Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Nathan returns to wonderful Wangi to inspire Sabot kids

by Peter McIntosh on 14 Mar 2011
Nathan Outteridge learnt to sail in this Sabot - now named Grace - Wangi Sabot Training Camp Peter McIntosh
A little over 20 years ago a young fellow by the name of Nathan hopped into a Sabot for the first time at Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club on the western shores of beautiful Lake Macquarie.

Last weekend the now Australian Olympian sailor returned to his first club to inspire a new generation of NSW Central Coast sailors.

Double World Champion Nathan Outteridge had his audience of 68 youngsters and their parents spellbound. He spoke about the mix of spectacular success and tough disappointments, the thrill of travelling to exotic countries to compete, a harrowing fightback from the edge of permanent disability after a car accident and he showed thrilling video of his most recent triumph, when he claimed a world title in Moths further up the lake from Wangi at Belmont.

Nathan was special surprise guest at a two-day Sabot training and development camp where his first Sabot Over and Out is still in use but now named Grace.

That title `Grace’ could well be a fitting one for one of his current collection of boats as there was plenty of grace about the way the Olympic sailor gave generously of his time at the little lakeside club where it all began. He fielded question after question from eager kids, many of whom may not have noticed on the walls of the clubhouse memorabilia celebrating his rise to the top of the sport.

Like the picture of Nathan and Ben Austin in action when they won the 49er worlds in 2008. And the framed flag signed by the Australian Olympic sailing team that he took to Beijing that same year as a 49er rep.

And grace was also a word that came to mind as Nathan described his battle to recover after shattering vertebrae in a car accident in 2005. `At one point I was completely dead and was resuscitated,’’ he said. (see separate story).

Wangi was also the club where his long-time 49er partner Ian Jensen also sailed a Sabot – there must be something in the water at Wangi Wangi.

The weekend Sabot training camp, organised by junior club captain Warwick Fatches and his wife Donna, was nothing short of a huge success.

`It’s been brilliant, we expected about 20 to participate and here we have 68,’’ said volunteer Michelle Russell.

The camp’s blueprint for success could no doubt be distilled to two vital ingredients - fun and affordability. The fun came in the form of the sleepover in the clubhouse for the kids with a big screen video to watch, the treasure hunts, the beach volleyball and early morning doughnut rides on the lake, not to mention the sailing.



The affordability was delivered thanks to the Northern NSW Sabot Sailing Association footing the bill for a band of qualified instructors, allowing the club itself to charge only $10 a head for participation (including lunch and brekkie). Really there was no better deal this side of the equator that weekend.

When it was realised a few weeks earlier that interest in the camp was so strong the organisers bunged on extra instructors, ordered stacks more snags, bacon and eggs and prayed for good conditions. It turned out to be heaven sent, starting with sunny skies and a friendly 10 knot nor-easterlie for the vast majority of relative newcomers and finishing with a testing 15knots for the more advanced sailors.

The coaching team was led by former Sabot champion Lauren Jeffries, whose history also includes sailing with Nathan to finish second at a world 29ers, and Nathan’s sister Haylee, who finished third at the same worlds event. They were ably assisted by Gosford Sailing School instructors Jessica McIntosh and Eliza Hansen. Another novelty at the camp was the use of helmet and mast cams to record some of the action.

`This club was built on junior and Sabot sailing,’’ Michelle said. `It’s what it’s all about and what keeps the club alive.’’

`This is a nurturing ground for sailing. We don’t push children to be elite sailors but opportunities are there for those who want to take them.



To facilitate this the club has club boats and equipment, including some sailing wetsuits and boots for those without, and has even established a scholarship to help the odd especially worthy kid get involved in a sport he or she might otherwise miss out on.

This nurturing policy has attracted learn to sail kids from far and wide and up to 50 juniors are on the water each Saturday. ``Nathan was nurtured here too,’’ said Michelle. ``He went on to high level sailing with great parental support. He now has a sense of ownership of the club he started off in and he’s also a great guy, coming back to inspire these kids.’’

Today’s crop includes Michelle’s daughter Kimberley, 12. She has sailing in Sabots since aged 10 and as crew for her dad Shane is now a NSW champion in NACRA 5.8s and nationals runner-up.

``But by starting her off in Sabots, steering, it gives her the tactical skills she wouldn’t develop so much of as a crew,’’ said Michelle. It looks very much like the Sabot class, on Lake Macquarie at least, is in good hands.








Note: Additional images of the weekend will be posted on www.ouraniaimages.com.au in coming days.

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring One DesignWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Teams step up and claim the coveted titles on final day of 420 Worlds
The transition from the light winds to big breeze and waves, turned up the heat and pitched new faces to the front. Medal deciding day on Saturday 23 July, and the breeze ramped up in a final test for teams, just to make sure the medallists rising to the front were truly challenged across all conditions.
Posted on 24 Jul
Stage set for nail biting final at 420 World Championships
Patience earlier in the week turned to raw energy out on the race track on Day 5 in Sanremo as the breeze kicked in 420 World Championships - Patience earlier in the week turned to raw energy out on the race track on Championship Day 5 in Sanremo as the breeze kicked in. A forerunner to what looks likely to be epic 'big breeze' conditions tomorrow.
Posted on 23 Jul
Harkers Island Regatta draws 51 Sunfish for three-day sailing event
The crowd cajoled and hooted around a ten-foot circle, each hoping their chosen crab would cross the finish line first. And…they’re off! Not the boats, the crabs! The crowd cajoled and hooted around a ten-foot circle, each hoping their chosen crab would cross the finish line first. Thus began the racing on a historic island off the coast of central North Carolina.
Posted on 22 Jul
55 boats from 11 Nations already entered for RS Aero Europeans
With many sailors from across Europe and the World having not yet met, the form guide remains wide open. With many sailors from across Europe and the World having not yet met, the form guide remains wide open. This leaves potential event leaders hard to pick, however, here is a short summary of those with form so far this season.
Posted on 21 Jul
420 World Championships - Gold and Silver fleet splits decided
The priority on race day three at the 2016 420 World Championships in Sanremo was to get the qualification stage 2016 420 World Championships - The priority on race day three at the 2016 420 World Championships in Sanremo was to get the qualification stage wrapped up for the 420 Open and 420 Ladies fleets, and confirm the teams advancing to the gold and silver splits for the six race final series.
Posted on 21 Jul
Rio 2016 – Olympic dreams run in the family for Deniss Karpak
For Karpak, Olympic ambitions are more than a singlehanded drive for the gold. For him it is very much a family affair. For Deniss Karpak (EST), his Olympic Finn ambitions are more than a singlehanded drive for the gold. For him it is very much a family affair. While his mother, Marina, is the team manager, his father Igor is the head coach. They travel with him everywhere, working together as a very tight unit, but also making sure it is fun along the way.
Posted on 20 Jul
RS Aero USA Atlantic Coast Championship at the Newport Regatta
The inaugural championship at the Newport Regatta, Rhode Island was a successful event with 17 RS Aeros in total! The inaugural championship at the Newport Regatta, Rhode Island was a successful event with 17 RS Aeros in total! A clinic on Friday gave 10 attendees a chance to get to know each other, share rigging/sailing tips, and dust off the cobwebs with practice starts and even a few practice races.
Posted on 18 Jul
2016 Lightning Atlantic Coast Championship at Carolina Yacht Club
This weekend the International Lightning Class held their Atlantic Coast Championship on waters off Wrightsville Beach. The event began with Greg Fisher (College of Charleston, Director of Sailing) and Brian Hayes (North Sails One Design) leading a clinic for the early arriving teams. These clinics, know to the class as Lightning Labs, are very intuitive seminars directed at performance in the Lightning.
Posted on 18 Jul
Pieter-Jan Postma ready for a big Finn fight in Rio 2016
He wants a medal, but he knows that it will be a big fight on the water to achieve that dream. Since 2012 he has had, as usual, some ups and downs, but over the last 12 months he has most definitely been on the up.
Posted on 18 Jul
So What's Special About September?
Our sailing holidays in Vassiliki are now completely full until August 28th but there is plenty going on in September. Our sailing holidays in Vassiliki are now completely full until August 28th but there is plenty going on in September and we still have spaces most weeks.
Posted on 18 Jul