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The power of two

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 15 Apr 15:00 PDT
Jaime Ryan & Carrie Smith - Sail Melbourne International 2017 © Gordon Hyde

There was a time when the late Bryce Courtenay was turning out books so quickly that you might have actually thought that his typewriter was indeed working to an exponent more like five or 10. His prolific catalogue met with great commercial success, as well.

Yet for us today, there were two items that connected together very much like a good dinghy crew, and the synergy afforded was well and truly more than the sum of the whole. The first was noting that the recently retired 470 Skipper, Carrie Smith, had been given the role of Head of State Coaching in Victoria.

Of particular note is the importance placed in preparing the twins, Lily and Matilda Richardson, for the impending Youth Sailing World Championships in the US in July. This is raced in the 420, a class Smith herself is a former World Champion in! So to have someone so relevant and so recent in their own achievements has got to be wonderful for participation as a whole.

Ultimately, this remains the great goal, of course, and in having Smith there, you get the feeling she will able to clearly provide a true understanding of both the expectations and the level of commitment and perseverance that will be required to help the next gen take it all on.

Smith commented about her new role, by saying, "Representing Australia on the world stage gave me immense pride, and nothing would make me happier than to help provide that opportunity to young and talented sailors." May it all come to pass as such.

The other half of the connection was that Adrian Finglas is now two weeks into his new job as Head Coach at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, in Melbourne. His brief is to help club members all the way from Tackers through to keelboats, a job he is most certainly qualified for. No doubt he will be pleased about a little less travel, but I dare say he will be most thrilled about the focus the club is putting on juniors, and the plans they have for expansion in this sector, including competition.

Finglas knows the pointy end from the blunt, with numerous Australian Championships to his name, and a celebrated career offshore, as well. He has been a part of the AST Coaching regime with firstly the Ynglings, and then taking his charges in the Skud 18 on to a Gold Medal at the Paralympics.

Yet it is that focus on youth that is certainly a core component of his skill set, and in conjunction with RBYC's long history with fielding teams to compete in Cadets and so forth, you get to thinking that this is a significant match and terrific pairing. Finglas has always been a proponent of the 'just get them out on the water having fun' system, and this would more than augur well for the future. Hopefully the next Jock Sturrock, John Bertrand, Andrew Palfrey, or even Carrie Smith will be under his tutelage right now. We certainly do hope so, for they will learn a lot from Finglas.

Now the connection to Middle Harbour YC's inaugural Women's Regatta on May 6 was the Yngling, which is one of several classes they will run a division for if there are more than three entries. Others are Adams 10s, Melges 20s and Elliott 7s, but there are many keelboat divisions for all-female and female helm crews as well, so check it out here. But if you were specifically looking for a power of two, then it had to be that MHYC's GM is Karen Baldwin, and the PRO for the regatta will be Elaine Fowler. QED.

Lastly, and very sadly, Max Peters passed away during racing for the Association Cup in Melbourne. Our deepest condolences to his family, crewmembers, club friends from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, and all who were out on Port Phillip racing on Sunday.

Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information from Sail Port Stephens, GC32, the Clippers, Volvo Ocean Race, Extreme Sailing Series, Optis, new face in Coaching at the Australian Sailing Team, B&Gs new software for Zeus and Vulcan displays, J/24s, North Sails continue with their awesome series of education webinars, Apparel from Musto and Zhik, inspirational stuff and fond memories from Saint Barthélemy in the Caribbean, the World Cup is off to Genoa, the maxi trimarans and reigning RTW Champ, IDEC Sport is out on the high seas once more, Niklas Zennstrom's brand spanking new, and very cool looking FAST40+, Rán, has not even hit the water yet and the party has begun, MySail Team go from strength to strength as even more boats and crews get matched up, the America's Cup, 12-foot skiffs, and certainly there is much, much more.

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John Curnow, Editor, AUS

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