Aussies out there – MiniTransat, Volvo. Comms changes for coastal race

Team SCA in action training for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
Rick Tomlinson
Two Australians are sailing in the long delayed 2013 Mini Transat race. 24 hours into the race Tasmanian Richard Hewson had sailed in the lead in the 84 boat fleet, while young Queenslander Katrina Hamm was well back in the series class, when the first leg of the race was blown out.

Start 2013 Mini Transat
While the fleet was nearly two-thirds across the Bay of Biscay, deteriorating weather conditions compared to those expected at the time of the start meant that the Race Director took the decision to cancel the first leg to allow competitors to reach port safely. The fleet will reassemble in Lanzarote, some 500 nautical miles south west of the Iberian Peninsula for a restart.

Lanzarote, one of Spain's Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, 60nm off the Moroccan coast is already overrun by Australians.

Talked to Darren Bundock, who is taking a short break in Lanzarote ahead of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne, where the dual Olympic multihull Silver medallist will make his Nacra 17 debut, along with Nina Curtis, 2012 Olympic silver medallist in match racing as his crew.

Nina Curtis and Darren Bundock - Nacra 17 hit-out on Sydney Harbour
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Why is Bundy in Lanzarote?

It’s the training base for Team SCA, the all women entry in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race. His wife Carolijn Brouwer was principal helm on the new Team SCA Volvo 65 in the Fastnet race. Other Australians in the crew include Liz Wardley, originally from PNG, Sophie Ciszek, originally from Mornington and Mooloolaba’s own Stacey Jackson. We will be talking to Team SCA in the coming weeks.

The Flying 15 Worlds is under way in Hong Kong. There were five Aussie teams in the top 10 in the pre-worlds, the other five were Pommes. An interesting series overall.

The Australian Farr 40 Class Association are working hard to spread their news with video. Check out the Aberdeen Asset Management QLD Farr 40 State Title regatta video -

Interesting changes in Comms for the Club Marine Pittwater Coffs Race - definitely worth following

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club host of the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race, has announced that boats will be allowed to compete in the 33rd running of the event carrying a satellite phone as an alternative to HF radio for communication purposes, a major coup for the event.

The Club’s organising committee for the race has recognised the progress of technology and have spent the past three years using the Yellow Brick tracking system, proving their accuracy and reliability.

The cat 2 2014 race will again see the mandatory use of the Yellow Brick tracker on all boats so that race control will be able to see where the boats are at all times. HF will still be monitored 24/7 through an arrangement with Kordia.

Philip Dash’s Beneteau First 40 Just a Dash wins IRC in the 2013 Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta - 2013 Club Marine Pittwater & Coffs Harbour Regatta
Damian Devine


In all races to date, there has been a requirement for scheduled position reporting. However, in the past two years, the committee has modified the position reporting so that race control provide the position to the boats at a given time, using the information provided from the tracker, and the boats responding 'affirmative' or 'negative'. So far, none have been negative.

For the 2014 race, all boats will be required to roll call once a day to a central race control reporting their 1800hrs position prior to 1900hrs using one of the following methods: HF,, Sat phone, VHF to base, 3G mobile phone text or email. All reports will be acknowledged by the same medium of the call by race control. Food for thought, read the full story.

Lijia Xu tastes Gold - day 9 Medal race - Laser Radial. London Olympics 2012
Carlo Borlenghi/FIV - copyright

And in Olympic sailing circles, China's Lijia Xu won a proud Gold at the 2012 London Olympics in the Laser Radial class and was named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2012. Lijia's acceptance speech at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year awards is considered to be one of the more eloquent soliloquys given in the sailing world in recent years. Inside, don't miss the full video (and transcription) of her powerful words.

BTW - When you open stories today, you will find we've made it a little easier to check out the latest news on Sail-World, with the 30 latest story summaries below each story, no need to keep clicking back to the home page.

Hope you had a great weekend, a lot will be happening this week.