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Once in a blue moon - Australia Newsletter


Once in a blue moon

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As if answering the request, this Humpback was keen to impress. - photo © John Curnow

Dear Recipient Name

Every so often you get lucky, sometimes you get really lucky and sometimes you win the lottery.'s Australian Editor John Curnow hit the jackpot last week while out with the Australian Sailing Team at Coffs Harbour Yacht Club as a Humpback whale breached right in front of him. Thankfully, John had the presence of mind not to drop his camera over the side and took the stunning photo above.

After the long hiatus John enjoyed catching up with the team's superstars such as Mat Belcher, Will Ryan, Jake Lilley and Matt Wearn, as well as the rest of the squad and coaches, but there's no doubt what was the star of the day on the water.

ALT Composities 2020 West System 1 - 300x250   GCM Mariners Diary 2020 - MPU

Back in the UK we've had a fair bit of breeze over the past week which has been much to the liking of the old-school windsurfing resurgence, including myself. I finally felt like I was hitting the groove on Saturday, rather than just hanging on for dear life. I'd almost forgotten just how much fun windsurfing can be. I borrowed a mate's GoPro for a few minutes and clipped it to the boom, but I think maybe I've lost my marbles a bit during lockdown...

Back out on the board in Christchurch Harbour - photo © Mark Jardine
Back out on the board in Christchurch Harbour - photo © Mark Jardine

As restrictions have been eased in various places around the world, sailing clubs have been grappling with the issue of how to restart racing and various other on-the-water activities while remaining within social distancing guidelines. For me it's been the challenge of resuming our junior sailing activity at Keyhaven Yacht Club. We've got a great team at the club, combined with enthusiastic and supportive parents, so I'm looking forward to our first session on Saturday. Yes, there will be changes such as bubbles, contact tracing and rigorous cleaning processes, but we're getting things under way which is a huge step that I'm very proud to be a part of.

Webasto AUS 2020 MPU 4   X-Yachts Xp38 300x250

2019 RS Feva Nationals in Abersoch - photo © Digital Sailing
2019 RS Feva Nationals in Abersoch - photo © Digital Sailing

Combating the drop-off in sailing participation is a passion of mine, and I was encouraged to read this article by RS Sailing addressing the issue. While it's clearly promoting the RS Feva, seeing that nearly 50% of fleet is made up of girls is extremely positive.

With the current rules requiring only members of the same household to sail together in a dinghy, I've spent a fair few days crewing for both my sons in a Feva in the past few weeks. The boat is just fun; simple to rig, responsive, stable and at six foot I'm still able to crew it. Reading more about the ethos within the class reinforces my opinion of the boat and that it's the right route for my boys to become lifelong sailors, if that's what they choose to do. Right now, they're loving it and - being slightly biased towards sailing - long may that continue!

Kids loving the RS Feva - photo © Mark Jardine
Kids loving the RS Feva - photo © Mark Jardine

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While New Zealand seems to have handled the Covid-19 pandemic exceptionally well, all is not well in America's Cup land, with 'informants' exited by America's Cup Events and Emirates Team New Zealand for "highly defamatory and inaccurate allegations regarding financial and structural matters against ACE, ETNZ and its personnel". Coupled with a $3million payment to a European company which appears to be a scammer's account, and the matter being placed in the hands of the international police investigators, the normally rock steady Kiwi team are reeling.

Emirates Team NZ' s AC75 Te Aihe - Auckland - July 1, 2020 - photo © Richard Gladwell /
Emirates Team NZ' s AC75 Te Aihe - Auckland - July 1, 2020 - photo © Richard Gladwell /

Ensign 2020 - Sail (Used) - July2020 MPU   FFI - Try a fifteen - 2020 600x500's New Zealand Editor Richard Gladwell is always first with reliable news and the truth as to what's going on within the America's Cup teams so you know we'll have the full story as it all unfolds.

The first America's Cup Challenger made it to Auckland as New York Yacht Club American Magic's 'Defiant' arrived. It's a significant milestone for the team and the event in these strange times. Let's hope all the teams can make it across soon and the 36th America's Cup can continue on schedule and not join the long list of postponed events.

Defiant is lowered into Auckland waters for the first time - photo © American Magic
Defiant is lowered into Auckland waters for the first time - photo © American Magic

I am receiving more and more accounts of the resurgence of grass-roots club sailing and reports from the industry that boat sales are booming. This is hugely encouraging for the sport and let's hope the trend continues. The benefits sailing provides to us all, both physically and mentally, are undeniable - so everyone please keep spreading the word!

Mark Jardine & Managing Editor

MIA 2019 300x250 2   Marine Auctions 2019 600x500

How to keep girls in our awesome sport?
It's widely known that there's a stark drop out for junior sailors as they hit their teens. Sadly, with exams and social pressures being the biggest culprit, this affects girls more than boys.

Gladwell's Line: America's Cup has a turbulent week in Auckland
First Challenger arrives in Auckland, as the Defender gets back into action. Why the Cup must go on, and Emirates Team New Zealand blows the whistle on "informants", and gets an injunction.

Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne Race update: A tough night off the Irish coast
The skippers in the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sable d'Olonne "warm-up" for this year's Vendée Globe have certainly been enduring a baptism of fire as the early stages of the race continue to prove tough on them and their boats.

Navico 2020 fun MPU AUS   Pacific Sailing School 2020 - Coastal Offshore
World Sailing host virtual meetings throughout COVID-19 pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, World Sailing has hosted a series of Townhall Meetings for Council delegates, Member National Authorities, Class Associations, Committee members and Commission members.

Barton Technical Update - Mid Year
The Barton R&D team are constantly working to develop and improve solutions to your everyday needs. Our global vision is to improve your ability to lift, move, slide, secure and control rigging applications for leisure sailors and commercial operators.

When only the best will do - Race Yachts Premium Brokerage - July
Botin designed Super Series hull shape off the Sled mould. Upgraded to foam core in the hull with a nomex deck. Extra longitudinals in the bow for offshore racing.

Vaikobi 2019AUG - MPU 3   Cyclops Marine 2020 - MPU
Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne Race start
The start of the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne Race saw a fleet of 20 IMOCAs foiling away from the start box outside Les Sables d'Olonne after the most unusual build-up in racing history.

RORC Time Over Distance Volume 14 - Luke Patience
For the 14th edition of the RORC Time Over Distance Series, Louay Habib interviews Olympic Silver Medallist Luke Patience with a deep dive into his two previous Olympic campaigns and a look forward to Tokyo and beyond.

North Sails Weekly Debrief: Predicting The Weather, Best Cruising Sails, Rallying Around The World
Join veteran meteorologist, Chris Bedford, and world-class sailor and best selling author, Peter Isler of Marine Weather University, as they drop knowledge on how sailing weather predictions are created.

Rolly Tasker Sails 2019 600x500 MPU v5   Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom MPU
The Wait is Over: The Rooster 50N CE Impact Buoyancy Aid is here
Low profile neoprene buoyancy aid, specifically developed to fit snugly in all the right places. Unique to Rooster, this CE12402-5 certified buoyancy aid is an advance in our buoyancy aid range.

Some days you're lucky. Others you're just plain blessed.
With many, many thanks to the Australian Sailing Team, and the delightful members of the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club, we are delighted to bring you these images.

18ft Skiffs: Dave Porter, the unluckiest champion
David Porter became the 1975 JJ Giltinan world 18ft Skiff champion when he skippered KB to a brilliant victory on the Brisbane River, but fortune didn't always smile on the great sailor.

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The Australian Sailing and Sea Safety Course
Due to the challenges that COVID-19 has placed on a number of aspects of Sail Training, the Australian Sailing Safety and Sea Survival course, and revalidation, are now available to complete through a flexible e-Learning course.

Relive AC34 in San Francisco! Race 13 full replay
Yet another race full of drama, including the moment Emirates Team New Zealand misjudged a port-starboard cross and Jimmy Spithill has to violently head up the American cat to avoid the Kiwis.

America's Cup: Statement from Grant Dalton explains reasons for injunction
Team New Zealand and America's Cup Event CEO, Grant Dalton has issued a statement explaining the Sailing team and Event organisation's rationale for obtaining a High Court injunction blocking publication of a confidential draft report on AC36 Hosting

Raymarine AUS Element S MPU   Henri-Lloyd 2020 MPU
America's Cup: Te Aihe's return - image gallery from Day 2 on the Waitemata
On Wednesday, Emirates Team NZ had a long five hour session mostly sailing on America's Cup Course C. They were sailing in mid-Winter - one can only guess as to the wind chill factor in the AC75 foiling at 30-35kts.

America's Cup Event organisation obtains Court injunction on confidential report publication
America's Cup Event Ltd and Team New Zealand Ltd have obtained an injunction in the High Court in Auckland restraining media from publishing the contents of a confidential draft report on the $40m Event Fee expenditure

B&G to launch new Zeus3S sailing display
B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, has announced the launch of the new Zeus"S multifunction display system, boasting unrivalled performance, features and connectivity.

RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - MPU   Rooster GETSEASMART 300x250 AUS
Mat Belcher celebrates 20 years with Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS)
Since joining the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) at just 18 years old, Mat Belcher has gone on to become Australia's most successful sailor and one of the country's most decorated athletes.

World Sailing Presidential Newsletter: June 2020
The past month has been focused on finalising and ensuring the financial future of World Sailing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sail-World NZ e-magazine: June 30: Auckland's AC75 fleet doubles..Winter series gets underway
Latest newsletter from Sail-World New Zealand, with the top stories covering the America's Cup along with the latest Editorial covering the rumours circulating that the America's Cup could be compressed/delayed/postponed - and why this can't happen.

Barton Marine 2019 600x500   Boat Books Australia
Relive AC34 in San Francisco! Race 12 full replay
With Emirates Team New Zealand on match point, a win for ORACLE TEAM USA was essential. An aggressive move by Jimmy Spithill set them up nicely...

Tracy Edwards MBE TED Talk now live online
These unusual times require things to be done a bit differently! Tracy was asked to do a TED talk but due to Covid-19 it was not done in person, but online thousands of miles away during lockdown.

"Te Rapunga" reflects new dawn for traditional boat building
A significant wooden boat rebuild is under way at Denman Marine in Kettering, Tasmania, reviving the 32-foot double-ended ketch known as "Te Rapunga", and shining a light on the incredible life and philosophy of German-born seafarer George Dibbern.

North Sails 2019 - Helix Top-Down Furling 600x500   Pantaenius 2019 - AmRad - 300x250 - SW WEBSITE
Thinnair Moth statement
Since its inception in 2017 we have been endeavouring to bring the world's best International Moth boat package to the market. We partnered with Dave Hollom and White Formula who both have a long history in high performance boat design and manufacture.

America's Cup: Team New Zealand hits the headlines after $3million scam payment
Emirates Team NZ has issued a statement in response to claims in a leaked confidential letter from the CEO's of Auckland Council and MBIE, published on the front page of the Wednesday morning edition of NZ Herald.

Try a Fifteen
Try a Fifteen is an opportunity to have a trial sail in a Flying Fifteen (F15). The class is a fun, fast and exhilarating boat to sail by crew combinations of all sizes, genders and ages.

Vetus-Maxwell 2020   Highfield Boats - Sailing - MPU
Etchells Australia President's Update
Mark Roberts, President of the International Etchells Class of Australia, updates us with exciting news about the season ahead, and reports on the ongoing hull review under the direction of the international body.

2021 B14 World Championships cancelled
The B14 Class Association regrets to announce that the 2021 World Championships to be hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club in Sydney, Australia from January 3 – 7, 2021 have been cancelled.

Wishing that life imitated sailing
The sailing community is proving that racing can still safely take place amidst the coronavirus' scary backdrop, albeit in sometimes reimagined and likely more localized forms.

Predictwind - Iridium 250   C-Tech Emirates TNZ 250
Relive AC34 in San Francisco! Races 1 - 11 full replays
They called it the greatest comeback win of all time. Now watch full replays of every race in the 34th America's Cup, held on San Francisco Bay in September 2013. Emirates Team New Zealand pioneered the foiling AC72 and started strongly...

Nacra 17 star Lisa Darmanin interview
Lisa Darmanin, one of the world's best sailors and 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist in the Nacra 17, talks to Stephen Brayshaw about the Olympic experience and being on the team going to Tokyo.

For when might is right
At an Australian Sailing Team camp currently being conducted off Australia's East coast at Coffs Harbour, 470 Dynamic Duo, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have been treated to some spectacular times.

Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU   Smuggler 300 x 250px Family Cruisers
America's Cup: Auckland's AC75 fleet doubles in a single day
The 36th America's Cup entered a new phase today with the launching of New York Yacht Club's AC75 this morning from the BBC Destiny. Out on the Hauraki Gulf, Emirates Team NZ's AC75, Te Aihe went sailing for the first time in more than four months

Defiant arrives in Auckland
Defiant, the first AC75 racing yacht built for New York Yacht Club American Magic, Challenger for the 36th America's Cup, has arrived in New Zealand.

Date set for 2020 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is pleased to announce the release of the Notice of Race and opening of entries for the rescheduled 2020 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race.

Whitsunday Holidays 2018 MPU   Doyle-Hugo-300x250 AUS site
America's Cup: Informants exited by America's Cup Events and Emirates Team NZ
The America's Cup Defenders Emirates Team New Zealand have published a statement this late this evening, June 29, advising that they have outed a group of "informants"

America's Cup: First Challenger arrives in Auckland
The first America's Cup Challenger has arrived in Auckland. The New York Yacht Club's American Magic arrived, aboard a chartered vessel around 1030hrs local time and docked at Fergusson Wharf West before being unloaded tomorrow.

An interesting cluster develops
So Jeanneau's Sun Fast 3600 has certainly been a bit of a giant killer, especially short-handed. Races like the 5500nm Melbourne to Osaka lie as testament to that.

Vendée Globe: Without assistance means... without assistance
'Without Assistance' is the third pillar of the Vendée Globe complementing 'Solo' and 'Non-Stop'. Some would say it is the fundamental principle which is open to most interpretation.

TraveLodge: A world championship-winning 18 Footer sponsorship
A sponsor who came to the 18 Footers in 1964 was the TraveLodge company which decided to sponsor Bob Holmes, who was a new, young competitor to the class.

Webasto AUS 2020 FOOTER 1

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