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Mackay Boats

Put your two hands together, please…

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 16 Jun 15:00 PDT
Conor Fogarty, along with co-skipper Susan Glenny, is competing in the Dun Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race © Rachel Fallon-Langdon

Going shorthanded has been loved by many for ages. The French have certainly been great exponents of this method of sailing, and it also has traction in the Pacific, too. Being two-handed means you really want to know your other half exceptionally well. There are loads of tales about when it did not all go to plan.

I remember several, especially the time where one of them was dropped off after about 3000nm into a 5500nm event, and the remaining Skipper completed the journey on his own. Good effort! Great, actually... Then there was the husband and wife team, doing the same event as it happens, but different year, and both thought the other had brought the matches for the stove. Yes, they were not smokers, but still, dry, uncooked pasta is not really that nice. It took them most of their journey to spark some toilet paper by jumping off the house batteries, and it must have felt positively gourmet garden after that.

I see Class 40 is going for a RTW race two-handed, and I reckon there will be no shortage whatsoever of entrants. The 2020 Sydney Hobart is slated to have it as a class, as well. Then there is Paris 2024, when the beloved offshore, mixed, two-handed has finally been given a Guernsey. I hope the Figaro3 will get the nod as the equipment, but our own Mark Jardine fears it will be the Star - Argh, Argh, Argh. Yes indeedy. Put your two hands together for that getting up.

Right. New breeze arrived: get the A2 on deck, clip it up, hoist, pop the bag (MADE!), heady on the deck, and now lets get the bow out and rock! Some years ago now I was talking with Matt Allen, the President of Australian Sailing, amongst other things. It is so long ago now, that I cannot even remember what the subject of our conversation was then, but I do remember apologising for not barging in on the luncheon he was having with his Mother to say hi in person, which had been the previous occasion that I had seen him.

He laughed, and said all was fine, and then said that not a lot of sailing gets done in the Toorak Village. I replied that it all depended on how you looked at it, for the locals going into, around, and out of the Jackson Street car park, certainly tacked, and gybed well enough, with heaps of them collecting a few marks of the course amongst other things, and the occasional one even ending up on the bricks. If you consider the bumpers the hull, and the wheels the keel, then there was plenty of antifoul being taken off, good gouges in the gelcoat, and many a wallop to the bulb, as well.

Now the clientele of the area might be slightly older, and not so fussed about what everyone else is doing, as long as they're fine. Yes, it is very much an ultra-regionalised story, but I reckon the scenario would be repeated the world over, wherever there is a more elderly and affluent demographic. Yes, hanging around there could be perilous to your health, but if you had a good buffer between you and them, then you could easily clap the best efforts.

So now then, if you are Australian, would you please be upstanding and put your hands together. HRH EIIR, recently issued the Queens Birthday Honours List for Australia, and of the 1200 or so souls mentioned, four bear particular importance to us. One of them is Matt Allen, who has been made a member of the Order of Australia (AM for short, and as he says, it now means he can do whatever he wants post-meridien). In his role as President of A.S., he said, "It is great to see three other sailors recognised for the work in the field of sailing, and all the sailors on the 2019 list for their efforts in other fields of endeavour."

"One such gentleman is Dr Kimberley Jaggar, who has become a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his work in secondary education. He is a prominent member of the CYCA [a previous Commodore] and I can remember back to 1978 where both of us were on an East Coast 31, and we came in through Sydney Heads, which was the first time for me, nine days after leaving Hobart to deliver the vessel back home. We stopped in Eden, briefly, but that was only to get more supplies!"

"Adrienne Cahalan OAM, has been around so many types of sailing from skiffs to ocean racing, as well as performing many administration roles, and being a RTW and navigation legend with the records to match it all. On top of all of that, she is a Maritime Lawyer, as well. The only female so far to rack up 25 Hobarts is another of her many accolades, and now she becomes an OAM. Well done."

Of Robert Badenach AM, Allen said, "Biddy is utterly instrumental in the annual race to Hobart and also for his club in general. The sport of sailing really relies on volunteers. Iconic and high profile events like the Hobart require an enormous input from volunteers, and he is a constant in making that happen. Whether it is for the finish or logistics, he's been doing it forever, and knows how it needs to be handled. Biddy can call the appropriate people for any issue like SAR, lost baggage, retirements, docking, garbage, quarantine, refuelling, and so on. It is a huge array of stuff that he makes happen, and it also includes the trophy presentations, schedules, lists - the list goes on. This is the only international sporting event that touches both cities each year, other than the cricket, and he does everyone proud."

"John Carroll, OAM, hails from the inland, regional city of Bendigo in Victoria [as does Glenn Ashby], so it is great to see someone from that side of sailing being recognised. Apart from designing the Sailfish, he is also a Measurer and even a multiple State Champion of the Class."

As for his acknowledgement by the powers that be, Allen said, "Thank you, and yes I am totally delighted. I feel it is a reflection on what sailing has done as a sport, and the restructuring and reforms undertaken by A.S. There has been a huge team that has made it happen, and I really want to thank the people who have helped me."

"I would also especially like to highlight the groundwork put into the reforms by David Goetze, who went before me. It was a wonderful partnership that we had. We worked hard on getting these structures sorted out, as too the Board of A.S, and former CEOs, like Matt Carroll."

"Sarah Kenny deserves praise for her efforts with regard to World Sailing, and the Events Committee for 2024, and she still has a lot to do. So cheers to her on her efforts for modernising sailing inside the Olympic Games. I have been on the board for eight years now, and we have worked closely in that time. It is especially great, for we compliment each other well, both in terms of sailing and business. Sarah is a lawyer and windsurfer, and I'm a banker and love being offshore in an OD fleet. There has been a lot of work created by all the activities we have undertaken, and she has done a huge amount of it."

Cheers on the new gig. Ben Kelly, the 41-year year old multihull expert with over 24 years experience in sailmaking, has joined Mark Bradford and Vaughan Prentice at North Sails Brisbane Loft. Kelly started his apprenticeship as a teenager, and then later on he performed a management buyout, and took it on even further. Among his favourite racing moments, Kelly says, Being there on Sean Langmans ORMA 60 trimaran, Team Australia, for the record to New Zealand was pretty huge.

Kelly also holds nine national titles in trailable and ocean-going multihulls, as well. Still keen on all of that, as time has gone by, Kelly also states, "I do love the preparation and whole process, including crew development, that we help our customers perform after the Summer, as they get set to head North for the Winter regattas. We sort them out, all the way up to 60-foot cruiser/racers, and this is really rewarding, especially when they tell you how much fun they had."

The Northern circuit will also see four Extreme 40 cats take on the Coral Sea. He has been instrumental behind the scenes in preparing them. Kelly will be on board Back in Black for the national titles that form part of the Airlie Beach Race Week, and then be on Tony Longhurst's, The Boat Works, for Hamilton Island. Of that magnificent facility by the same name, Kelly says, "The Boat Works is a real focus for us moving forward, especially all of our cruisers and cats. We really love that boat resort, and all the trades that reside there, as well. The support from everyone I know has been unbelievable."

Even though Kelly will be the Australasian Multihull Expert for North Sails, covering Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, it certainly does not mean he wont continue to assist the monohull sector. "I am excited about all of this, and we are just making new symmetrical kites for Robert Robinson and his new Bavaria C45. I have a broad base of knowledge and contacts, so that when you combine this with the global resources of North Sails it just propels all I want do into another league. The technology, support and service that North Sails have is unparalleled."

"50-60 foot cats have the same sorts of loads as the Mini Maxis, and North Sails have the materials that suit the high load demands of the multihulls I specialise in. They are always looking to evolve their technology too, and this is particularly important to me. Whilst it is great to have North Sails acknowledge my experience, it is even more important as it really shows how much North Sails appreciates the whole segment."

"It is not all about the top end, either. We are working on tri-radial panel fabrics and there are also some soon-to-be-released products that will just take it all to another level, whether you are interested in black sails or white. We will certainly have a focus on the club and cruiser level, and so the materials and services will certainly reflect this", said Kelly in closing.

Short one and in to the bottom mark now, and I see the Extreme Sailing Series is gone. They did a lot for short-course stadium sailing in the non-foiling era over their tenure, but time and technology knocked on the door, and the event was carted off after a valiant effort to remain afloat and relevant. The will be remembered for bringing the action close to shore, and the on board material they pushed out. Thanks for the memories, team.

Right oh, here today there are some gems for you to review like Dragons, getting fit the SailGP way, Finns, 52 Super Series, Mark Jardine talks with the autistic crew taking part in the Fastnet, Fiji Regatta Week, Js at Antigua (worth the flight I reckon), gear from ICOM, and also Raymarine, AC36, the Race to Alaska, IMOCAs, 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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