Australian Combined High Schools Sailing Championships at Belmont NSW

051Last week saw me up at the Combined High Schools Sailing Championship at Belmont on the shores of Lake Macquarie. Known as the CHS, it’s an institution amongst all teenagers to grab a boat, any boat and compete. Over the years many well know Australian sailors have competed in a variety of classes. I can remember a young Nathan Outteridge sailing a 505, Nathan and Sarah Wilmot sailed in borrowed Magic25s and my daughter Melissa sailed a Europe dinghy one year. This year was no exception with  Melges20, VXone and even a Nacra5.8 sailed by 29er sailor Harry Price. As with many of these events over the years, it’s great to watch the boat handling skills of the next generation of Aussie sailors, many no doubt spurred on by the successes of their compatriots in the last couple of years overseas.

Weather wise we had everything, from sunny drifters to blown out races due to too much wind and driving rain on the last day which saw some pack up and leave early. With over 140 entries spread across some 35 different classes in 5 different divisions, it was quite difficult to keep track of most other than the few you knew. This was one event I was glad to be ashore at. I was however kept quite busy at the DeckHardware regatta support van, both first thing in the morning and even during racing. In several instances, I had sailors come ashore with something broken, a quick repair and they were out again hopefully not missing too much.

The results showed quite a mixture across the fleet, with the leading boat a 16′ skiff, followed by a Maricat and the leading Flying Eleven. http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/2013/chs/combinedhs/SGrp2.htm

On the Thursday night Melissa spent some time organising an evening with Gold Medalist Liesl Tesch, multiple Olympian Karyn Gojnich, Laser sailor and coach James Burman, Americas Cup and maxi boatbuilder Lindsay Stead and the Sailing Chix [Nix, Nic and Mel]. Nix compared the evening with each speaker giving a short Bio and then questions from the floor were asked. It was interesting those who asked and the type of questions. “What do you do with crews who don’t listen?” “How do you deal with breakages?” Many of those there were delighted to see Liesl’s Olympic medals [she has the full set from wheelchair basketball and sailing] and have photos taken with her.

DeckHardware again provided some products as prizes and we look forward to continuing supporting the youth sailing in the future.

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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 (Yachting Australia) and is the Principal Race Officer at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

One Response to Australian Combined High Schools Sailing Championships at Belmont NSW

  1. joe cooper says:

    Deja Vu all over again. I sailed in this regatta in maybe 1968 or ’69 in my Sabot on L. Macquarie. In May, yeah so now-School vacation. Blew the dogs off their collars every day, 25-30kts no problem. Race went on regardless. None of this “its blowing too hard” stuff. Not many “rescue” boats as I recall, but maybe I have suppressed that memory. Lots of Skiffs, 16’s 12’s a couple of schools/kids had an 18. Sharpies, VJ’s by the barrel—No Lasers….Flying ants Cherubs, the list of classic Aussie kids’ skiffs goes on. All wood too of course and I bet most build in the Garage.
    Great memories

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