Home' Afloat : AFLOAT May 2017 Contents 8 AFLOAT.com.au May 2017
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Passing out on Chesapeake Bay
Who chose the pen name ‘Captain Chaos’ ? It seems apt
anyway. His yarn ‘Daring young men on their flying trapeze’
(Afloat Mar’17) brought back memories of two similar heart
I once owned a 12sqm Sharpie and, one glorious autumn
morning, I finally talked a hoped for girlfriend into coming sailing.
Her one demand that her younger sister also come. We set off
from the newly formed South of Perth Yacht Club and headed
across the Swan River for Nedlands. About halfway there I noticed
a particularly nasty black cloud heading right for us.
Quickly reversing course I could see we were going to be hit,
so lowered the main. Within seconds we were planing under jib
only. Another gust, a mighty bang and just a few tatters of the
jib were left. The two girls were close to hysterics. The rain, now
a deluge, was filling the hull and we were still racing through
We ended up in the rushes along the foreshore near the yacht
club and the girls quickly jumped ashore and headed for home.
My hopes vanished with them.
As David Salter states in his article (Afloat M a r ’17) , those
yachts that employ stored power should be racing in their own
separate division. Personally, I think they should go away and
only race among themselves!
If you can’t win, give up
One of my strongest irritations with the TV coverage of the
Sydney-Hobart race is that it is so one-sided. There is a bias to
the big and maxi yachts only, which through their sponsorship
seem interesting to Channel 7.
The vast audience of smaller racers is ignored. There are usually
somewhere between 80 to more than 100 other yachts racing.
After over 60 years of sailing, I have never aspired to this
form of body punishment, nevertheless we have had both family
and friends competing. Yet over the years they rarely receive a
mention or be seen on the screen as their vessels represent
The commentators almost run out of things to say, yet the
cameras monotonously return to the leading maxi yachts.
Is there no real yachting journalist available who would have a
modicum of knowledge about sailing and the other competitors? Is
it really only supposed to be a payola for sponsors or a description
of the big yachts? Give them a totally separate division and the
ordinary sailor can compete on an even basis.
With the influx of overseas maxi yachts, the original spirit
of the race is being lost. By all means welcome the ‘motorised’
sailors with their professional crews, but don’t kill off the ordinary
man in his aspiration to do something extraordinary.
The motorised sailors are no longer pure sailors. The bad
sportsmanship displayed by the maxi helmsmen and their
narcissistic crew augurs badly for future young aspiring sailors.
If you can’t win you give up. Is this what racing a yacht has
The race began as a friendly challenge but appears to have
become elitist. Have heaps of money, will throw it at winning the
Hobart. What a shame on the fabric of Australian fair go style
of living and sailing.
Hoping the committee at CYCA wake up before they lose one
of the great sailing races of the world.
When so much of sport seems money driven, words can’t
express how cheering it is to hear from a true sportsman like Tony
Saunders ‘Its not for the sake of a ribboned coat’ (Afloat A pr ’17) .
I have long wondered why the media never interest themselves
in the many stories behind every Hobart starter – or what
happened on the way.
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