trophies. Likewise his name is displayed on the club wall being a reminder to all members of his origins with the club, and they would welcome a visit from Russell in future.

http://www.ravensbourne.co.nz/







InSunSport - NZNaiadNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

America’s Cup World Series – More final day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted today at 11:37 am
America’s Cup World Series – Final race day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted today at 11:21 am
PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds - Practice and opening day
164 boats completed registration and had their practice race just out of the harbour entrance in front of the city beach 2016 PA Consulting/Allen RS Feva World Championship - It’s officially Fiesta Week in Santander! Oh yes, in addition to the traditional massive fair and circus and two public holidays this week there is this year the RS Feva Worlds. 164 boats completed registration and had their practice race just out of the harbour entrance in front of the city beach.
Posted today at 7:13 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - And not a lot of people know that...
As well as bearing a remarkable resemblance to Michael Caine, RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine leads an extra-ordinary life. 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - As well as bearing a remarkable resemblance to Michael Caine, RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine leads an extra-ordinary life.
Posted today at 6:11 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - France sets the pace on Day 1
Competitors from south side of English Channel have upper hand after the opening day of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Competitors from the south side of the English Channel have the upper hand after the opening day of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.
Posted today at 5:00 am
Sundrenched Quiberon heralds great start to OK Dinghy World Champs
The European heat wave shows no sign of letting up as more than 100 OK Dinghy sailors made their final preparations 2016 OK Dinghy World Championship - The European heat wave shows no sign of letting up as more than 100 OK Dinghy sailors made their final preparations for the start of the 2016 OK Dinghy World Championship, which was opened today in sunny Saint-Pierre Quiberon.
Posted today at 3:05 am
LV America’s Cup World Series – Big Ben takes a big win in Portsmouth
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to present the awards and it was a fitting end to an amazing weekend. It really was Super Sunday for Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR whose second place in the last of Sunday’s three races gave them the overall regatta win at the Portsmouth event.
Posted on 24 Jul
America's Cup World Series - Big win for Big Ben in Portsmouth
A Royal handshake, a big yellow spot, personalised LV handbags and the adulation of the home crowd You’ve heard the news – for British sailing fans it was a big day in Portsmouth at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series as Sir Ben Ainslie and Team Land Rover BAR scored a bullet and two second places against Team Oracle USA’s second and two firsts to take the ‘regatta’ and climb to the top of the LVACWS leaderboard overall.
Posted on 24 Jul
America's Cup World Series – Two win day closes the gap on leaderboard
Oracle Team USA opened Super Sunday with a second place finish and followed it up with two race victories Oracle Team USA opened Super Sunday with a second place finish and followed it up with two race victories to close within just one point of the winning home team.
Posted on 24 Jul
Transat Québec Saint-Malo – A battle from start to finish
After a quick transatlantic race time of 12 days, two hours and 24 minutes, team Imerys crossed the St Malo finish line. The 3000nm downwind adventure from Quebec City to St Malo proved seven days faster than May's 3000nm upwind Transat bakerly from Plymouth to New York.
Posted on 24 Jul