Perth Yacht Club
The club’s inclusiveness of competitors and their supporters into it’s normal functioning was very empowering and made for a very enjoyable experience. The crew got to meet many of the members and enjoy their hospitality as we were all invited to join the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday evening yacht racing. This was quickly accepted and we got to experience and/or sail a range of top class competitive yachts. All the crews and their supporters were also invited to the Commodores Ball held on the Saturday evening 26th of March 2011. A subsidised cost of $100.00 per ticket was made available, rather than the full cost of $135.00 per ticket. The NZL team had two representatives at this prestigious occasion (Russell & Jacqueline Lowry) and desired to support the Royal Perth Yacht club in it’s fund raising initiatives. We were the only team to have representatives at this event and it was noted and commented upon.
The Association for the Blind of Western Australia were also evident in supporting this regatta. Tony Hagan and his wife Helen provided transport to and from the regatta for many of the competitors. Beginning very early in the morning and concluding very late at night. A huge effort and gratefully acknowledged. They also hosted all of the teams at their new complex in Kitchener Street. A state of the art facility catering for the full range of rehabilitation needs related to blindness. A very enjoyable evening had by all.
The Royal Perth Yacht Club provided access to the three sonar yachts prior to the championship commencing. The NZL team jumped at this opportunity to get out and sail the yachts and get a feel for how they sail. We quickly got into the groove and gained an appreciation for the environment and boats we would be competing in. Matilda Bay is an ideal venue for such a regatta, as either tide or current does not influence it significantly. Leaving us the wind to attempt to predict and work with. We had two sessions over two days of handling the sonars and really appreciated this time on board. The wind is variable, being very light and shifty in the morning before fading out towards noon. Around one to two pm the wind swings around and becomes more consistent blowing 13 – 18 knots.
The first day’s competition began with the NZL team up against the Italian crew. NZL starting on port and gaining a win. We also won our second race against Kylie Forth. This time beginning from the starboard entry point. We lost our next three races and winning the last of the first round robin. Concluding the first round robin with 3 wins and three losses. Work to do to lift our overall performance and boat handling. “Boat speed is king.”
The first round robin was an indication to all that the competition was sound across the whole fleet. With a number of crews demonstrating their ability by winning over more favoured opposition. Vicki Sheen holding first place, winning all six of their races. Followed by Italy, (4 wins) NZL, (3 wins) and the other Great Britain team (3 wins).
Second round robin table of results.
conclusion of the second round robin NZL had sailed it’s way back to
second position, winning all six races, only one win behind Vicki Sheen of
Great Britain. In third place
was Luigi Bertanza from Italy with Craig Gordon
from Australia filling the forth position.
The finals took place on the last day with Vicki Sheen and Russell Lowry racing for the honours. Vicki Sheen won the first, Russell Lowry the second. The next two went to Vicki Sheen eventually winning in four. NZL second, Italy third, and Craig Gordon from Australia forth.
The presentations took place later that evening as part of the regular Saturday club prise giving. All participating crews were acknowledged and given an opportunity to address those gathered. All crews accepted this opportunity to thank Royal Perth Yacht club, it’s Commodore, staff, volunteers, supporters, and vision in providing disabled people with the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of sailing. The international crews were then entertained by a Blind singer and continued the discussions about how to change and improve the next version of Match Racing for the Blind.
on the regatta
Nothing can replace time on the water sailing and the crews that competed in the semi-final knock out rounds evidenced this. Vicki Sheen’s Great Britain team had spent many weekends training as a team prior to competing in the regatta. Likewise, the NZL team had done the same and the Italian team have sailed together regularly previously. The surprise of the regatta was Craig Gordon’s Australian team who came together for the very first time at the regatta. Their tactician Paul Borg has previously been successful in match racing as a blind person. Racing successfully in Italy, winning in consecutive years in the early and mid 2000’s.
It was interesting to observe the crew configurations with a number of the crews choosing to position their tactician in the middle of the boat with the mainsheet. Some advantages of this include better communication across the boat. Limiting the possibility of being heard by the competition as you can talk quieter and more directly with either the helm or the forward hand. Additionally this position places the tactician closer to the observer, increasing the ability to hear radio communication clearly through the VHF and hear it being repeated. Both Great Britain teams adopted this crew configuration.
A number of crews chose to have the tactician at the front of the boat to maximise the use of what sight was available and the muscle power within the crew. NZL was one of these crews. One disadvantage we experienced was the difficulty in having important messages reaching the tactician e.g. zone overlap when approaching the bottom mark. Often the noise of the other crew yelling and creating confusion drowned out the VHF and observers calls. Some crews sailed with two females and one male and others had a total of only 4 points of sight across the boat.
The choice to rotate through three boats as we moved through the flights of round robin racing proved to be effective and efficient. This was only possible due to the use of a number of ribs, the close proximity of the observation and support boat, and the availability and willingness of some of the coaches to assist where necessary. A big thanks to Gary for his willingness to make himself available to not only our crew but he also assisted other crews as well. The Craig Gordon Australian crew particularly wanted their thanks to be expressed to Gary for assisting them in the semi-finals.
The calls from the umpires were often not fully understood, as we couldn’t see enough to fully comprehend the specific nature of the infringement that had taken place. This is an area which requires more consideration to ensure crews are informed as soon as possible of the infringement so where possible it is not repeated. The de-briefing, following racing, provided an opportunity to de-construct issues for teams and obtain an understanding of the specifics of events on the water.
The audible sound systems being used at the start line, top and bottom marks, and to indicate which tack each competitor was on worked adequately. Stronger winds blowing up and down the track tended to make it more difficult to locate the opposition and the mark you are hopefully sailing toward. At times if you found yourself well ahead of the opposition the sound of the mark you have just rounded tended to drown out the mark you are heading toward. Potentially providing the boat behind you with an advantage if you are actually sailing wide of the mark.
Collectively we discussed the Appendix CBS and a number of changes were agreed to. One of these was to reduce the boat length of the zone to the standard two boat lengths rather than the three that was the current requirement as stated in the CBS appendix. We also explored the wording associated with the turning on of the audible start line and came up with a satisfactory alternative. The specifics of which I cannot accurately remember.
Looking ahead to the future
Much of the talk during the regatta had an emphasis upon the equity obtained by the crews sailing their own races. Making educated choices regarding strategies, wind shifts, onboard decisions, and experiencing the good and bad that comes with such independence. One sailor mentioned he wouldn’t be returning to fleet sailing again, preferring match racing as he could sail his own race.
David Staley addressed the regatta on a number of occasions. Strongly emphasising the importance of lobbying our New Zealand delegate to support the changes to Appendix CBS and the inclusion of Blind match racing as a discipline in the 2020 Para Olympics. I think our current delegate is Mr Ralph Roberts. He was in attendance at the handing over ceremony of the $2000.00 donation from IOBG on the final weekend of training at the TYPBC. I’m sure we have his support and just need to convey our wishes to him as soon as possible.
If we are to
proceed with match racing BSNZ will strengthen the ability of it’s
representative crew to compete by the following:
Blind Sailing New Zealand has been significantly aided in it’s representation at the International Blind Match Racing Championship held at Royal Perth Yacht club through the willing support and wisdom of the following:
Gary Smith and his family
Murray De Lues
Ray & Mark Findlay
The International Order of the Blue Gabble (IOBG)
NZL Yachting Trust
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
The Lions club of Bulls & Districts
The Lions Club of Fitzherbert Palmerston North
The Lions Club of Rose City Palmerston North
The Lions Club of Middle Districts Palmerston North
Kevin & Irene Rimmington
Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club.
Thames Sailing Club
Women on Water (TYPBC)
Blind Sailing NZ were pleased to be able to provide an exciting sailing experience for the eleven blind and vision impaired 18 to 28 year olds seeking leadership and employment motivation at the "aiming High" camp at upper hutt from Tuesday 30 November to Thursday Friday 3 December 2010.
Wellington Sailability Day in the Bay
|I'm very pleased to report that the various storm fronts battering our Nation parted over Wellington's beautiful harbour on Sunday the 19th of September 2010. This resulted in idyllic weather conditions, slight seas, sunny skies, & moderate winds. Sailability Wellington gave us the green light to go and a number of blind and visually impaired people took up thechallenge to jump aboard the 3.3 metre access yachts and experience the thrill of sailing. We came from the north, the east, and the suburbs of Wellington.
In total there were six visually impaired sailors along with a number of other family members in support or just out for a fun day. Three braved the floods of the Manawatu. One ventured over the Rimutaka ranges from Masterton and the other two came in from the wider suburbs of the City.
As soon as folk arrived Don Manning and his excellent support crew of Remy, Orrilla, James, & others provided an orientation to the yachts and safety gear and then got them out on the water sailing. For some it was the very first time sailing and for others an excellent opportunity to extend their confidence and sailing skills. A great deal of fun and hands on exposure to the fundamentals of sailing and how it is done. One of the highlights was Peter Jones single handed sailing of the Liberty yacht. He had it flying up and down wind and tacking around marker boys. This was only his second time sailing and he took to it like a duck to water. Paul McEwan experienced sailing for the very first time and also appeared to be a natural. Others expressed increased confidence in understanding how to handle a yacht and a desire to do more sailing. It was awesome to have the support of competent sailors who gave up their time to assist us in our efforts to become better on the water. Our grateful thanks to you all.
Don Manning took time out to gather us together after our fun on the water and outline how Sailability Wellington works. He informed us all of the options open to folk if they would like to join Sailability Wellington for the yearly cost of $75.00. Excellent coaching and instruction is available through their support team. Additionally, the opportunity to gain certification in sailing. They sail every Friday & Sunday, weather permitting.
Fair winds and kind seas.
Dennis Hebberly of Napier wins the First California International Blind Sailing Regatta May 14-15-16 2010. The Regatta was hosted by the Island Yacht Club of Alameda, San Francisco and held under the direction of the Marin Sailing School. The regatta was sailed over 9 races in J24 Yachts. The competitors were representing the Bay Area Association for Disabled Sailors (San Francisco) , California 1 (San Francisco), Boston, Japan, Canada, and New Zealand.
|Reporting on a very successful “Have a go at sailing” for Blind and Vision Impaired persons, held at the Two mile Bay Sailing Centre, Taupo on the weekend 19-20 September 2009.
Conditions on Saturday were very testing for any beginner sailor but the enthusiasm of the 10 Blind and Vision impaired participants from Taupo, Napier and Rotorua, overcame the cold drizzle.
After the on-shore introduction to the basic theory of sailing and feeling our way round the Concept 16 sailing Dingy, the rain had stopped and we headed out on the lake in a light variable Easterly wind. These were difficult sailing conditions but learning was very fast and we were able to enjoy the stronger afternoon breeze.
The Blind Sailors were learning to handle the tiller and mainsheet at the same time, under one on one instruction in the safe and easy to sail two man sailing dinghies. This was also a new experience for the Training staff from the Centre but they adapted well and finding the learners easy to teach soon had the ‘Blindys’ Sailing with confidence
A steady light South- westerly on Sunday was easier for sailing and we refreshed yesterdays learning before lunch. We then experienced the extra tension and demands of competition with a three race five boat regatta to conclude a fulfilling weekend of achievement.
The NZ Blind Sailing Council was very impressed by the excellent facilities and the training services provided by the Two mile Bay Sailing Centre.
The key objective of Blind Sailing NZ is to provide opportunities for blind and Vision impaired persons to enjoy sailing as a sport or recreation. The ‘New Blind Sailor’ outcomes of the weekend were very pleasing and BSNZ is keen to support the continuation of a Blind Sailing Group in Taupo.
By Dick Lancaster
Blind Sailing New Zealand Visit Japan
|Sailing under the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Burgee, a team of Blind Sailors from NZ were invited Japan, 3 to 8 September 2009, to sail in the Yokohama International Blind Sailing Regatta as part of the year long 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Port of Yokohama.
The visit was an enjoyment of warm Japanese hospitality, the respect of official procedure and protocol and the security of Yokohama
The Port of Yokohama must be one of the busiest ports in the world, "800 ships a day" they said, and a small area just big enough for a race course was negotiated for and hard won from the Authorities.
As guests of the Yokohama Cruising Club The team were greeted and formally welcomed on arrival by the YCC Committee with cold beer and a feast of prawns. Brian Trubovich, NZ Team Coach and Ross Masters, RNZYS Vice Commodore,then met with the Japan Coast Guard, The Team then dined out at Garlick Joe's to chase away the travel bugs.
Friday, more meetings; with the Bureaux of Health and Welfare, and then the City Council and Port Authoritiy. After and exchange of flags it was then back to the YCC for a very tasty BBQ lunch and thankfully another cool beer, the weather was hot and sweaty. The boat draw followed, then the briefing and out for a practice sail. The waterway had to be shared, the allocated area of water was between two wharves and lumbering barges to be avoided.
Dining at the Club after sailing was always enjoyable and the host competitors and their organizing committee treated the visitors to three such evenings in Japanese style. A huge variety of food, Chopsticks to eat it with, plenty more beer,a live band, lots of speeches, toasts and a haka from the Kiwis. On the last night saw the formality of the prize-giving and gifts.
The sense of occasion surrounding this four boat regatta was emphasized by the opening ceremony on Saturday morning. Held on the narrow parade between the Intercontinental where we stayed and the Pier Where the race boats were now docked. Eight speeches from every top brass in Yokohama plus Ross Masters from RNZYS, were translated.
The racing was held in a Protected environment Bounded by The City and its high rise buildings to the South and Breakwaters to the North. A power generating wind turbine stood guard over and looking down on the race course. The conditions for both days was light with big wind shifts and large holes in the breeze. Sailing in J24s, which were drawn on the Friday prior to the regatta start. The New Zealand crews quickly came to grips with the boat and the earlier day's testing paid dividends.
New Zealand B2 Finished the regatta as overall winners and New Zealand B1 were second overall.
New Zealand B2 Finished the regatta as overall winners and New Zealand B1 were second overall.
Dick Lancaster Won the B1 prize and Pulien Eitjes won the B2/3 prize
New Zealand Carried off the team prize.
New Zealand, B2 Champions
New Zealand, the Squadron Cup winning Team.
Held on Lake Rotorua New Zealand out of the Rotorua Yacht Club and hosted by the Bay Of Plenty Trailer Yacht Squadron, a very successful and well organised event developed over the period of March 13 to March 21 2009.
The Official Party being delivered ashore by the Waka
The Official Party accepting the challenge The Challenging Warrior
At the general meeting of Blind Sailing International which is held at every regatta he next World Blind Sailing International Championships was awarded to Japan Blind Sailing in Yokohama, Japan in 2013. The venue is not yet settled.