Rules, rules and more rules

The last few weeks have been very much about the Racing Rules of Sailing.  I have started having monthly dinners with my good friend Liesl Tesch to talk rules.  So far we have got together twice at different locations with our little boats to play with whilst having dinner.  With both of us busy it is great to make the time for a catch up and to play with different scenarios.   With both of us doing different events we always have plenty of scenarios to share and discuss.

I have also had the chance to do a few more events recently as a Judge and an Umpire.  WIth the Opti States and the NSW Schools Teams Racing both on the last two weekends.  It has now been a few weeks without a day off and it is certainly showing!  Both events were great fun and I learnt a great deal.   This past weekend with the Teams Racing it became obvious that winter was fast approaching.  Many of the umpires were wearing multiple layers for the first time this year.  It is one thing when you are out sailing but when umpiring you aren’t doing a great deal to keep warm!!!  Big thanks to my fellow umpires who take care of me with my joint troubles.

It is a busy week this week as we prepare for the Combined High Schools Regatta that we (DeckHardware) sponsor.  It is an event I loved competing in so being able to support it and watch it continue to be a strong event that people love is fantastic.   It is amazing how many adults I speak to who would love to do it again….  If only it wasn’t just for High School Students.

Opti States - when it is a day like this I realise how lucky I am to be on the water.
Opti States – when it is a day like this I realise how lucky I am to be on the water.
The Changeover boat was a busy place over the weekend.
The Changeover boat was a busy place over the weekend.
Teams Racing
Teams Racing

It is all about one yacht race

Sailing is my sport.  Yesterday reminded me that I am truly very lucky to be so involved in such a great sport.   In my fathers role as MHYC PRO we each year head out on Boxing Day to volunteer our time on a Start boat for the biggest yacht race of the year.   The Sydney to Hobart is such an iconic event and yesterday it reminded us why.  We have done this for a number of years now with my Father in charge and a few friends supporting.   This year we got to see off the middle line with all the Clipper boats which are known for sailing around the world!

Onboard the start boat were a number of close friends, many of them regular volunteers known around the Harbour and beyond for donating their time to our sport.   They included well known race official / judge / umpire Jeremey Atkinson and Umpire / Judge Erica Kirby.  It is a little way that we see we can thank them for what they do for our sport.  Yes we are there to start a race and as normal that is fairly time consuming.  However the atmosphere of the Sydney to Hobart is such an enjoyable experience and one to share.   Onboard to help add to the atmosphere was good friend Liesl Tesch well known for winning a few Paralympic medals over the years as well as being the most enthusiastic person we know.  Liesl has done the race in the past and loved having the chance to see what else happens to make the race possible.

We couldn’t do it without a great team onboard and it is nice to know that everyone also enjoyed it.  With Erica bringing yummy cup cakes and Liesl purchasing some bubbles to drink afterwards.  The team all came back to our place for a BBQ and to watch the TV version of the coverage to see what we missed!   I am sure many people probably think we have it easy and a prime location but many of us didn’t get to see the start due to flag duties, penciling etc etc. Then there was the fact that many of us didn’t really have much of a chance to eat the sandwiches we had brought onboard either!  You have to love the Christmas Day leftovers!!!

This years race was always going to be epic.  With so many Maxi Boats entered I called it early that helicopters would reach double figures and they did!   Standing on top of the MHYC Start Boat with Liesl the two of us had massive grins and remembered why we are so proud to be sailors.  The Harbour was packed and looked fantastic with a spectator fleet out in full force thanks to the rain clearing early in the day.  The yachts looked fantastic as they lined up at our pin end boat to check in and show they were ready to race with their storm gear up!  The race was always going to be big this year despite next year being an anniversary year.   As I type this there are some AWESOME battles going on in the fleet both up the front for line honors and further back as well.  It is great to see such good close racing!

I didn’t get to take too many photos but some are on www.facebook.com/deckhardware   you can also listen to the Chix coverage of the event .

Aussie Sailors Rock, we are so lucky to have such a great country to sail in.  Boxing Day, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but Sydney Harbour!

 

Yachting Awards and Sailing Chix

On Friday night the Sailing Chix and I headed to the Australian Yachting Awards!  For all the winners check out the link.  It is always a great night getting to see Australian Sailors celebrated.  There were more than 230 guests attended the event at the Byron Kennedy Hall in the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park, Sydney.  The three of us managed to catch up with friends along with spreading the word on our new Radio Show.  The feedback we had on the show was fantastic!  Thanks so much everyone for the support.  As a sponsor of the Australian Sailing Team the Yachting Awards is certainly a highlight.

Nina Curtis and Liesl Tesch certainly are two of our biggest advocates!  Love them so much!  Good to know we have some other awesome sailing chix wanting to see our new venture succeed.

Saturday morning we then woke up early to be on air!  We kicked off a little early and still did not manage to cover everything!  We will be backing it up in the next show.   Here is our show update from Yesterday:

Jam packed champion chat!

Well what a show we had for you this morning! So much went on last night at the Yachting Australia awards that we will just have to roll over the after party to cover more interviews for you next week!

Today we did chat to Cam Williams from Channel 9, Mark Spearman who took out the Youth Sailor of the Year award, and of course our great interview with one of the Volunteers of the Year, John Middleton and Mike “Fletch” Fletcher who was honoured with the Yachting Australia Lifetime Achievement award.

We did get to meet the Minister for Sport, it was great to hear about how her son fell in love with sailing at the launch of Discover Sailing at the Canberra Yacht Club last week. We are hoping to have her on the show in the next few weeks!

The Honourable Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport presenting the Sport Promotion Award last night

On top of all of this (yes it was busy here in the studio!), we chatted live to one of the winners of Yachtswoman of the Year, Nina Curtis of ONLY Racing and of course Randy from Bangin’ the Corners! Fantastic to have them both on the show! Beau of Bangin’ the Corners is of course “Nathan’s brother” – one of the recipients of the Yachtsman of the Year award last night, along with his crew Iain Jensen, as well as Malcolm Page and Mat Belcher, and Tom Slingsby. Yes a three-way tie!

It was great to see so many of our past guests up there taking out awards last night! Of course Liesl Tesch and Dan Fitzgibbon took out the Sailor of the Year with a Disability! What an awesome year for our Sailing Chix with Nix advocate! Matt Allen also presented the SOLAS trusts award, a great cause that we all need to support as sailors.

If you missed the action today, or want to catch up on what we have been getting up to over the past few weeks check out our Past Shows page. Today’s show should be up in the next few days!

As for next week, well we have interviews with Phil Jones, CEO of Yachting Australia, and we were also lucky enough to catch up with Victor Kovalenko the medal-maker himself! These interviews and more from the 16 footer States, the Farr 40′s and a number of development programs are all happening next week!

Massive thanks to those who chatted with us last night and today! Until next Saturday, enjoy the southerly stream this weekend, and look forward to talking sailing with you next Saturday from 8am EST!

Listen to the Show: