Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

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/







Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82T Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted today at 2:51 am
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, Freides takes over
The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship featured two races under shifty conditions 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.
Posted on 27 Aug
Vendée Globe – Yann Eliès and his team relaunch 60-ft IMOCA in Lorient
Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses. Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses organised at the Finistère Ocean Racing Centre in Port-la-Forêt (Brittany). He will also take part in the Azimut Trophy. Yann Eliès tells us about the work that has been done and what lies ahead in the final part of his preparation.
Posted on 26 Aug
Vendée Globe – A long trip between France and Iceland for Heerema
After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. Thanks to this voyage from France to Iceland and back, the Dutch skipper is finding out more about No Way Back, the new generation IMOCA on which he will line up on 6th November
Posted on 26 Aug
Phoenix returns and Cayard is back for the TP52 World Championships
Richard Cohen will compete at the championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 Super Series.
Posted on 26 Aug
Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted on 25 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug