NSW Regattas

The NSW season starts with the Gosford Regatta on the 3rd & 4th October 2009, followed by the State Titles at RANSA on 21 & 22nd November.

NORs are available on the NSW page

Local Tassie fleet set to grow

The new boat homeward bound
The new boat homeward bound


The Hobart fleet of one of the worlds must popular racing one design keel-boats is set to be increased thanks to an innovative move by local class enthusiasts.

Members of the Tasmanian J24 Association have taken the first step in an ambitious plan to enlarge the state fleet by buying boats interstate, doing them up son selling them on.

It is a strategy that has paid off already this month with the arrival of a J24 from Lake Macquarie, in NSW.

It was towed to Tasmania by J24 Association president Kaye Roberts and Stewart Geeves, both champion sailors in the class. It was overhauled by association members and is now ready for sale as an entry level boat for racing.

“The aim is to build up the number of actively sailing J24s in Hobart to at least 20,” said association publicity officer Nathan Males.

He said the J24 was the ideal one design boat for the Derwent with its strict design rules meaning there as a whole range of boats available of different ages and at varying prices.

“An older boat ran be bought for about $12,000 and with little effort can be made competitive against newer boats,’ he said.

It meant the class was accessible to younger sailors or those racing for the first time – while still remaining attractive to more experienced sailors.

“The J24 has the potential to be developed as a pathway into competitive racing on the Derwent end elsewhere in Tasmania – but fleet numbers need to be built up,” he said.

At present there were about 10 actively racing, sailing mainly in Derwent Sailing Squadron and Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania winter and summer pennant races.

But the aim was to develop class racing. Males said it was also

intended to provide an active training program with at least one training regatta a year with access to national and international J24 coaches.

The fast and stable J24 was designed and built in the US by Rod Johnstone in 1975. He wanted a fast multi-purpose boat that could compete under a variety of local racing rules but still be comfortable enough to be used for family weekend or cruising, ‘that first boat was called Ragtime and it provided the mould for the new class.

The natural extension of the success of the J24 was a one design,  international fleet with rules governing and limiting the modifications that could be made to a standard production hull and rig to ensure that all racing J24s were essentially the same.

It means that crew are pitted against crew with the emphasis on skill and  teamwork rather than technology and money.

The class’s Internet site says “more than 50,000 people sail J24s in more than 105 active fleets in 40 nations and the strict one design rules provide some of the closest racing found anywhere in the world.

“Many of the most successful sailboat racing sailors in the world have cut their teeth in J24s – and any J24 regardless of age can be made competitive.”

Males said the first boat to arrive in Hobart order the “buying-up plan” had been bought with class association funds and help from members.

It was now for sale and further information was available in both the J24 association and the boat, by ringing Nathan Males on 0424 305 184.

Members of the public can see local J24s being rigged up and racing out of the DSS and RYCT on Sunday pennant days in the winter and Saturdays during the summer.

Tassie Fleet Increases

 The 2009/2010 sailing season will see some new faces in the J24 Fleet in Tasmania.  There are now 11 boats in Tasmania. The latest edition to the fleet has been a purchase by several of the Hobart association members. The boat known at present as “Sailing Made Easy” was trailered down from Lake Macquarie …  Read more of this great article on the Tassie Page

2010 Nationals Page

A new page specially for the 2010 Nationals is now online. Over the period leading up to the Nationals this page will contain information and links to help competitors enter and prepare.

Click here to go to the Nationals Page

Real short course racing

What Happens When You Do It Differently?

Yellow Jersey Racing in J/105s?

(San Diego, CA- July 18-19)- So what happens when you combine the best aspects of bicycle racing into a format for yacht racing? The SoCal J/105 fleet experienced the sensation last One Design Weekend when the SDYC Race Committee decided to shake things up in honor of the start for Le Tour de France.

Twelve boats came together on an ultra short course, taking a mere four minutes to complete a leg. Combined with the fact that two laps constituted a race and only two minutes between races and there you have the makings for close racing and some very tired crew. As in bike racing, there were not only prizes for winning the race, but intermediate prizes termed “primes” for random accomplishments such as the first to the mark, the fastest timed leg of a race, the fastest start and the ever coveted box of doughnuts to the last finisher of race three (delivered hot and fresh courtesy of the SDYC race committee boat).

In all, eight races were run on the day with the highlight being the last which was run in a “win and out” format. In this race the winner of each leg claimed a prime and retired from the race. The winner of leg one was first, the winner of leg two second and so on until the final sprint for fourth. Rails were scraping, Dacron was stretching and halyards were flying to be the boat to capture the title for the first edition of the Cardiac Cup.   

Overall, Doug Werners’ JAVELIN won the day followed closely by the Driscoll/ Hurlburt combination on TRIPLE PLAY and third went to the ever quick Dennis Case owned WINGS.  Overall the regatta gave a chance for the fleet to learn about the boat and about themselves, ultimately leading to better crew work and faster racing on the course.  Photo Credits: Mark Johnson


Fixing a Rudder

I understand somebody trashed a rudder and it needs to be repaired. Go to the Mr Fix It page for an answer.

Report on Japanese Fleet

dsc00791-compressed1During my last trip overseas, I made time to visit the Japanese fleet and the Singapore fleets.

One of the Japanese fleets is located at Waseda Yacht Club where the President of the Japanese J24 association, Tommy Hatakeyama, sails from with Team Gekko.

I caught a train from Tokyo at 7am down to Misakiguchi to arrive at around 9am. Tommy was there with his team and picked me up at the train station. After a 15 minute drive we arrived at Waseda Yacht Club. I thought we were going to just have a meeting and look at the boats. Tommy asked, Mr. Peter, are you coming sailing with us today? I of course responded yes of course.

Of course I didn’t have any gear with me.I was whisked away to a modern3 storey glass apartment building just 5 mins walking distance from the yacht club to Gekko House owned by team boss and CommodoreShigeru Namiki, where we had a discussion about the Australian scene, the worlds and the Asian Pacific regatta.

When we went to look at the boats, Mr. Namiki came over and said lets go to the club. It’s 10 am, and he says let drink beer, it is absolutely rudeness to refuse Japanese hospitality so I accept. We drink a long neck of Japanese beer, he says another one?? Ok, comes back with some fried fish dish and we sink another long neck. Lets go he says and we go down to the travel lift which must be a 20 tonner, the Japanese use little transporters which are electric similar to what the airlines use. Boats are backed into the slip, two slings up and in the water in 2 mins with military precision – what would you expect from a professional Japanese yard team?

One of the crew runs down with Team Gekko’s boss’s spare set of Musto gear, and we are off.

We motor out into the bay, set the sails and go sailing. In the meantime the fleet is starting to grow and we hover around a rib in the bay.2 boats arrive, then 3,4,5,6. I ask are we racing? The answer is NO, not today, just sail training. What are we doing today I ask, Just practice starting today. It’s around 11am and the pin is set and a weather mark around 150-200 metres. Bang goes the hooter and we are in a 4 min countdown, forget 5 mins these guys can’t afford to lose time.

I’m working pit on Gekko, one of the teams boats for today. We time the start right and blow the fleet away. We sail around 50 metres and Tommy yells out something in Japanese and the fleet peels off and back to the line. He yells out something to Mr. Nobuo Nakazawa, who is the rib driver and runs Gekko House.

Japanese J24 Sailors

Hooter goes, 4 mins is the call and into the start sequence again , we jostle for position and the start is very close. We hike out and lee bow the windward boat, we are in front.

We sail for 100 metres this time, and Tommy recalls the fleet. He is the boss on the water for training.

I am really enjoying this:- I now know the drill – this time 1 lap.

Back to the line again and bang, we are off again. We position the boat well after a few close bumps from leeward and bumping the weather boat. I am loving this, we get a reasonable start and work hard hiking and pull out in front. 1 lap great, I call to Tommy we going kite? He says no, course too short. I say lets go kite and he nods. Pole goes up and we burn down the run, nobody else go kite. WOW these Italian specials are quick. We round the pin and finish. Wait for the fleet. He says ONE more – we have done about 5 starts now and this will be the 6th.

Bang, gun goes again. Tommy yells out to the fleet 2 laps, We all look for the best position off the line and we smoke it again. We are out in front by 3 or 4 boat lengths. Tommy says to me penalty turn practice, I go ready, we swing the boat around hard, dump the mast man in the piss as he didn’t hear the call, complete the turn.He managed to hang on the rail, pull him in and we are still ahead.

Pole goes up, all the fleet have their poles up and six boats run down neck and neck pumping and surfing down the waves. We finish and raft up the rib. Lunch time around 12.30. We have lunch, change bowman with the other Gekko boat and get back into for another hour and a half.

We pick up the buoys and head home. What a fantastic day! Had a couple of whiskies with the boss, took photo’s and said goodbyes.

Anyone who has the time, certainly go sailing in Japan. Japan has 50 J’s scattered all over the place but they all get together to provide a large fleet for their Nationals.

Peter Stevens:peter@austeknis.com

For additional photos, please visit www.hiyachtracing.com