The Australian Championship for Historic 18ft Skiffs was conducted by the Sydney Flying Squadron in conjunction with the Australian Historic Sailing Skiff Association from 31 Jan – 2 Feb. The first race was sailed in perfect summer sea breeze conditions with a 20-25knot NE, but due to the high winds on Friday racing was abandoned. This meant that two races were sailed on Saturday, in what can be described as very challenging 15-35 knot Sou’westers.
There are currently 11 replica H18ft skiffs on the register of the AHSSA and all were entered for this event, made up of the 10 skiffs that race regularly from the SFS, along with the Brisbane-based Jenny IV (a 1950 design), owned by Peter Cavill and skippered by his son Sandy.
These boats are a unique part of our sailing heritage and apart from the occasional event in Brisbane every alternate year or so, Sydney Harbour is the only venue in the world where you will see them race on a regular basis.
Also in town for this event was Irish sailing legend Harold Cudmore at the helm of The Mistake (1933) with a talented crew put together by Andrew Buckland; with John ‘Woody’ Winning sailing Aberdare (1932), an older skiff he has overhauled to campaign this season. Also in the mix of contenders was defending champion Yendys (1925, Bob Killick) and the ever consistent Britannia (1919, Ian Smith) and Tangalooma (1930, Peter Legrove).
Rob Brown returned to sailing on Australia IV with some of his old buddies, “In particular, Ian Souter and Matt Coleman who sailed with me when I won my first 18’s Skiff World Championship back in 1985. We also had Willy Morrison, Peter Debney and Andrew Hay and Sue Crafer.”
In the final race, the rain squall that came through that flattened most of the fleet, was clocked at 30+ knots.
“Many capsizes and one major collision made it a very long day for some,” said Rob Brown who won the series sailing with two wins and 2nd on scratch.
After a wild ride Aberdare went in attempting to take down their spinnaker early, whilst Jenny IV and Yendys came unstuck when caught on the wrong side of an unyielding keelboat. Meanwhile The Mistake and Australia IV were forced to sail well away from the mark in order to get things under control, but were still in the race, while Alruth under small spinnaker sailed safely downwind to round the bottom mark in the lead.
The Mistake and Australia IV were able to draw level with Alruth at the final mark and the stage was set for a grand finish as they battled in the gusty southerly on a long two sail reach back to the finish with Australia IV taking the lead in the final stages, followed by The Mistake, Alruth, Australia, Tangalooma, Britannia and Top Weight.
The Galloping Ghost Trophy: Australia IV 10pts; Britannia 11 pts; Tangalooma 12 pts, Aberdare 14pts, The Mistake 15pts.
The Authenticity Handicap (calculated on the system which equalises the fleet because of the varying age of design and fit-out of the various skiffs from different eras) went to The Mistake by 27 secs from Tangalooma, then 5 secs to Australia IV, another 17 secs to Alruth.
Wine-Dark Sea wins Perseverance Trophy
The Perseverance Trophy for the top-performing Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in the Squadron’s three short ocean races over the summer season of 2012-13, has been won by the Lyons 49 Wine-Dark Sea, owned by Peter Lowndes and Sarah Goddard-Jones.
The Trophy, a magnificent scale model of the sailing ship Perseverance, made by the late Donald Maclurcan, is for cumulative points scored in the Morna Cup, the Gascoigne Cup and the Milson Memorial Cup.
A fifth place in the Milson Memorial Cup race off Sydney Heads in February gave the Perseverance Trophy to Wine-Dark Sea by just one point from Tim and Edward Cox’s DK43, Minerva, which was the top-scoring RSYS boat in this final event.
Wine-Dark Sea had a 1-2-5 score for 8 points over the three races, Minerva a 3-5-1, with third place overall going to Limelight, Alan Husband’s Bavaria 38, with 13 points from placings of 2-3-8.
Also on 13 points was Hell Razer (Ian MacDiarmid) with a 7-4-2 result over the three races, followed close by John Maclurcan’s Morag Bheag (4-6-4) and Phil and Elesa Bennett’s King Billy (5-7-3).
Overall winner of the Milson Memorial Cup was the CYCA entry, Bennie and the Jets, with owner John Griffin using the lyrics of the famous Elton John song as an excuse to ‘kill the fatted calf’ when they celebrated their win.
Bennie and the Jets, a Beneteau First 40, won the Milson Cup, decided on PHS scoring, after a race-long duel with another First 40, CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott’s Flying Cloud.
‘Bennie and the Jets’ was a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in the early ’70s and has been one of John’s most popular songs ever since, with the appropriate lyrics for a post-race celebration being:
“We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight, so stick around
You’re going to hear electric music, solid walls of sound.”
Sydney turned on perfect sailing conditions for the 24-boat fleet that contested the Milson Cup, which was also part of the part of CYCA’s Short Ocean Pointscore.
Sailing in a 15 knot north-easterly seabreeze, the fleet started and finished at Watsons Bay, with a three nautical mile windward/leeward course offshore.
Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest led the fleet around the course, taking line honours from David Forbes’ Merlin and AFR Midnight Rambler, skippered by Ed Psaltis.
However, it proved a race for the backmarkers, with Bennie and the Jets winning the Milson Cup from Flying Cloud and Chris Antico’s Selkie.
Bennie and the Jets came from the tail-end of the fleet after what owner/skipper John Griffin described as “a lousy start … because I headed for the wrong mark.”
“However, this gave us the opportunity to see what was happening ahead and pick the right wind shifts as we set off in pursuit of the fleet,” added Griffin.
The Fork in the Road takes all in Bruny Island Race
Taking line honours in the fast time of 10 hours and 16 seconds, The Fork in the Road also made a clean sweep of handicap categories in the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s oldest race, the 87th Bruny Island Race.
Skippered by former Olympic and world champion dinghy sailor Gary Smith, the New Zealand-designed, Tasmanian-built Bakewell-White 45, outsailed the fleet as she completed the 89nm circumnavigation of the island.
A fast-running ebb tide and fresh to strong north-west to westerly winds all the way down the Derwent and the Channel and then up the seaward side of Bruny Island gave the fleet one of the quickest races in years, with all dozen boats home before midnight on the Saturday, under 14 hours.
Early Sunday morning, PRO Roger Martin declared The Fork in the Road provisional winner of the AMS, IRC and PHS handicap categories, with the AMS scoring deciding the overall win of the iconic race, first sailed in 1898.
However, Smith and his crew had to wait until the following Thursday evening for a final result as a protest committee had to first determine claims for redress lodged by the skippers of Masquerade (Tony Harman) and Auch (Richard Scarr) for time lost in standing by 42 South which had a man overboard near The Friars. Both yachts received the redress they sought, but the times did not affect the top placings.
In a copybook safety exercise, the bowman of 42 South was quickly recovered by his fellow crew members, with all three yachts then resuming racing over the final 40nm back to Hobart.
The Fork in the Road’s time is probably the third fastest in more than two decades. In 1938 the Victorian yacht Acrospire IV set a race record of 14 hours, which stood until Helsal III scorched around the course in a fresh nor’easter in 1991 with a time of 9hrs 41mins and 30secs.
In 2005, the New Zealand maxi yacht Konica Minolta took line honours and set a new record with an elapsed time of 8 hours 01 minutes and 59 seconds, also winning on IRC, the main handicap division. Gary Smith and his bowman for the Bruny Island Race, Alex Nolan, were both aboard Konica Minolta in that record-breaking race.
In the AMS category, The Fork in the Road won on corrected time by just under 29 minutes from Tony Harman’s Masquerade from Bellerive Yacht Club, third place going to Ramrod (Royce Salter), also from BYC, which was second boat to finish.
Under PHS scoring, the corrected time margin between The Fork n the Road and Masquerade was slightly less, with third place going to Wildfire (Malcolm Robinson) which was the second last yacht to complete the course at 11.23pm on Saturday night. In IRC scoring, The Fork in the Road won from The Protagonist (Stuart Denny) and Intrigue (Don Calvert).
The 87th Bruny Island Race started off the Regatta Grounds, just south of the Tasman Bridge, to link it with the 175th Royal Hobart Regatta. Just before the start, the committee boat recorded gusts of up to 37 knots as the wind funnelled down the river, but at the gun the breeze had settled back to 22-25 knots.
The Fork in the Road’s outstanding performance is a fitting reward for owner/skipper Gary Smith’s determination to return to racing out of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania after a break of two seasons. This past summer, The Fork in the Road has taken line honours in the Launceston to Hobart Race, the King of the Derwent and now the Bruny Island Race, as well as being provisional winner of all three handicap categories in the Bruny Island Race.
Ladies Day at the Club Marine Series
It was hot, bright, sunny and very cheery too on Melbourne’s Port Phillip. Of itself, that would seem to be a perfect reason to be Ladies Day, but in actual fact there were more women sailing on the 130 vessels in the Club Marine Series on Sat 16 Feb than previously.
Audi IRC Class B Australian Champion, Ikon, picked up another win, with Wicked in third place. Ikon was second in AMS, being nudged out by Swordfish Trombone and holding out Clockwork who placed third. Swordfish Trombone also collected a PHS win, over Schüss and Wicked. Ultimately, this Division really is about Ikon now, with Audacious, Clockwork, Chutzpah38 and Addiction looking for elbowroom on the podium.
Jason Van Der Slot’s TP52 Calm 2 have an unassailable lead in Division Zero and hold a significant 13 point lead from Calm and a massive 30.5 buffer over third placed, Goldfinger.
The Cookson 50, Terra Firma, returned to the track today and were rewarded with a second and then first place on corrected time. It may well be enough to get them back, again. Calm 2 also has a massive lead in the PHS stakes, with XLR8 and Calm 10 points astern from there with Goldfinger an additional 13.5 back.
There was a lot of cloud around the shoreline of the Bay and most of the usual suspects chose to go up the centre of the course, while a lot pushed the corners of the envelope both out to sea and in towards shore. Dark Energy got the gun for the first race, with Matrix, Sportscar, Executive Decision, Wind Speed, INSX, Horizon Sprint and Gienah in relatively close company after that. Wavelength collected the Div3 gun.
Portofino and Hotspur retired from the next race and despite the warning from the first race, there was an Individual Recall for Dark Energy, Wide Load and Sea Eagle, along with one or two others from Div2. Some even chose a super conservative start to avoid the mess, but there still was fun and games on the line, with stalled boats, clashing tacks and a lot of commentary to be heard. Div3 also had a few OCS, like Magazan 53 and Lucy In the Sky.
Executive Decision, Penfold Audi Sport, Top Gun, Wind Speed and Stitched Up were all over the Measurement Categories, with Longshot, Carrera and Primo doing well in PHS.
However, in terms of the Club Marine Series to date, Audi IRC Class C Australian Champion Executive Decision demonstrably leads IRC from Penfold Audi Sport and Top Gun, with Wind Speed joining the podium in AMS on equal third. Then in PHS, it’s Matrix over Wind Speed and Top Gun.
Division Three saw Watermark II, Wavelength, Intrusion, Skipjack and Johnny Be Goode right in there in the measurement categories. PHS was a Duckmobile, Magic Bullet, Y Knot and Magazan 53 kind of day.
The series really has a clear leader in IRC with Intrusion holding sway over Watermark II, Skipjack (tied for second) and Wavelength.
The latter does seem to own AMS, however, with Watermark II in second from Footloose, who just holds out Nouannie.
In PHS, Y Knot has a slender lead from Duckmobile, with Magazan 53 and Johnny Be Goode tied for third.
Stroinovsky wins Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta
Kathleen Stroinovsky and her crew of Lucinda Whitty, Samantha Boyd and Kate Brown, representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, have won the Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta in convincing fashion – losing just one match in the two day regatta from 9-10 February.
The regatta, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Youth Sailing Academy and conducted in the vicinity of Rushcutters Bay, was sailed on Elliott 6.0m boats.
“My crew really held me together. It’s great to come away with the win. It’s also good to see the big improvements that the other teams made throughout the regatta. I remember what it was like when I was in their shoes approximately five years ago,” Stroinovsky said.
For Lucinda Whitty, the London 2012 silver medallist in Women’s Match racing this regatta was fun.
“I’ve really enjoyed this regatta – it’s been sailed in really good spirits. It has been great to see the other girls enjoying match racing and keeping the class alive.
“There was lots of talent out there and we were kept on our toes.”
Rayshele Martin and her crew of Ali Sutherland, Erica Kirby and Charlotte Holliday, representing the CYCA, finished second overall.
“I’m pleased with our result, we sailed well in the light airs this morning and it was tougher in the afternoon with the shifty breeze. Our toughest matches were with Stroinovsky and McCall which we lost,” Martin said.
“My crew did a really good job – I couldn’t have done it without them. This afternoon, it was all eyes out of the boat looking for the shifts. It was like a slingshot – if you were in the lead and missed the shift you could be as far behind as you were in front.”
Milly Bennett, representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, caused the upset of the day – beating Stroinovsky by sailing the perfect race in Flight Five. Bennett got a slight jump on Stroinovsky at the start, and the lead changed a few times throughout the match but Bennett held on to record a narrow victory.
“It was a good match – we won the start and received no penalties. We lost her (Stroinovsky) on the first downwind leg and were behind at the last top mark. We got the better mark rounding and were able to get in front and hold onto it across the line,” Bennett said.
Bennett and her crew of Alice Tarnawski, Seldon Coventry, Kajsa Doyle, finished in third overall. “It’s a nice result in the lead up to the Centreport regatta (New Zealand) later this week. Our crew work had gelled and our boat handling was good,” Bennett added.
Competitors concluded the regatta with a friendly fleet race which was won by Rayshele Martin.
Director and co-founder of Marinassess, Tony Hearder said it was the 18th time Marinassess had sponsored the regatta.
“And we’re very proud to do so,” he said. “We’re encouraged by the strong level support that this regatta has received and it’s great to see an Olympic medallist return to sail in an event she has won four times previously.”
This year, the Youth Sailing Academy celebrates its 20th anniversary and will celebrate with the launch of the new fleet of Elliott 7.0m boats in August and an Alumni function.
Sailing is sometimes wrongly seen as the exclusive domain of the privileged few. A visit to Sail Expo at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on 16-17 March will prove this not to be the case.
Sure the sailors will see what they come to expect but there will be attractions for their partners and families as well and for the non-sailors. The RPAYC youth training program for example is arguably one of the best in Sydney and there are many non-sailors, men and women, involved in various activities at the club.
The notion of sailing the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean, Caribbean or South Pacific is one that is commonly held by aspiring holiday-makers but once again many deem such an experience to be out of reach, either from a cost point of view or because sailing skills and a crew are indispensable from such an equation.
A visit to the stand of Mariner Boating Holidays at the show will prove this perception is also wrong. Mariner has holidays on the water for singles, couples and people with or without sailing experience at a price comparable with a holidays on the land.
The added attraction though, on the sea, is that there is no driving, parking, hotel check-in and check-out and many of the best places on some of the busiest coasts are not accessible by road anyway.
If you come to the Mariner Boating stand at Sail Expo and register you will be eligible to participate in a draw for a free trip for two during 2014 to one of Mariner’s now famous yacht rallies in the Mediterranean … two weeks on a yacht sailing in company while making passage between ports where you peel off to do their own thing on the alternate days off.
The prize will also be inclusive of international airfares so the value will be in the order of $15,000.
The RPAYC will be bursting with activity with yachts of all shapes and sizes on display on the floating marinas, product demonstrations in the marquees in the main car park and exhibitions within the club.
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club is located at 16 Mitala St Newport and admission is free. Open for 10am to 5pm.
Avalon Sailing Club will host the 6th annual Don McLachlan Etchells Regatta on 23-24 March 2013. The Regatta is open to all ‘wet stored’ Etchells ie to be eligible yachts must be coated with antifouling paint below the waterline.
The Regatta is so-named to recognise the foresight of Club stalwart and Life Member Don McLachlan, now in his late eighties, who with his Koolong introduced the class into ASC’s mixed yacht fleet in 1993. It took a while for others to catch on – the second boat, Peter & Elizabeth Kidner’s Satchmo did not appear until 2001.
Since then, numbers have gradually increased and the Club now has seven regularly sailed Etchells on its register, ranging in sail number from AUS123 Koolong, now owned by Don McLachlan’s long time forward hand, Ian Craig to AUS1084 Bangalla, recently brought from the Lake Macquarie fleet by Martin Hickling.
The Regatta format consists of six races, three each day, with a dinner at the Clubhouse on Saturday night and a presentation barbecue on Sunday afternoon. Previous winners have been Robyn Hyde Dragon Lady (ASC), David Adams Smoky Cape twice, Bruce Dey Sharona (ASC) and Larry Eastwood Flash Harry (WPYC).
NoR at www.avalonsailingclub.com.au. Contact Ian Craig 0419 625 298 or 9488 7416.
Shackleton epic expedition honours “greatest survival journey”
After a harrowing three day climb across South Georgia’s mountainous interior, expedition leader Tim Jarvis and mountaineer, Royal Marine Barry Gray were exhausted, severely weather beaten but elated to reach the old whaling station at Stromness, at 2245GMT, 10 February, the same location where Shackleton and his men raised the alarm that the crew of the Endurance needed rescue, almost 100 years ago.
Their arrival marks the achievement of ‘the double’ for the intrepid crew of Shackleton Epic – the ocean crossing 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia and the mountain climb across South Georgia which Shackleton completed in 1916.
Still wearing the traditional gear they’ve been sporting since the expedition started on 23 January on Elephant Island, the heavily bearded duo braved blizzard-like conditions during the crossing – perhaps a fitting end to the re-creation of one of the greatest survival journeys in history. They were accompanied by fellow crew member, navigator aboard the Alexandra Shackleton replica boat, Paul Larsen, who provided support for the mountain crossing.
“The ice climb at the Tridents is a serious thing and Shackleton didn’t exaggerate – with ice at minus 50°,” a breathless Jarvis said. “One wrong foot, we could have careened down a crevasse. It was the same for the Crean and Fortuna glacier. We had more than 20 crevasse falls up to our knees and Baz fell into a crevasse up to his armpits, Paul and I had to haul him out.”
“These early explorers were iron men in wooden boats and while modern men mostly travel around in iron vessels, I hope we’ve been able to emulate some of what they achieved. There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone has a Shackleton double in them and I hope we’ve inspired a few people to find theirs,” he said.
While the duo had to resort to using a tent and sleeping bags to survive the blizzard that engulfed them on the first night of the crossing atop Shackleton’s Gap, they have endeavoured to re-enact the expedition as authentically as possible throughout the arduous journey.
“We’ve had to adapt just as Shackleton and his men did and we had to survive ... the point of Shackleton’s journey was to raise the alarm at the Whaling Station at Stromness, and we’ve arrived, despite at times during the past few days contemplating that we might not make it due to the extreme weather conditions and afflictions some of the crew suffered during the ocean crossing.”
During the expedition, the team braved Southern Ocean swells in excess of eight metres, gales packing 50 knot winds, sleep deprivation, dehydration, being constantly wet and cold in the Antarctic’s freezing temperatures and having no room to move or stretch out while cramped aboard their 22.5ft lifeboat, Alexandra Shackleton. On arrival at South Georgia, three of the crew were diagnosed with ‘trench foot’, while others camped for five days in a cave waiting for a break in the weather to commence the climb.
Beware The Bullets is Back!
Palm Beach Sailing Club has announced that the Beware The Bullets Regatta which was postponed last year due to insurance issues will return in full force, on March 16-17 at Sand Point.
The name is a slightly tongue in cheek reference to the fluky winds which can affect Pittwater, and which sometimes catch sailors off guard. But as they say in the classics, if you can sail well on Pittwater you can sail well anywhere!
The Bullets is open to all off-the-beach multihulls. Hobie 16s and 18s, F16 and F18, and A Class are among the catamarans that will compete.
Out of town sailors are welcome with billets ready and waiting. Contact Dick Clarke on 0403 003 997.
Under fire in America Bay
Roy Bowyer reports from the front line aboard MV Classy Lady
Friday 18th January 2013: what a day, temperatures sore to a blistering 45.6°C. Hottest day on record and we were aboard our 15m flybridge cruiser on our club mooring at Little Patonga, flat seas no wind.
After dropping our friends off at the public wharf at Bobbin Head we headed back out to a club mooring in America Bay to get protection from the 80km wind gusts that were forecast for 8pm. Upon arrival about 6pm we noticed a lightning strike over West Head.
The predicted winds arrived just before dark. However, we then noticed dense smoke coming from West Head as a fire fighting Elvis type helicopter flew overhead. The winds were now gusting at 40-50knots and soon a red glow was seen at the crest of the ridge above us. All vision in the southeast corner of America Bay was soon obliterated and with winds increasing the glow got brighter. It was now well past the opportunity to leave, with gusting winds, zero vision and loose mooring lines invisible to see.
By 10-10.30pm the fire had breached the south ridge of America Bay, lighting trees on the slope down to the water’s edge where we were moored. The flames were only 20 metres away and embers driven by strong gusts were now an issue. To reduce their threat we doused all decks with water although breathing on the open decks was getting uncomfortable even with a damp cloth tied around.
We considered our options – to stay with the obvious threat to our boat and ourselves, or to leave.
We decided evacuation in the dinghy was the best alternative as the winds were far too strong to move the vessel and with no visibility. Having wet the decks again, tied wet tea towels over our face, torch in hand, life jackets on and our emergency evacuation pack stowed, we manoeuvred our dingy through dense smoke dodging mooring ropes and other marooned boats.
Rounding the corner into Refuge, the smoke wasn’t near as bad, but now we felt like refugees – no base. We came alongside a couple who were on their aft deck having a quiet ale … as you do! We asked if we could climb aboard and told them our escape story. They must have thought us mad as no smoke could be seen from their mooring.
As it turned out the skipper played for Penrith R.L. in the late ’70s-’80s and knew our family doctor – small world! After relaxing for 30 minutes, I felt compelled to rescue our boat so with the help of the other skipper we set off in the dinghy, torch in-hand.
It was not until we had travelled about 500m and could see the southeast corner of America Bay that the other skipper realised the seriousness of the fire. Little smoke now due to the heat but the fire had burnt down to the waterline and an 80m wide fire was quickly consuming the undergrowth. The strong red glow created a huge reflection in the water and the black silhouette of our boat made a frightening sight.
To maintain night vision I prepared our boat for departure in the dark. Winds were still gusting but not threatening manoeuvrability. After releasing the mooring we slowly cruised into clear air on the point where we anchored. Having transferred the crew (my faithful wife) back to our boat, we celebrated the successful extraction with a small refreshment before bunking down.
At 3am we were abruptly woken by sirens, flashing red and blue lights and a loud hailer. The Rural Fire Service tender was advising all boaties to evacuate due to an imminent ember storm. Having already experienced this earlier, we were not impressed. The image of about 40 skippers being woken and told to evacuate painted pictures of a bums rush so we prepared to move off as soon as possible ahead of the potential chaos.
We decided to head towards the safe haven of our berth in Bobbin Head. We were back home by 4.30am and what a lovely feeling.
This was a great learning exercise and we are the better for it. We will be writing to RMS to suggest that all moorings should have reflective tape attached. Those with such tape were so much easier to see and avoid in adverse conditions.
Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!
Experience the tension of search and rescue operations
Navigating through choppy swell, communicating under thunderous chopper blades, squinting through the glare of the midday sun bouncing off the ocean ... do you have what it takes to be a hero?
The Australian National Maritime Museum’s latest exhibition – Rescue! – is opening on 16 March.
This interactive and engaging exhibition, in collaboration with Scitech in Perth, Western Australia, gives families the opportunity to experience and react to high-pressure rescue-based scenarios where people’s lives are potentially at stake in land, sea and air rescues.
Rescue! illustrates the technology used in search and rescue operations, plus acknowledges the vital skills that rescuers bring to each scenario via a range of interactive science exhibits.
Museum visitors can take part in ‘rescues’ as either the rescuer or casualty. By putting themselves in both positions they can learn how rescue technology works and also how the skills and experience of talented rescuers assist people in peril.
“The nature of rescue is that it’s a very human endeavour, so this exhibition focuses on the personal aspect of rescuing people as well as revealing the technology and equipment that supports the process,” the Museum’s Director, Kevin Sumption explains.
The importance of teamwork and training, something all rescuers are very familiar with, is highlighted by challenging visitors to locate a missing person using the ‘Search Patterns’ exhibit or save someone from drowning in the ‘Wave Rescue’ and ‘Escape the Rip’ exhibits.
The State Emergency Service (WA) has provided information on realistic scenarios, lost person behaviour and the distances searchers cover, while Surf Life Saving (WA) provides advice on what rips look like and how they behave as well as footage and photos of real rescues.
An exhibit which will appeal to all is the full-size helicopter simulator in which visitors can take the controls and get a bird’s eye view of a rescue scene.
The helicopter incorporates some of the tools and technology involved in reaching people in distant or inaccessible places, such as infrared cameras to look for heat signals.
Other interactive exhibits include: escaping a smoke-filled room and testing different fire extinguishers on simulated fires, climbing aboard a life-raft when lost at sea, navigating a jet ski for surf lifesaving and trying on various uniforms in the ‘You Can Be A Rescuer’ exhibit.
Then there is the ‘What To Pack’ challenge, where the visitor has to choose which items to take on a rescue search, depending on the scenario and environment, and the ‘Read the News’ exhibit which illustrates how the media plays a crucial role in informing the public when disaster strikes.
Recent natural disasters such as the 2009 Black Saturday fires and 2011 Queensland floods are strong reminders that rescues would be impossible without the brave people who perform them.
With just under 24,000 people isolated in New South Wales from the recent flood and storm events in January, NSW SES volunteers responded to over 4,000 requests for assistance from communities on the NSW eastern seaboard.
Surf Life Saving in NSW performed over 8,000 rescues and more than 190,000 preventative actions on our beaches and coastlines, while the Australian Maritime Safety Authority coordinated the rescue of over 2,600 people in distress at sea during 2011-12.
Rescue! is suitable for all ages and opens at the Australian National Maritime Museum on 16 March and runs until 14 July 2013. It is included in the museum’s Big Ticket: $25 adult, $15 child, $65 family. www.anmm.gov.au
Joe Adams yacht designer for the people
A gathering of some 60 family, friends and yachting identities attended the wake for the late yacht designer Joe Adams on 16 February at the BYRA clubhouse on the sun-lit shores of Pittwater.
The legendary Australian yacht designer was murdered on 15 October 2012 at his home in the Philippines.
Many including his four siblings spoke with fond memories of one of Australia’s greatest yacht designers.
Adams’s list of achievements includes the 1973 Sydney-Hobart line honours winner, Helsal, owned by Doctor Tony Fisher. Dubbed the ‘flying footpath’ because of her concrete construction the 70-foot Helsal inspired a generation of sailors to take up ocean racing.
Adams was largely unknown before the Helsal victory, and from this point became a very successful yacht designer. Helsal was to have been designed by Bob Miller (Ben Lexcen), however, Miller’s involvement in the America’s Cup meant he was too busy, so the job fell to his friend Joe Adams working in the same office; and the rest is history.
Adams was to draw a number of famous yachts including Helsal II and The Office. However, he is perhaps better known for his many product designs like the Tasman 26, Adams 31 and the super popular Mottle 33. Most famous production design is the Adams 10 but there’s also a family of slim, easily-driven fast yachts such as the Adams 12 and 13 metres.
Adams was very much a designer ‘for the people’ than one likely to socialise with rich owners. This stemmed from his experience sailing around the world in the small, 30-foot timber yacht Hoana with his wife Anne. From this experience he seemed to naturally gravitate to the cruising sailor and DIY boat builder.
During the 1970s Joe Adams became a major supplier of designs for the booming Do-It-Yourself boat scene. This was a time when many sailors tried their hand at building a yacht from scratch, or at least a basic set of fibreglass moulds. The DIY field-of-dream yards around Sydney at the time had as many Adams as Bruce Roberts, or Swanson creations.
Adams was most critical of the IOR that governed ocean racer design at the time. He felt strongly IOR was producing slow, nasty yachts and so he turned his back on the rule. His signature designs like the Adams 13 are quite the opposite – slim, undistorted hulls that are easy driven. Paradoxically Adams was proven right in time judging by today’s slim racing yachts.
Adams sold his design business in the early 1990s and moved aboard his self-built motor-sailor Wahoo to bring up his young family of Joseph and Leilani. Two other children Neil and Irene were already ashore with their mother. Moored at the Coffs Harbour Marina Joe made many friends.
However, he eventually moved to the Philippines in 2001 to live full-time after divorcing from his third wife, Tina, ironically of Philippines origin.
Joe Adams was born 24 May 1931 in Sydney and completed school at Homebush Boys High School in 1949. His early days were spent at Punchbowl and at one stage Bob Miller lived with his family and went to the same school. He became a mechanical engineer while working for the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation. He then became a teacher of Manual Arts and Technical Drawing and set off to sail around the world in the early 1960s. There’s no doubt this experience was a major factor in Joe’s conversion to yacht designing. Sailors can all be thankful it produced one of the best Australia has ever produced.