Dear SSAA Member,
Our sailing season is in full swing and those on the line have enjoyed good sailing although the breeze could have been fresher on most occasions. To the new faces sailing with us this season, welcome. We trust you find the dimension of shorthanded sailing is all you were anticipating it to be. To date it is interesting to see that strongest interest is in the OS series and the SC series. A summary of racing to date is enclosed. Individual race results are posted on the web site as soon as possible after each event----reports on each race are also on the site----watch your web site!!! The site is the main spot to get up to the minute communication, otherwise it is by this newsletter.
SSAA member, Tony Mowbray, successfully completed his solo, non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation on Easter Saturday, arriving home to his native Newcastle to a reception of thousands. Congratulations Tony, an awesome achievement! We look forward to him ‘downloading’ his experiences to us in the not too distant future.
A reminder that safety inspections and certificates are valid for the year January to December only. If you had an inspection last year, you are out of date for this year.
Ken Peterson has taken the safety task on board again, now he and Susie are back in Sydney following their Pacific cruise last year. Jim Orman will work with Ken to update all safety issues including a review of our requirements for cat 1 races especially. Please call Ken 0417 407265 and/or Jim 0412 241636 on any safety issues.
Sailing and cricket match
One of our key events for the year, the Port Stephens race, is very near and all plans are in place. Full details of the weekend are attached.
The usual Skippers V’s Crew cricket match will take place following the fine luncheon where products of the vine will be carefully consumed, no doubt in quantities commensurate with the occasion. The luncheon venue, the cricket pavilion, is aptly named the ‘Ruby Pavilion’---to match the eyes and noses of the participants by days end.
Our member extraordinaire, James Davern, has organized the day, and Tony Mowbray has agreed to umpire the battle of Skippers V’s Crew cricket match. This could be more of a challenge to Tony than the Southern Ocean!
Marina space is limited, so get your entries in fast!
¨ The start time has been set at 8.00pm on Friday night. This change to the usual noon start time follows concerns regarding safety for participants. After lengthy consideration the committee took the view that it is safer to depart a familiar port at night than arrive at an unfamiliar port at night. With an 8pm start it is likely all yachts will arrive after dawn on Saturday. A casual gathering on Saturday night may be arranged depending on interest. TBA
¨ Safety---The race has an upgraded safety requirement this year of Cat 3 plus liferaft plus fitted VHF. If the need for a raft inhibits your entry, we are sure we can find one for you----don’t hesitate to ask
As per previous newsletters a key award is the “SSAA Champion”. This award is available for Monohull and Multihull vessels however certain criteria must be met for the award to be presented. Further details are available on the web site under ‘notice board’ or please phone a committee member and the criteria can be forwarded to you. The award is based on success and participation in the SSAA sailing calendar, and line honours results within length divisions. Completion of the Lord Howe Is race and at least seven other SSAA races is mandatory.
¨ Tony Mowbray has completed his solo, non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation as mentioned above. Congratulations again Tony.
¨ Will Oxley, skipper of Compaq in the BT around the world race, has successfully reached Capetown and holds second place overall! Congratulations Will!
¨ Liz Wardley has sold ‘Dixie Chicken’ and is looking to get involved in Mini Transat solo sailing. Good Luck Liz!
¨ Jamie Hocking has sold ‘Toccata’. He is keeping his future plans ‘under covers’ so it will be interesting to see what comes next for Jamie.
¨ Tom Addis is talking Mini Transat as well! ----I guess this is consistent with his ‘Moth’ background---similar concepts but a bit bigger!
¨ Tony Roberts and Mike Thurston are off to Gizo in the Brisbane to Gizo race-----enjoy the jorney, we are all jealous, it’s a great place to visit.
Timing the legs to fit within reasonable weather windows and lack of sponsorship seem to hinder planning for this event. An option being pursued is West Coast USA to East Coast Australia via a stop or two along the way, shorthanded and fully crewed. If you have an interest, let us know and we can put you in touch with the organizing party.
The committee has made a preliminary commitment to run the next race in 2002 on the 27th April, destination Auckland. The SSAA is vitally interested that this race connects with the single-handed race from New Plymouth to Mooloolaba. Verbal advice from the organizing body of the single handed race is that they are happy to start their race late in May which suits---confirmation is expected shortly.
Our patron, Robin Knox-Johnson’s business, Clipper Ventures, has taken over the Around Alone event. An announcement on the dates, course, stop-overs etc. is expected in August this year, giving approx. 12 months lead time. You may recall that prior to the last time the event was run, the then event sponsor BOC pulled the plug. Visit the Clipper Ventures web site for more details.
Subs for 2001 are now well overdue. Should payment not be received by the end of May, those ‘recalcitrant’ members will be treated as lapsed and our database adjusted accordingly.
Your views can be aired here so please forward letters addressed to the Editor, this way we know you want it published.
It is heard that there is some ‘rumblings in the camp’ re the changes that are occurring in the association. Yes, there have been changes over the last year or so---
¨ we have a new ‘face’ on the association with a new racing pennant, new stationery, logo etc.
¨ we have a new look, three tiered, racing program with some innovative ideas to try to attract new participants. This offers racing at three different levels
¨ we have a new promotion leaflet
¨ we have a new committee
¨ And most recently we have a new president----me.
I have been a member of the association for a number of years now, maybe 7 or 8, and in that time my personal interest in and activity with the association has changed from cruising mode to racing mode. My interest in short-handing follows from my dinghy, skiff and Etchells background having actively sailed, in racing mode, for most of my life.
So I am an example of, and very aware that ones’ interest can change with time and with changing personal circumstances. Having this experience, I believe that the SSAA should cater for a bandwidth of participation, from starters to experienced.
I view the sailing program we have this year as a good one as it provides a stepping stone approach for those who want to advance their skills, experience and confidence in short-handing mode. The SC series offers a short out and back race, the LC series offers a short passage type race and the OS races provide night and overnight racing experience. The longer races are there too, the Lord Howe race and next year the Trans Tasman.
What is the SSAA about?
Aren’t we about yacht racing in short-handed mode? Don’t we associate ourselves with and emulate the thrust of short-handed sailing world-wide? Aren’t we about providing steps down a path for anyone to travel to reach the pinnacle of single-handed sailing, should that become their goal? Isn’t short-handed sailing about one design or development type yacht racing, no handicaps? (Figaro’s, Mini’s, Open 50’s or 60’s) Shouldn’t therefor the design of the criteria for the selection of the SSAA champion, our key award, follow this thrust?---and for 2001 it does! (see our web site, under the page ‘notice board’)
Having said this however, I am vitally aware that not many (do any?) have these one design or development machines. Therefor we need to offer a racing program catering for a variety of yachts. The PHS and SSAA handicap systems within the SC and LC series does cater for the interest of our wider membership.
Where to now?
We have to lift the profile of the SSAA to the wider sailing community and properly market what we are offering. There are still many people out there who are not aware of the SSAA so we have some promotional work to do! We are named the Short-handed Sailing Assoc of Australia—so should we not lift our sights from the Sydney region to a national level?
Surely our charter is to provide the means whereby more Australians can take the steps to be on the map at the top end of single-handed sailing in the world, the Vendee Globe for instance. Those Frogs have been there for too long! The Poms are getting there. Where are the Ozzies? No where to be seen at the moment! We need to change that!
When short-handing, you win when you achieve your goals.
To develop, promote and expand the Short-handed Sailing Association of Australia Inc. to be the pre-eminent body for the sport of short-handed sailing in Australia.
Sport: a human activity capable of achieving a result requiring physical exertion and/or physical skill, which, by its nature and organization is competitive.
Short-handed: the crew of the yacht is limited to one or two persons.
Sailing the vessel, of maximum length 50/60? Feet, either mono or multi-hulled, may be equipped with water ballast and/or autopilot system/s, and may only be powered by the force of wind or power of the crew. Machines that operate from accumulated/stored energy (electric, pneumatic, hydraulic etc.) shall not be used, directly or indirectly, for propelling the vessel.
Ø Promotion and development of the sport at state/regional level throughout Australia.
Ø Conducting annual state/regional and national events leading to selection of an ‘open champion’, in divisions by length/type, as determined by the committee at the time.
Ø To work with other sailing organizations at regional/state/national levels in a sense of co-operation for our mutual gain.
Ø To conduct a racing program to incorporate three levels of participation-----open, mid and entry level.
The June long weekend is our next ‘main event’ ---see above! Following this, the next gathering is scheduled on Saturday evening at RMYC on 8th September after LC 8----put it in your diaries, be there!
Shorthanded Sailing Assoc of Aust. Inc.
P. O. Box 7033
McMahons Point NSW 2060