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Famous martini

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 24 Mar 2019 14:00 PDT
Leg 3, Cape Town to Melbourne, day 06, Heavy weather in the Southern Ocean on board Vestas 11th Hour. 15 December, 2017 © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

So that would make it shaken, not stirred. Right. Now what we are referring to is the recent running and winning of the Sayonara Cup, which we featured last week in Left Languishing. In particular, it has generated quite some conversation in public, and I dare say even more behind closed doors. Evidently, this has really sparked up some emotions, theorems, and plans too.

So I went to the Big Fella, now Australian Sailing's Performance Director, for his take on it all. Iain Murray knows a thing or two about going slow, like the glorious 12s, and quick, like the 18s, AC72s and AC50s, as well as 30 knots offshore in a supermaxi, and a bundle of other toys besides. Murray said, "After chatting to a few people, it seems that the Sayonara Cup has opened up an area of sailing that I think we thought people had moved on from."

"On reflection, we all look to the recent editions of the America's Cup and think of speed and foiling, but there is a genuine appreciation of the original skills of match racing, as used in past America's and Sayonara Cups. We should not lose the history of these wonderfully rich trophies, and our juniors would benefit from understanding the heritage and progression of what created and went before this modern world."

"I am not saying we should go back to wooden boats and gaffs, but the technical skills of tacking, gybing, and boat placement over technology is a skill we are often searching for at the highest level. These have been the foundation of our Australian crew saturation on the world sailing stage."

"I am sure there is a strong following in the world of sailing that would love to see these type of competitions flourish on our waterways every year. The values of club, state, and nation-originated challenges have an important place. Now that the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has the helm, it is important to re-establish the Sayonara Cup as a desired pathway for our future champions."

Now Tom Slingsby was at one time known as the King of the Laser, a boat in the new era of the speed demons you would classify as slow. Then came the AC, and now SailGP, and you get the picture. Throughout it all, his uncanny ability to read the wind learned from all that time on the deck of his family's home overlooking Brisbane Waters at Gosford, has flourished and proven to be rewarding in so many ways.

Catching up with him immediately after the 2019 Etchells Victorian State Championship at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, and ahead of round two of the SailGP in San Francisco, he commented about sailing by saying, "Can't wait for it. One of the only venues in the world where you know you are going to get fireworks really in boats like these. You're going to have wind, a bit of carnage, and exciting racing, as it will be windier."

"Best thing about it all is that all of the teams get another ten days of sailing. All of the teams went into Sydney very undertrained, which we saw. More training; it will be a lot more interesting on the water." Reflecting on how good it was to see Slingsby and the crew do so well on home waters, he offered, "I was happy about that too, don't worry!"

The former Etchells World Champion (with John Bertrand and Andrew Palfrey) went on to add, "Yeah sailing Etchells does still bring a smile to the dial. I love this sort of racing. Since SailGP, I have sailed Moths, Lasers, and RC44s. One Design, foiling - I really enjoy it all. The tight tactical racing is a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed sailing with Jeanne-Claude Strong, and her crew of Marcus Burke and Kate Devereux this week." (They placed third in the championship.)

"It is a bit of trip when you're doing six knots, not 40. For sure it takes a long time to get your head around it, as the strategy and tactics change a lot. I enjoy that challenge. I do not ever want to be typecast. When I was younger I was referred to as a Laser sailor only, and it drove me nuts. So I set about proving that theory wrong, and started sailing Moths and A-Class cats, and people could see I could convert to new classes. I still have classes that are my bread and butter, and I am a bit more natural in, but I definitely want to be known as someone who can swap around."

Gordon Maguire was at the same championship, sailing with Jill Connell and Wade Morgan on Odyssey. They won the Grand Masters division. Talking about Ichi Ban, he commented, "Basically, every time we race her, we learn something that we did not know previously. We haven't stopped learning how to sail them (TP52s), and almost every time we launch, she's faster. It's a really, really nice boat, and very user friendly, and I think we still have a little more in the tank."

As for their calendar for 2019, Maguire said, "Brisbane to Gladstone is next, and were looking forward to it over Easter." They have won the last two on corrected time, and I reckon the eyes might be on the hat trick. Just saying. "Back to Sydney after that to prepare for the Northern tour. We will do Sydney Gold Coast, Brisbane to Hamilton Island, and then Airlie Beach. We may come home after that, and begin the prep for Hobart.

Before we go, if you're looking for a job on Sydney's Northern Beaches, then Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance could be seeking you! There are two types of roles available. The first requires boating and sales experience for a senior position within the company. The second set of requirements is around administration, bookkeeping, claims and sales support. These latter roles not need to have boating experience, but it will obviously help. These ones may even suit the correct candidates who might be looking to be a part-timer at their fun and friendly Warriewood offices.

There is always a lot to do, and much to learn, so a good work ethic is essential. Pantaenius is a family business headquartered in Hamburg, so there is plenty of opportunity to grow in an international sense. Incidentally, the Australian arm has been doing just that for nigh on seven years now. As Pantaenius themselves say, 'whilst insurance may sound like a boring industry to work within, we can assure you that yacht insurance is quite different!' Having worked with them for six years now, I can attest to that personally.

Right oh, here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the trials for new Olympic equipment, 49ers, the 12s are having their World Championship, Beau Geste the tri, Mirabaud video, the race formerly known as the Volvo, GGR, IMOCAs, make sure you see Whitsunday Holidays, as Hammo looks set to be big, the Fastnet, new CEO for AUS Sailing, news from Royal Perth, gear from Zhik, AC and how good does the Mule continue to look, skiffs, 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
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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