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Can You Feel It?

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 11 Apr 15:00 PDT
Can You Feel It? © Photo supplied

Well? Can you? The Jacksons certainly did back in 1980 with this single from their Triumph album. Some of the names that went into included the exceptionally talented, and most sought after Greg Phillinganes on ivories, and then one Venetta Fields. Now what a set of pipes she has, singing background vocals for the likes of Aussie Crawl, Jimmy Barnes, and the mighty Floyd on, Wish You Were Here.

The video came out years later, and was a bit of triumph (argh argh argh) for the tech at the time, as well as its monstrous budget - something like a million then dollars - so yes that's way expensive! Of course, many reflected at the time that it was over indulgent bollocks, so you be the judge.

The mini flick would make it into the top 100 music vids of all time, which was a new one to me BTW. The track also made it to #1 on Billboard's Dance Chart, for yes, it was definitely one for the hand clappers out on the floor. Now it all happened way before Wacko Jacko had visited the plastic surgeon way too often, and was swigging down the wrong kind of milk before bed.

So the question remains. Can you feel it? Well I reckon I very much can, and after speaking with several regatta organisers during the course of the week, as well as the image below, the notion was very much cemented into place. So that feeling would be joy at any pent up energy held back after the cancellation of way too many events.

Getting your ducks...

Saying in column, or single file (their most common form of group travel) does not have the same ring as, in a row. Whereas line abreast is far more accurate, but also means you think waistcoats are cool, and bow ties should not just be reserved for use with your tux.

At any rate, there is no denying that these ducks on the dam were feeling it as they too got into the racing spirit with a good line forming leading into the gun.

And so to the boats, Robin.

Newcastle Smörgåsbord - loads of sailing action - the big guns firing, as in the ones at the old Fort Scratchley - along with loads of small keelboat and Off The Beach action too. Non-sailors were able to view the Sailing Champions League take place inside the harbour, right in front of one of the city's biggest and most well known watering holes. The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania won the Open Division, and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron secured the Youth title - well done teams!

A free Try-Sailing experience was also on offer to see if anyone was keen to go from observer to participant. So yes, there was plenty to get into over the weekend just gone, and a major surfing event going on as well. Never a dull moment...

The utterly magnificent Sail Port Stephens backs up from that 19-25 April, and is just about over subscribed, given there are fewer berths available as there have been lots of new boats acquired recently, and people are out and about in them. Also some new vessels on display, so we'll be making sure there's a wee bit of scouting going on over the results tables. The annual Pantaenius sausage sizzle is on this Friday. If you have not been before, then do get into it, for it always a hoot, and the team go all out to make sure everyone feels more than welcome.

Just a tad further into the future, and well up the coast, and Airlie Beach Race Week is set to prime the enthusiasm for tropical sailing. Hamilton Island race week looms too, so make sure you get your accommodation sorted out with the team at Whitsunday Holidays.

In Western Australia we have recently had the Hobies do great things with coverage, and just this last weekend the Swan River hosted the City of Perth Youth Cup that was won by a very, very jubilant Alpha Racing Team. And there is more to follow this week with a Corporate Cup and Women on Water to follow, as well as the Inter Club Championships, and a beach clean up having already been completed on April 7. Pack it in, all right. Great stuff.

And Easter saw a bit of a drift-a-thon on Bass Strait for the return of the Queenscliff to Port Fairy race. A brilliant location that has not seen the fleet for a while, so pleasant and warm conditions would no doubt have served to make it all ever so convivial.

From over in the UK, our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine was also all too aware of the feeling and commented, "The Easter weekend demonstrated how desperate everyone was to get back on the water, with local racing events drawing in record numbers."

"Hopefully, as restrictions ease further, this trend will continue. In my opinion, the key will be providing variety, and drawing more potential sailors (and racers) into the fold. In recent times the word 'pathway' has meant youth squads and teams, but post-pandemic pathways will be routes through from junior sailing programmes to club races, which can all too often feel inaccessible and daunting to first-timers."

"Forward-thinking clubs are already heading down this route, and we'll show how these are reaping the benefits. We need to make sailing's recovery sustainable and long-lasting. So please keep sending your news in to us, no matter where in the world you are."

Right oh - there is plenty of information on the group's sites for you to review when you can. Please avail yourself of it.

Now if your class or association is generating material, please submit your material. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, many thanks for making Sail-World your go-to choice. We're always here to keep pumping out the news. Stay safe, and have the happiest time possible depending on your level of restrictions.

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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