We haven’t had one of these TY Championship events for many years and I must admit I was a little bit concerned that we, Port Kembla Sailing Club would not be able to pull it off. Getting things like race committees, protest committees, members to do registration and results and staffing for the kitchen can be a challenge. There is always an element of doubt in my mind that everyone who says they are available will be able to show up on the day.
But I need not of worried and as such my sincere thanks go out to all of the PKSC members who gave up there valuable time to run this championship event. It is because of you that the event was such a success..
But of course, you need more than PKSC members to have a regatta, you need participants to turn up. I was very relieved to find many familiar TY people setting up in the PKSC rigging area on Friday afternoon, confirming that getting sufficient numbers for this national event would not be an issue and in the end we had 17 starters. My thanks go out to the TY sailors who turned up to sail and support this event.
As an event and as a sailing club we were also testing the new Racing Rules of Sailing and updated ATYSB rules and handicap system.
Weather conditions could not have been more different for the two days planned for racing. With the wind gusting over 25 knots from the South West by Saturday’s first race start, Dave Morrison and crew on the starter’s boat had the difficult job of deciding what to do about running the 3 races scheduled. Dave and his starter crew made the sensible call to abandon racing for the day and, I believe without exception, all competitors were relieved to be heading back to the sanctuary of PKSC for a post sailing catch up session (translation - talking crap, drinking and eating).
Day two found us bobbing around with little wind before the scheduled start time with next to no wind Dave and the starter boat crew making another great call to postpone the start. It was if we hadn’t informed the weather about daylight savings time change, and, right on queue one hour later the wind came in from north east at around 10 knots permitting four good races to be squeezed in.
The race format of four short windward/leeward courses set up by Dave, the starter boat crew and the mark laying team provided participants with close racing and very good competition with seconds separated finishing times for most of the boats. I bet this must have given the handicappers confidence that they had allocated appropriate handicaps to the classes participating.
We were privileged to have in attendance Geoff Searle an Australian Sailing National Sailing Judge and John Burges and Peter Taylor from Australian Sailing Trailer Yacht and Sports Boat Technical Committee. Geoff provided invaluable assistance to ensure that we, whether part of the organising committee or sailors or both, conducted the racing fairly for all competitors, while John and Peter assisted us with getting the handicapping correct and boat safety inspections sorted.
Saturdays regatta dinner format was also a winner. The food was good and the communal nature of cooking and eating together reinforced positive relationships among participants. What also impressed me most was the obvious camaraderie between competitors both on and off the water, something that lifted the event from a sailing race into a far more enjoyable experience.
You may argue that whenever there is more than one person in a room there will always be rivalries and some differences in ways of doing things and in what way d decision should go. At least with everyone contributing to an optimistic and supportive environment, like I feel generally happened for this event, any minor differences could be managed more easily before they get too big.
On behalf of all TY competitors and their support crew we would like to thank Barbara Hipsley for managing the big job of the catering, Nikki Sullivan for managing the registration and results, Beck Curry for all her work in the canteen making sure we were fed and for organising the prizes, Ross Fyfe for managing the VJ Cafe, Jack Kroek and Rick Shorebridge for being part of the protest committee, Hugh Lewis and Rob Porter for their on water duty, Paul Leaudais and Tony Sanderson for buoy laying and on water safety duties, Jody Mathew, Sue and Oscar Souter for start boat duties and of course Dave Morrison for being our race officer. Everyone agreed that Dave and his crew did a fantastic job. Thank you to all those club members who assisted in the canteen including Sue Nairn, Sharon Sellers, Sylvia Ledger and Marie Kropp. Thank you to Bill Ledger for cleaning up after us. Thanks to Richard Hipsley for keeping competitors informed of what was happening and many other small but significant things he did behind the scenes to make sure everything ran smoothly. Thank you to Stephen Sullivan for getting our event webpage, the online booking site and results calculator working.
The event was a success because of you and I owe you all a debt of gratitude for your selfless contributions.
PKSC has pulled of what I believe and all the officials and competitors I spoke to felt was a very successful sailing event and one that exceeded participants expectations. I hope that the same positive vibe will carry over into next year’s ATYSB championships to be held somewhere in Victoria.
There were some sailing results as well that you will be able to find on our ATYSB Championships events page:
The end Trev