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Vale Peter McEachern Campbell - Australian MarineBusinessWorld.com newsletter

by Peter Rendle 3 Sep 15:00 PDT
Peter Campbell receives his Meritorious Service Award © Daniel Forster / Rolex

It was with much sadness that I read the news of Peter Campbell's passing. I'd known Peter over the past 38 years in the marine media business. He was the consummate professional and always had a good word to say, whatever the circumstances. He loved sailing and was a regular competitor on Sydney Harbour at the helm of his cherished Bonbridge 27 'Hornblower'. Our commiserations and good wishes go to all his family and friends.

Another stalwart member of the sailing industry, Michael Coxon, 'Cocko' to all that knew him, has retired. For 45 years he has applied himself to sail-making with vigour, drive, dedication, and loads of passion. The great bulk of this time has been deployed in building North Sails Australia. He leaves when they have lofts and agents around the country, and are the largest in the land, just as the parent is all over the world. Ostensibly, nothing will really change. Now in that very statement actually lies the real beauty of what Cocko has crafted. Always on the lookout for great talent as the next generations emerge; today the North Sails spinnaker has truly massive shoulders to its powerful form. Creating that shape are the likes of Alby Pratt, Noel Drennan, Vaughan Prentice, Aaron Cole, Billy Sykes, Andrew Parkes, Ben Kelly, and Mark Bradford, with experience in the America's Cup, Round the World races, the TP circuit, offshore events all over the globe, and countless hours in many a One Design class.

While the country ponders over the future and how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the marine industry continues to expand. The Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) has added to its distinguished talent pool and on-site capabilities with the prized addition and expansion of multiple new and existing marine refit and repair businesses. The landmark 17.5-hectare facility plays home to the largest concentration of marine trades in Australia and provides a seamless destination for maintenance, refit and repair of vessels of every shape and size - from jet-skis and tinnies through to 70+ metres superyachts. There are currently over 80 on-site businesses employing in excess of 700 marine contractors, many of whom are leading marine service providers in their respective fields.

In Sydney, R Marine Pittwater, the dealer representative for Riviera, has relocated to an expanded new sales and service centre at Newport in Sydney's northern beaches. The remodelled facility in Princes Street Marina returns dealer representatives, the Dillon family, to where their Riviera journey started, with Lee Dillon working for the first Riviera dealership on the site as a school leaver in 1980.

Further south in Victoria a new powerboat brand has been launched. The Cape50 has been conceived, designed and built in Australia to meet real boating conditions by Steve Campbell's Composites Constructions. Campbell is a 30-year master Shipwright, and dedicated ocean racer who has worked and sailed at the highest level, the America's Cup. His first was in 1995 with Peter Gilmour's Nippon Challenge, and then 2000 with Paul Cayard's AmericaOne. You could say that the writing was on the wall early for Campbell, when as an Apprentice back in 1987, the Davidson ¾ Tonner named Illusion that he had worked on won the Tattersall's Cup in the 1988 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Other great vessels of the era like Joint Venture and the late Lou Abrahams' Ultimate Challenge followed. He was at Hart Marine when that company built some of Australia's most famous racers, including Wild Thing.

Electric power continues to be pursued as a marine energy alternative. Buoyed by early successes, Steber International's first foray into electric hybrid boats has now entered the stage three development phase. The electric hybrid is a collaborative effort between Steber, Ampcontrol and Newcastle University, with funding support from the Federal Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Stage one involved bench testing at Newcastle University followed by stage two, the recent successful sea trials of the hybrid 22-footer on the Manning River at Taree, NSW. Commenting on the sea trails, General Manager, Alan Steber said: "All involved were delighted with the on-water performance. There was no vibration, extremely good torque and a top speed of 40 kph. "Stage three will involve linking electric and diesel propulsion and also include bollard pull testing at various rpm."

And new products this week include Wichard Pacific's new developments in sail handling equipment. One of the two most important controls of sailboat handling is hoisting and dousing the sails. Halyard systems on sailboat rigs have come a long way from the days of winches mounted on the mast or multiple winches on deck, each with a specific task. Rope clutches have been incorporated to spread the job to having fewer winches on deck but often this system is not up to the task on highly loaded rigs, particularly in regards to halyards on larger boats.

Find out how a halyard lock can benefit your performance cruising or racing boat by viewing more information on the range on the Wichard Pacific website here. Or watch the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V9NX9SgFvA&feature=emb_logo

Stay Safe

Peter Rendle peter.rendle@marinebusiness.com

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