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Vaikobi 2019AUG - Leaderboard 3

The Coke Bottle

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 6 May 2018 15:00 PDT The Coke Bottle
The ubiquitous Coke Bottle © Supplied

Going way, way back, there was a sweet little film called, 'The Gods must be crazy'. In a way, the principal character of this celluloid gem was an old style coke bottle, the ones with the super-thick glass. It happened to be thrown out of the window of a low flying light plane. Now apart from the enviro-disaster aspects of such an act, what it set in motion was a whole chain of events around the many and varied uses of this new creation sent from the Gods. Well at least that is what the local tribe thought.

So then, how it is all ties in for us, is that only last week in Perks of the Job we were talking about the interaction afforded to me by virtue of being fortunate enough to sit in the Editor's chair. On Saturday, I was lucky enough to speak with an entirely new contact in the yachting world, and I could not help wondering if I knew what the principal character would be if this particular scenario was developed into a film with a theme along a similar vein.

It would definitely be the 100-400mm lens on the front of my DSLR camera. The similarities between being thick glass (on the whole), and also able to be used as a rolling pin, just like the Coke bottle was in our original film of this discussion, had most definitely not been lost on me.

Whilst out on Pittwater I had come across a sailor (read hailed mercilessly...) that I would later come to know as Toni Fox. Back at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club I found her, courtesy of one of her crew, Terry, who was similarly dressed in the grey Xena racing shirt you can see here.

Toni has a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 that is just eight weeks old. She is delighted to own Xena, and clearly has deep affection for her craft. Toni told me that, "I love being out racing on the water, as well as the whole boating community, where you get to chat with lots of different people." And of course, this was the link that tied me straight back to last week's epistle.

Toni went on to tell me that she had "...been racing for over 40 years (and certainly did not want to give an exact number), and that Xena was the biggest boat she had owned. Adams 10s and Etchells have also been part of the mix. I really do love sailing on Pittwater, and now I have a more cruising oriented boat that does not do too badly with the racing, either!" Well yes, it is certainly way easier to make a coffee on the Sun Odyssey than either the Ten, or the Eggshell. Good luck to you Toni, thank you for chatting and see you again soon.

It is not so much off on a different tack, but rather an all-together different course now. Not many in this country have too fond a set of memories for the New York Yacht Club, and to be honest, with really good reason. Yet the Karma Bus certainly came around and collected the parties concerned back then, so it is time to move on.

The boat in question is the Mark Mills penned IC37 and the first sailing video appeared this week. It is a fine looking gem and if the Gods are prepared to have another crack at the Coke bottle, then it could become the Corinthian fave, with early indications pointing to well and truly more than the NCYC's initial 20 vessels being snapped up. In recent times a couple of craft have tried to crack this space, so it will be watched closely, for it definitely comes in on budget, and now we only need to check the pace.

One Design is often used with light specific gravity, but with just one sail maker allowed and using the Melges framework to run it, the question really comes down to whether it is akin to sending the franchise out to Jim's, who of course are the biggest in this land by far, and Australia is the franchise capital of the world. Simplicity of systems and a cap on pros could either be the hallelujah moment, or the kibosh that will open the seacocks! We'll see...

OK. So seeing we are in the States, and before we sign off, the Seppos look like being on a real trajectory to make US Sailing dominant once more. Of course our own Malcolm Page is part of that in the Olympic scene, but with strong AC36 involvement and items like the IC37 above, only the foolhardy would right them off for too long. The legends of KA6 caught them doing a Warren Beatty in the mirror once before, but their critical mass will not allow us or any other country to be so brash ever again. Their power boats are famous for having exorbitant amounts of grunt on board, and you get the feeling that sailing in the USofA may have just planted the throttles wide open. Look out when it all gets up to speed.

Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the Olympics, Volvo Ocean Race, GC32s, the Clipper RTW race now departed the USA, 2018 World Cup Series, Antigua (if you have been there is no more to say, and if haven't, make sure it is on your bucket list), apparel form Musto, the OKs and their 2019 Worlds, microplastics in the South China Sea feeding the Pacific Ocean gyre, Five Ohs in the UK, Golden Globe inches closer and respect to those taking off for a lap in a full length keel boat of 12m or thereabouts, Finn World Masters, Telefonica Blue to be in the VOR Legends Race, dinghy classes in Denmark for the Worlds, Hammo looks set to be great again (just realised that sounds like the King of Tweets and it was not meant to), kiteboarding, J/24s in Adelaide, RC44s, the Bermuda Triangle, crewing with help from MySail Team, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow, Sail-World.com Australia Editor

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