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The elephant in the room - Australia Newsletter


The elephant in the room

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The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali and sorry for the reflections in the glass... - photo © John Curnow

Dear Recipient Name

Last year, in what seems like a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Whoops wrong train of thought there. At any rate, time is a very different commodity now, almost Dali-esque, actually. What we're saying is that a week can be a long time in this new world order.

Now there is time before the next Hobart, but just what will that time bring? Think about it. You have the Melbourne Cup as the precursor announcing Silly Season. Then there are the football finals, and suddenly it's all on; the shops are mad, the streets even worse, and tempers are frayed far more than a headsail on a furler up in the tropics that has lost it's UV cover. Some of those very events could now be held in Queensland, or Western Australia...

Ensign 2020 - Bavaria C42 - 300x250   JS Yachting 2020 - 600x500

Smoke on the water during the Grinders Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge - photo © Andrea Francolini
Smoke on the water during the Grinders Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge - photo © Andrea Francolini

No you say? Well just eight months ago this very issue was contemplated by all, after the cancelling of the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge due to the smoke caused by the worst bushfires seen in a lifetime. It was like Hmmm. When I went out that day I witnessed a Manly Ferry performing an all-astern emergency stop, because the tanker ahead of them was just realigning for a pass under the Coathanger. I can assure you that we heard all of this well before we actually saw any of it.

So apart from the obvious safety issues, there were a zillion logistical matters and then a whole bunch of commercial positions to ponder, like the live broadcast. Thankfully, none of it came to pass, but it did set about a lot of thinking and a lot of creation of plans B through F. Could you take the start offshore, for instance?

What we are talking about right here, right now, is the spectre of a plan. And for us Bondites that's not the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, nor the massive Benetti of the same name. We are looking forward to this year's Hobart, but what if it just cannot be staged? Presently, the Tasmanians are very clear about just whom they'll let in, and the homeports for the largest squadrons of the armada are simply not part of that.

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69m Benetti M/Y Spectre - photo © Sand People
69m Benetti M/Y Spectre - photo © Sand People

It is both quite paradoxical and interesting that at a time when there are precious few regattas, and international means you there, and us here, that the very globalness of the greater group is something that so many people have commented on to us. From David Schmidt in the USA to Richard Gladwell in NZL, bits of information pass rapidly around our group, especially with items like new builds, double-handed, and the AC, especially.

I spoke with our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine, in the UK directly about this. "Collaboration is certainly a key feature of what we do. Mainly via several Skype calls, themes are discussed and solidified. We have had an explosion of club sailing, which has been tremendous, and the general level of interest in our safe sport for everyone, no matter what age or skill level, has gone up accordingly."

"Obviously everyone in looking forward keenly to upcoming events, like the Hobart, and it will be bad if it does not happen, just as with Hamilton and Magnetic Island Race Weeks. However, there is a silver lining to every cloud, and certainly club racing is booming in Europe and the UK, especially in smaller craft, and of course, windsurfers too."

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Bayside Sailboards season launch - photo © Mitch Pearson / Surf Sail Kite
Bayside Sailboards season launch - photo © Mitch Pearson / Surf Sail Kite

"The other wonderful element has been how many people have made contact via email or phone to show support for things we have written, and this very much includes the double-handed category, with a lot of high placed souls from France and the USA letting us know just how much they have appreciated the light being shown on this burgeoning sector", said Jardine in closing.

Now Mark has written a lot of Editorials over the last few months about the keeping it local aspect, and it was from this that I began to ponder Hobart alternatives, should the need arise. The NSW and QLD fleet (yes the latter is likely to have to self-quarantine on the way back home, as too would anyone form SA and WA) could go around Gabo Island and back, and thereby not breach any jurisdictional issues.

The Victorian crews could go around King Island and back, or for something a bit longer, Flinders and Clarke Islands, which depending on the prevailing weather conditions, would offer some seriously good rides across Bass Strait. As all three are Tasmanian jurisdictions people will have to work through some elements, and then there is say a mark off Port Campbell, or round Rodondo Island off Wilsons Promontory to look at if it is all too hard.

Of course for ages there were a lot of sailors who thought it should really be the Hobart to Sydney Race, given the prevailing weather conditions at that time of year, so perhaps Tasmanian entries not wishing to have to pay for mandatory hotel isolation on return could sail up to Flinders Island, wave at the Victorians going the other way, and then head home...

Vaikobi 2019AUG - MPU 1   Webasto AUS 2020 MPU 2

Jenneau Sun Fast 3600, Double trouble sailing double-handed - photo © Rohan Veal
Jenneau Sun Fast 3600, Double trouble sailing double-handed - photo © Rohan Veal

Now in Double Trouble we looked specifically at the double-handers, who will no doubt be ready to have a go at anything on offer. The quick 30s now mean you are sailing inside a weather system, not merely enduring it, as the old IORs that used to make up a lot of this section have to do.

This is going to make racing really interesting, for just as with Stan Honey taking Comanche off on her own mung bean flyer, we'll get a lot of tactical aspects to enjoy. OK, not to the same degree for sure, but the point remains...

Also brought out in Mark's editorial was the point about Optimal Polar auto-pilots and the more accessible course and angle kind of stuff that is more generally available at realistic prices. Debate will rage and people will probably just want to stay in whichever camp they presently belong to, but the future is now, and if you have got this far into this missive already, then you'll know that the deck has been reshuffled just now, and once more again very soon, then again, and again, etc. Now is not the time to be rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Growth is growth and trends are trends.

Paris (Marseilles) 2024 lays a marker, and the next four Hobarts can help set the pace and shape for things to come. Ken Read said to me once that he'd love to do another, but the Christmas thing is a bit of a roadblock. As recent convert to double handing you wonder if it indeed could be enough to see him appear for 2021. As a potential Olympic Medal for a few countries, their pathways to 2024 are going to need to be worked out and Hobart could be a great annual part of gauging the field, once we get over this little speed hump. Just saying...

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Right oh - there is plenty of information on the site for you to review when you can. Please avail yourself of it.

Now if your class or association is generating material, we can help you spread your word just by emailing us. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, thank you for keeping a weather eye on Sail-World. Your increased patronage and sensational, heartfelt comments have made our crew work even harder to bring you the best from all over the globe...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

Navico 2020 fun MPU AUS   North Sails 2019 - Helix Top-Down Furling 600x500

Airlie Beach Race Week Day 3 - Three from three for Team Hollywood
Entrants in the Performance Racing division took their turn at windward/leeward course racing, sailing two races of two laps each in 6-8 knots. Mister Magoo is making her 12th appearance at Race Week, while her owner, Goggles, has done even more.

Oskana crew eying Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race 2020
Crack harbour and ocean racing yacht Oskana may contest this year's Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race – if the young family of owner/skipper Mike Pritchard's can convince him to enter the 280 nautical mile coastal offshore race.

America's Cup Hall of Fame: Highlights of 34 years of commentary - Peter Montgomery
Peter "PJ" Montgomery will be inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in March 2021 - and is just the third "chronicler" to be admitted. Here's a series of audio clips from the 1992 LV and America's Cups through to the 2017 win, plus an image gallery

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Airlie Beach Race Week - Day 2 : Winds arrive and ORMA 60 makes it two from two
Despite a forecast for more light winds at the Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing today, the winds Gods changed tack and gave the 64 boats and crews a run for their money in the Whitsunday Sailing Club's (WSC) annual event.

Vendée Globe 2020: Meet Arnaud Boissières
He is aiming to be the first sailor ever to finish four back-to-back Vendée Globe races. He was inspired to take up sailing by a visit to Les Sables d'Olonne to see the start of the first ever race when he was fighting childhood leukaemia.

Race on! The VX Race PFD has your back
Introducing the Vaikobi VX Race PFD, designed specifically for active sailing and maximum comfort in a sleek minimal profile.

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America's Cup Rialto: August 7 - American Magic circuit trains in the Paddock
American Magic's Defiant left their base around 1030hrs on a fast 10nm foil-borne around for another training session out on Course E - between Eastern Beach and Waiheke Island, otherwise known as "The Paddock".

Bayside Sailboards season launch in South East QLD, Australia
Bayside Sailboards is ready for a big year of slalom racing and GPS competition. After a year's hiatus and an injection of young fresh blood into the committee enthusiasm is high to get the season off and running.

Airlie Beach Race Week - Day 1 is a drifter
A long, long Day 1 on the water for the 64 boats taking part in the WSC Airlie Beach Race Week Whitsundays Festival of Sailing, as winds failed to materialise for most of the day, meaning most spent the day drifting around the course in drizzling rain.

Flagstaff 2020 - Oceanis 40.1 - MPU   FFI - Try a fifteen - 2020 600x500
Heads, Shoulders, Hands and Feet - Rooster Sailing
It's the little things that make the biggest difference to how you get on out there on the water. Gloves, boots, headwear, each needs to work for your climate, your sport and your personal preference. We're on hand to help you get it right.

World Match Racing Tour amends 2020 World Championship format
Organisers of the World Match Racing Tour have announced there will not be a World Tour leader-board for 2020 due to current travel restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic preventing many competitors from attending events.

Palk and Brett set to guide Australia's foiling future
Foiling is set to explode at the Paris Olympics in four years time, with kite foil racing set to make its debut and the iQFoil confirmed to replace the RS:X as the Men's and Women's sailboard equipment.

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SailGP announces addition of New Zealand team
Olympic gold medalists and defending America's Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will join SailGP starting in the league's second season as part of the newly formed New Zealand SailGP Team.

49th Rolex Fastnet Race - one year to go
Rolex Fastnet Race will set sail from Cowes bound for the Fastnet Rock as usual, but then, once the boats have rounded Bishop Rock, they will, for the first time in the history, point their bows towards Cherbourg, the new finish for RORC's premier event.

America's Cup Hall of Fame will induct Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird in 2021
The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame welcomes Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird to the America's Cup Hall of Fame as inductees for the Class of 2021.

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America's Cup Rialto: August 6 - American Magic has a 'glamour day' despite breakage
After losing an hour or so through gear failure, American Magic headed back out onto the Waitemata for a training session out on Course E - between Eastern Beach and Waiheke Island, otherwise known as "The Paddock".

Dalin's Debri - How will they set the (dis) comfort cursor?
After finishing second in the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne race Charlie Dalin pulled no punches when he described the challenges of trying to live and to operate to the maximum on board his foiler APIVIA.

2020 World Sailing AGM and General Assembly to be held electronically
World Sailing will hold its 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and General Assembly electronically, due to the global challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Presentation of the jury - Mirabaud Sailing Video of the Century
Two women and four men make up the international jury of the Mirabaud Sailing Video of the Century: Ludovica Anti, Martina Orsini, Rob Peake, Gary Jobson, Nicolas Mirabaud and Rob Faris.

Zhik appoints Plastimo as distributor for France and Belgium
Zhik is proud to announce a collaboration with Plastimo, the prestigious marine industry safety manufacturer and equipment wholesaler, as their new distributor for France, Belgium and the French domestic territories.

America's Cup: Arb Panel rules on Stars + Stripes question
The Arbitration Panel for the America's Cup has rules against the application made to it by the US Challenger Stars + Stripes Team USA.

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SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week 2020 cancelled
The SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week (SMIRW) 2020 committee has made the difficult decision to cancel this year's regatta, which was to be held from 27 August to 2 September.

Ocean Crusaders are turning bottle caps into crab pot floats
Australia's Waterway Cleaning charity are at it again. We never seem to stand still. Having gone through the 100 tonne barrier of marine debris removed from Australian waterways already in 2020, we have now launched our Crab Pot Float Fundraiser.

smarttune and smartlink create a new common denominator
Saturday 1st August 2020 saw one of the biggest races of the year in the UK, probably globally, with 133 boats competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 'Race the Wight' in the most perfect conditions possible.

Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU 250 - 2014
Denmark SailGP Team: Episode 2
The second episode of 'Inside the Denmark SailGP Team' focuses on resilience, and no one embodies this quality more than grinder Martin Kirketerp.

Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne Race video
An unprecedented race, extreme conditions, a fierce battle: relive the prelude of the Vendée Globe from the inside.

18th RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup postponed
With great regret the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club announces that the 18th annual RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup has been postponed to 2021 due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rooster expands Custom and Team Kit Collection with Accented Cotton Polos
Ready for racing or for a day in the sun, the Rooster Cotton Polo has been designed as a high-quality polo shirt with Rooster branding and navy trimmings. Perfect for team wear or as a simple smart polo in the summer.

Double trouble?
In yachting, 2020 is the year of shorthanded sailing. Yes, in many cases it has been forced on us due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the trend was already set and with a mixed double-handed yacht being added to the slate for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Humpybong WinterBash draws massive fleet
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America's Cup: Designed to fly
It was August 2012 when the sailing world was turned upside down by a 72-foot catamaran flying in the Hauraki Gulf. Emirates Team New Zealand had brought foiling to the America's Cup and changed the face of top-level yacht racing forever.

America's Cup Rialto: August 3 - American Magic puts in solid day on the water
American Magic looked to have settled into a catch-up routine to close out the five months they have been off the water. NZL-60 the 2000 America's Cup champion has been refurbished and will go on public display at the ETNZ base.

Mirror dinghy lovingly restored and documented on video
We have received a great video of a Mirror dinghy restoration from 18 year old Corin, who sails on Chichester Harbour. He tells the story of why and how he did it.

Gul 2020 Tri-Laminate Spraytop MPU   Auck Boat Show - Stabicraft 300x250
Hobart Combined Clubs Winter Series Race 3 - Jazz Player in fine tune on the Derwent
Kettering Yacht Club secretary John Dryden and his young crew of Jazz Player notched up a hard-fought and close Division 1 victory in the Combined Clubs Winter Series on the River Derwent today.

Mark Foy - Father of the 18 Footers
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Tokoloshe II and PowerPlay triumph in RORC Race the Wight
A race around the Isle of Wight on Saturday 1st August marked the return to competitive racing at the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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