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Time on the beach

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 6 Jan 13:00 PST
Magpie gets out of the fierce sun on day 1 of the 2018 Etchells World Championship © John Curnow

This sailor will indeed be taking time out. Now it may end up including some relaxing on the beach, but it will definitely preclude him from getting on his trusty bike, which is an integral component of his overall fitness regime. It will also certainly mean there is no snow time on some of the USA's premier slopes for him over the next little while, either. Doh.

There are many accomplishments afforded a sailor of this calibre, for he is a World Champion amongst other things. Yet for our particular interest right now, the sailor in question has completed 31 Sydney to Hobart races, and taken out Line Honours a terribly impressive 15 of those years! That is good work in anyone's language.

You may think it might be hard to distinguish any of his multitudinous achievements, especially when it comes to that race, from any of the others. However, despite the relatively benign weather for the leaders, it is fair to say this last one could well be extremely memorable, if not the most so.

You see, Steve Jarvin actually broke his foot during the recent race. The long-term member of the Wild Oats XI crew may not have known exactly what had gone on at the time, but a trip to the doctor in Hobart, and the resultant X-Rays, revealed that yes, apparently two bones had fractured. That's just got to hurt. On so many levels, too... At least they collected a ninth Line Honours for the Oatley Family's silver bullet.

Now I am sure the victory does make it taste better, and I say that with some degree of knowledge on the subject. A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away I tore some ligaments in my ankle, right before the Head of the River, which is a rowing race. We may not have been unbackable favourites, but we were certainly very much part of the mix.

At any rate, scans showed the level of damage, which was roughly in accordance with the disappointment and frustration (read anger). However, and to avoid disaster, a plan was hatched. As I could move the foot up and down directly inline, and it was attached to the leg that stays vertical in sweep rowing, as opposed to being splayed out, the theory of it was that I could actually row. So the crew carried the boat to the water, and I went to it on my crutches, handed those off to the coach, jumped in, and away we went. I am glad we did, for we won, and it rendered the recovery process afterwards totally forgettable. So I do hope Mothy very much has the same overall experience.

All of which might be a longish segue into the impending Etchells Australian Championship from January 14 to 18. They are being held on the very same course as the recent, and very popular World Championships from late last year. Jarvin obviously cannot join his friends, Graeme Taylor and James Mayo aboard Magpie, who are the reigning, and back-to-back Champions, albeit with friend Richie Allanson often stepping in.

Now Ben Lamb is to be Jarvin's replacement for the regatta from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. He too was there for the 2018 Worlds, so will be well familiar with the levels of frustration and sorrow at not performing at the levels expected, which many crews commented on at the time, and also afterwards. One outfit that mastered it all well and truly is Martin Hill's crew from Lisa Rose, and they'll be back for more. Hoping to go one better will be GenXY, with Matt Chew's crew currently listing one Tom Burton amongst them.

Locals John Warlow and David Turton showed plenty of pace at times during the worlds, and Steve's son, Seve, will be there as part of Jeanne-Claude's crew on 1435. Another fresh from the Wild Oats XI win is Iain Murray, who has Richie Allanson, and also a certain Colin Beashel, sailing Havoc with him. Noel Drennan from North Sails has Billy Merrington and Marco Pocci on board Les Freaks Sont Chic, so there is plenty of talent around to make it more than an interesting week.

Right oh here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about skiffs, the O'Pen Bic Worlds, Dragon Worlds, Tornado Worlds, intel from North Sails, Lasers, the new J/99 goes sailing, Pittwater to Coffs with the breeze on the nose the whole way, Youth Sailing, OKs, Golden Globe, Wouter Verbraak gives you the good oil on the Hobart, the Clipper, gear from Harken, thinking Caribbean, Finns, mince pies, the Hobart winds up, and certainly there is much, much more.

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

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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