It’s been a big week

I’ve been down in Sandringham Victoria helping officiate at the ISAF World Cup of Sailing at Sandringham Yacht Club. In order to keep up my accreditation as a National Race Official, I volunteered my time to help out on the water. I was the RO in charge of laying the marks on Alpha Course with the able assistance of Dennis and John from Black Rock Yacht Club, who also have many years of experience. We looked after the 470s, 420s, Finns and later in the week the OKs. On the final day we also had the Libertys, Skuds, Laser 4.7s and 29ers.

The conditions early in the week were quite rough on Port Phillip Bay with strong southerlies, later in the week we had 5-7knots for a couple of days and on the final day a gusty Northerly to 25knots. All courses bar the Kiteboarding lost Tuesday and the 49ers and 29ers also lost Wednesday.016

I hung around Tuesday till 1500, then took the decision to say nothing will happen and dropped down the Sport Phillip Marine at Mornington one of many chandleries I wanted to see whilst in Melbourne.

As a result the sailing instructions were changed from 2 races per day to 3 on most courses in order to catch up. Most classes were able to sail the full complement with our race track finishing off those who didn’t.


It was also a great challenge to those employed at Sandringham having to work around the 300 odd competitors. The slipway wotrkers and delivery drivers all had challenges in going about their jobs, it was a credit to all that it seemed to all work seemlessly.

Daily we had several meeting prior to going out on the water, a RO meeting and then just before leaving, a meeting of all those on Alpha with the plans for the day. Whilst at times it seemed to be a bit of overkill, it is a neccessary evil, covering all bases as event organisers. None of this was new, but rather an insight in to the way others work.

I did however have some time early each day to look after the requirements of the competitors by opening the DeckHardware van with those products I brought down. Requests for Liros rope being the prime and others from shackles up, I was able to help all except one competitor who wanted his Laser vang spliced as well. That I didn’t have time for as I was running late for the boat.

It was a great week and I hope that all the competitors we looked after were happy with the decisions we made out on the water. I certainly enjoyed the time working with the guys from Black Rock as daily we agreed on our thoughts on the course as distinct from those made by the startboat. If I have the chance I’d like to work with them again, Dennis and John [who flew down from the Gold Coast] were a joy to spend over 8 hours a day with. We also had Tracey over from Adelaide, Sylvia from Brisbane and Robyn how had last helped me at the NSW Youth Champs helping the locals.

As for the sailing? The fleets were down in size being the first event after the London 2012 Olympics bar the Kiteboards who had the biggest fleet. It was good to see the Sydney guys whose races i have been running, all come down. It was also good to see many others who I catch up with from time to time, some unfortunately, a fleeting quick chat and then off to the next briefing or de-brief.

Next up is the Southern Line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race on Boxing Day, it’ll be good to be back with my own Middle Harbour Yacht Club team again and on a larger and dryer boat!


About Phil Yeomans
Phil grew up sailing on Pittwater (north of Sydney) racing in many classes over the years including Manly Juniors, Lasers, 5.5’s, 505’s, several trailer Yachts, E22’s, 1/2 and 1 Tonners, A10m, Sydney 38’s and more. Phil is well known for his knowledge of boats, having built several classes and has a freaky ability to recognise boats and designs. Phil is a National Race Official and Equipment Auditor (Yachting Australia).

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