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Already the clouds are clearing - Australian newsletter

by Peter Rendle 14 Jan 14:00 PST
Port Stephens © Mark Rothfield

We begin this week's newsletter with the announcement of a regatta that was cancelled last year. Sail Port Stephens, the event north of Sydney, is hoping that it will be able to take place this year.

With safety plans in place and fingers firmly crossed, Sail Port Stephens is accepting entries for its 2021 regatta in April and once again aiming to provide an unforgettable sailing holiday for crews aboard everything from small dinghies to family cruiser-racers and IRC racing yachts. The forced cancellation of last year's edition due to Covid restrictions only served to intensify the pent-up demand for this must-do event on the sailing calendar, renowned for both its on- and off-water attractions.

While we try to avoid negative articles that serve no purpose except to deter would-be boaties, safety news is always considered a priority. An interesting report from the US was recently sent to us from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. This safety alert shares recommendations made by the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The recommendations follow the investigation into the fire and subsequent loss of the passenger vessel Conception. While this incident did not occur in Australia, the findings of the NTSB investigation provide our industry with an opportunity to learn from the unfortunate experience of others.

Company news includes Whittley Queensland (QLD), who are set to introduce a new customer service division and will be offering mobile and on-site servicing to the Gold Coast and greater Brisbane regions. Whittley QLD is located in the heart of the bustling marine hub of the Coomera Marine Precinct at The Boat Works. Whittley QLD is owned by the Whittley Family who have over 65 years' experience in the boating industry. The business is run by Laurie Jackson and Aaron Herd, who have big plans for the iconic boating brand as it continues to expand in south east Queensland in 2021.

Further south, and following the partnership with MacGlide at the 2020 Festival of Sails, RGYC Members Morgan and Joanne Cornelius invested in MacGlide's boat wrapping, installed on their boat Apprentice G621 by certified national partner, National Marine Wraps. After doing their own research to investigate the benefits of traditional methods compared to MacGlide's solution, the cost and time savings were a clear point of difference for the busy 'yachties'. Owner of Apprentice G621, Morgan Cornelius, said with these contribution factors, the decision to convert to MacGlide's wrapping solution was an easy one.

Another partnership involves global marine electronics company Navico. Parent company to the Lowrance®, Simrad®, B&G® and C-MAP® brands, Navico are excited to announce a partnership with Ozfish Unlimited, a not-for-profit charity helping Aussie recreational fishers get active to improve the health of their local waterways through restoring fish habitat. The bulk of recreational fishers in Australia live in metropolitan areas and because of the urban development, have experienced historic losses of fish habitat. Most of these losses have been driven by poor management of water quality in the past and although that has improved most of the habitats, shellfish reefs, seagrass beds, and saltmarshes will not come back without assistance.

Power boating has never been easier. New Assisted Docking automation technology gives the captain a whole new level of control, taking another important step toward self-docking and easy boating. Volvo Penta today announced the commercial availability of the industry's first fully integrated Assisted Docking system against the backdrop of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The Assisted Docking system gives the captain better control when docking a boat by automating his or her intentions, compensating for some dynamic variables, such as wind and current, and helping the vessel stay on its intended course. The technology will be on display at Volvo Penta's virtual booth at CES from 11-14 January 2021.

While we normally report on people joining the industry it's interesting to keep up with some who leave the industry. Former Australian Sailing Vice President Sarah Kenny has just been announced as Chair of the highly experienced nine-member Sport Integrity Australia Advisory Council. The Advisory Council includes leaders from a wide cross section of sport, governance, government administration, law enforcement and child protection. The announcement was made yesterday by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services and Minister for Sport: "I am pleased to announce the nine-member advisory council. Each member brings skills and knowledge to provide advice on all areas of sports integrity."

Meanwhile our sailing and powerboating websites continue to attract more readers with over 500,000 unique visitors accessing them globally over the past 30 days. If your company would like details of how to gain maximum exposure of your brand and products let me know and I'll happily forward full details for consideration.

Stay Safe,
Peter Rendle

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