Sail-World nominated sailing journalist Ian (Stripey) Grant, for the Yachting Australia Media award in 2001-2002 and so we were very pleased to see him win a posthumous Lifetime Achievement award, along with an alive Syd Fischer at the 2013 Yachting Australia Yachting awards.
One of our fondest memory of Stripey was during the 2000 Olympics when he was caught short, ahead of a radio broadcast to 90+ radio stations, for Sail-World , so he reported, with that familiar radio style from the Sail-World static head in Sydney and yes there was the sound of rushing water and some echo.
Onto the mainstream, as expected, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan's perfect 470 regatta record made them 2013 Australian Male Sailors of the Years.
Heading into the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne, Mat Belcher has won 17 regattas in a row. Unsurprisingly the plaudits are flowing.
This new combination were rewarded for their domination of the 470 Class winning a total of nine regattas including the ISAF World and European Championships, three ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas and a number of other national and regional championships.
Heading into Summer with the 18 footers - After last Sunday's strong winds which lashed Sydney Harbour on the opening day of the Australian 18 Footers League's 2013-2014 Season, yesterday's Race 2 of the 18ft Skiffs 3-Buoys Challenge was sailed in near perfect conditions.
Sailing offshore gives you a different perspective, but over the last week, the views from Newcastle to Sydney waters have been not what we have wanted to see. Unseasonably hot and dry conditions and bushfires the worst in decades reminded us of the start of the Pittwater to Coffs race in 2002.
That was the year that Sean Langman's 60 foot skiff Xena-Grundig repeated her effort of 2000 -- retiring from the Sydney to Hobart and taking the northerly race.
Over the weekend Sail-World was on hand to see another great result from Langman and crew, the following is an uncut report from Sail-World News Zealand's Richard Gladwell.
‘We were on the water relatively early morning yesterday to catch the ORMA 60 Team Australia arriving in Auckland, and setting a new, provisional record for the Sydney to Auckland Trans-Tasman crossing of 2 days, 19 hrs. 2 mins and 45 secs to cover the 1260nm course.
‘When skipper Sean Langman talked of doing the trip in under three days, prior to leaving Sydney, many thought he was being a little ambitious - a characteristic not unknown in those from the Western Island. However Langman and his crew more than delivered on their predictions.
‘Seeing Team Australia in the early morning light was an impressive experience, sailing at speeds we recorded of around 20kts, and occasionally flying her main hull, she seems to be very fast - aided by a big rig and massive Doyles mainsail.
‘Next Friday, Team Australia resumes their battle with her New Zealand counterpart, Simon Hull's ORMA 60, TeamVodafoneSailing. They have met previously, with the Australian having the better of the four encounters in Australian waters. (At Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012)
‘The race north in the PIC Coastal Classic promises to be an interesting one – with the two ORMA 60's going head to head to try and beat each other and the race record of 5hr 41m 44s.'
Western Island indeed, methinks sometimes we cut those bloody Kiwis too much slack, but we will forgive Gladwell this week. Sail-World New Zealand was the 57th most visited website in the Eastern Islands last week... we are easily the most popular single sports website over there.
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