Sea Shepherd leaves Sydney Harbour

The Sea Shepherd vessel, with its formidable camouflage paint, on its way out of Sydney Harbour on a stunning sunny Friday afternoon.

Sydney Harbour Radar – Blues Point Tower

Sydney Harbour has a new “safety feature” – the NSW Maritime radar located atop of the Blues Point Tower at Blues Point – just north west of the Sydney Harbour bridge. The radar was commissioned in May 2011, after much debate through the North Sydney council approval process over several years.

This new multi-million dollar radar will be used by NSW Maritime to assist in port traffic control, and will eventually replace the existing old radar system. The new radar will improve the safety of yachting, boat and ship movements in the harbour.

One wily old skipper commented of the often maligned Blues Point Tower, that it still maybe ugly, but at least it is not useless.  The rotating radar wing can be readily seen from the Harbour, particularly around the Walsh Bay / Lavender Bay / Goat Island areas.

Hamilton Island Race Week

Another fun exciting yacht sailing and racing week in the Whitsundays for the annual Hamilton Island Race Week . Over 200 yachts competed across multiple boat categories, including Grand Prix and Super Yachts, along with a range of more humble yacht classes. The Vodafone trimaran was a spectacle when it got onto the plane and dramtically lifts out of the water.

In the Grand Prix class, familar maxi yacht names like WildOats XI, Ivestec Loyal & Loki battled it out in sometimes brisk conditions.

Lots of fun – on and off the water… !

By July 28, 2011 Blog Comments Off

British Dominance Cause for Concern for Our Experienced Sailing Instructors?

Are we losing some of our most experienced sailing instructors due to the cost of compliance to a British training scheme?

The Royal Yachting Association , better known as RYA,  is the United Kingdom’s national body for all forms of boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising. This association runs a training scheme that has become the dominating influence over Australia’s sailing training courses in recent years.

Yachting Australia, our own national association formed the   ‘RYA/Yachting Australia National Yacht Training Scheme’  in 2008 when Yachting Australia and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) formed a partnership for a new Yacht Training Scheme. The rationale behind this alliance was to provide an international recognition of qualifications as well as a national harmonisation of course content and delivery.

As reasonable as this sounds, the downside has been that in our Australian instructor’s are forced to pay out of their own pocket sums of up to $1480 in order to be an accredited Yachtmaster  Instructor under this RYA training scheme.  Many of our certified instructor’s are asking  the question “why isn’t there some recognition of prior certifications ?”

Is this new British scheme the way forward? Should our instructor’s be forced to pay these fees? Let us know what you think….

By June 27, 2011 Blog Comments Off

Dutch 15 year-old solo circumnavigator Laura Dekker arrives in Tahiti

Laura Dekker is on a quest to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the world. She departed the Mediterranean in August 2010, sailing a route across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and west across  the Pacific to French Polynesia.

Unlike our Jessica Watson, Dekker is in no hurry and is cruising along and stopping off at the various ports.  She has until Sept. 20, 2012, her 17th birthday, to complete her voyage.

Dekker hopes to be in Australia in November.