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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Swap day at Manly 16ft Skiff Club - Always the best day of the year

by Adam Lucius 4 Apr 2023 01:44 PDT

There was one moment that perfectly illustrated the impact Manly 16ft Skiff Club's swap day can have on the next generation of sailors. Club commodore and Olympic champion Malcolm Page invited his daughter's friend aboard Australian championship-winning skiff Typhoon for a spin around the harbour in a wonderful introduction to the world of 16s. It was a scene replayed around the fleet on Saturday as Manly's best sailors gave up their time to pass on their experience and expertise.

"It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces among the kids and so many of our sailors willing to offer their time to ensure the success of the day," Page said. "I know from the parents of the seven-year-old on our boat that she went to school on Monday knowing exactly what she was going to talk about at show and tell.

"She'd been at learn-to-sail before but this was her first time on a skiff and she absolutely loved it. "Six months ago she'd never sailed and now she's experiencing a skiff. "It's those sort of stories which really make the swap day so enjoyable and so important. "I think it's the perfect way to finish off a season."

And it wasn't as if the kids were given an armchair ride.

It was little rig sailing in a fresh southerly, enough to keep a few ex-sailors from venturing out as part of Old Buffers Day, held in conjunction with swap day. Club champion Daniel Turner said: "It was a great day out on the water with all the young kids. "I am really impressed with the quality of sailors coming through the skiffs.

"We'll certainly have to be looking over our shoulders in the years to come." Swap day/Old Buffers officially brings to an end Manly's centenary 2022/23 season. Page said: "It's been a busy year - on and off the water - for a lot of people but a very productive one. "Everyone is looking forward to a bit of a break but we will be soon back into it to ensure the momentum continues.

"We've got a wonderful sailing community at Manly and a lot to look forward to in the coming years."

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