sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : SAP 505 World Championship - Veteran takes on the pros

SAP 505 World Championship - Veteran takes on the pros

'Earle Alexander - giving the young blokes a run for their money - SAP 505 World Championship'    Christophe Favreau ©

SAP 505 World Championship - Sailing is one of those sports where even at the elite level, age can be a benefit rather than a barrier, and that is the case with 67 year-old Brisbane skipper Earle Alexander, who is competing at the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship at Hamilton Island this week.

Alexander, who will turn 68 in June, and is a survivor of prostate cancer, reckons big boat yacht racing 'is for old blokes – and I’m not old enough.' That line has insulted some big name yacht racers, but Alexander doesn’t care. He wants to keep sailing the highly technical and fast 505 double-handed trapeze dinghy.

Not only is the dinghy a hard one to sail, Alexander has pitted himself against some of the world’s finest sailors, including Olympic medallists, Volvo Ocean Race crews, America’s Cup sailors and quite a few world champions from various classes, including the 505. He is currently 37th in the 85-boat fleet.

Age has not wearied this competitive sailor who, 'mucked around in Moth’s at Balmoral in Sydney where I was born.' However, university study, then his career as a mining engineer, took precedence over everything else when the sailor moved to the bush.

Eventually, he married, had children and moved his family to Mt Isa in Queensland. While living there, Alexander bought a Corsair and sailed it with his sons on the dam. A few years later, his sons grew and pursued sailing with friends.

Both Kim and his younger brother Nick won 420 double-handed sailing national titles – both with recognised Olympic campaigners of the future, Adrian Finglas and Teague Czislowski. It tells plenty about their ‘old man’s’ sailing talent.

Alexander moved to Brisbane, and in 1985, purchased his first 505 as a member of the Humpybong Yacht Club. Dave Porter and Dean Blatchford were just two of the famous names who came to help set the class up.

There were half a dozen or so 505 dinghies at the Club, which prompted the veteran sailor to buy one. He hasn’t looked back and still relishes every opportunity to sail. 'Everything in moderation though. You have to make time for your family, work and other things too,' Alexander states.

He and crew and friend of 25 years, Australian 505 president Ian Gregg, have sailed together for six years now. 'I was very ordinary for a long time. I didn’t really get it (how to sail the boat) until Ian came along,' Alexander says.

Now sailing at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Alexander admits: 'We took a quantum leap from there, because we started calibrating the rig and settings. We got a lot of help from people like Howie Hamlin (USA), Ian Pinnell (GBR) and Holger Jess (the German 505 builder and competitor).

'Those guys are the best and they’re happy to share their knowledge. Why reinvent the wheel when you can get what you need from these guys,' he asks.

An exponent of the class, Alexander says: 'I love the 505’s. They’re good in all conditions. I once sailed at Hayling Island (UK) and we got a 42 knot gust and we were still sailing along OK.

He still remembers his and Gregg’s best result, a sixth at the 2008 Nationals, also sailed at Hamilton Island. 'We won on the windiest day, and backed up for second the next day, which was also windy. I love the big weather best.'

There are some, but not so many guys still sailing dinghies and skiffs into their sixties. Alexander puts some of his fitness down to, 'eating properly and sailing as much as I can.'

When questioned, rival competitors confirm Alexander is competitive, and not just there to make up the numbers. They find him inspirational – and why wouldn’t they? These are not easy boats to sail.

'I got prostate cancer five years ago and luckily I recovered. From that, I’ve learned to be more relaxed and to stay fit; and that’s a good thing, because I travel the world as a consultant now, and I sail at different venues around the world, so relaxing and staying fit are necessary,' Alexander maintains.

When does the Queenslander see himself giving 505 sailing away? 'I don’t. I’ll do it till I fall off my perch. I’ll just take each year as it comes,' he says.

www.505sapworldchampionship2011.com/




by Di Pearson

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=81862

6:27 AM Wed 30 Mar 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011 505 World Championship

Related News Stories:

02 Apr 2011  SAP 505 World Championship happy ending - Video
01 Apr 2011  SAP 505 World Championship 2011 win to defending World Champions
01 Apr 2011  SAP 505 World Championship race 7 postponed
01 Apr 2011  SAP 505 World Championship races 5 and 6 video
31 Mar 2011  SAP 505 World Championship 2011 toughest day yet
31 Mar 2011  SAP 505 World Championship Race 5 abandoned and fleet on standby
31 Mar 2011  SAP 505 World Championship video
30 Mar 2011  SAP 505 World Championship - US and Aussies close on leaders
29 Mar 2011  SAP 505 World Championship and another 'blow out'
28 Mar 2011  SAP 505 Worlds 2011 - racing abandoned for another day
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World











America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ












Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US