‘Laser Chaser’ launched at Nutgrove Beach

  • June 11, 2018

It’s 8am and down on Nutgrove Beach, in front of the Sandy Bay Sailing Club, the temperature is 4 degrees, with the brisk wind chill factor bringing it down to near zero.

However, Sunday’s frosty morning did not deter near 90 young sailors from Tasmania and Victoria from preparing their dinghies – Lasers, International Cadets, 29ers and Optimists – for a day of intensive onshore and on-the-water coaching.

The young sailors (and a sprinkling of older Laser sailors, are sailing on the River Derwent as part of Sandy Bay Sailing Club’s June long weekend coaching camp.

Laser coach Sean Bly demostrates hiking to Laser sailors – ashore at Sandy Bay Sailing Club.

More than a dozen International Cadets crews, 24 Lasers, nine 29ers and 19 Optimists, a total of 65 boats and 87 sailors, are taking part in the coaching camp, plus about 30 club volunteers (mostly parents) and local and interstate coaches running the activities.

For the Laser sailors, in their Full rigs,4.7s and Radials, it’s part of the coaching preparation leading up to the International Laser Australian and Oceania championships at Devonport’s Mersey Yacht Club in the first week in January.

A team of Laser coaches, headed by Sean Bly, have spent the long weekend giving intensive advice to the 25 sailors, both ashore and on the water.

RYCT Laser Radial sailors Max Gluskie (left) and Nick Smart at the long weekend coaching camp.

Among the Laser Radial sailors were Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania off-the-beach members Max Gluskie and Nick Smart who will be contesting the Laser youth worlds at Kiel, Germany later this month.

Also, the weekend saw the Tasmanian District Laser Association’s new 5.5 metre Zodiac rigid inflatable boat in operation and its christening by the Member for Denison Elise Archer MP.

This boat will contribute significantly to the TDLA’s coaching capability and sailor safety leading up to and during the National and Oceania championships, with racing out in Bass Strait off Mersey Bluff.

For the International Cadet sailors, it’s been a significant weekend of coaching under Geelong-based coach Tony Bull for the Australian team of eight boats and 16 sailors heading for the 52nd Cadet Worlds at Bodstedt, Germany, from 29 July to 3 August.

Lasers and Optimists heading out for a sailing at Sandy at Sandy Bay Sailing Club’s long weekend coaching camp.

Bull brought eight team members (four crews) from Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria across to Hobart to join the eight team members from Sandy Bay Sailing Club.
Bull, a sailmaker, has coached the Australian Cadet team for the past six years and can count two world championship victories.

By midday, the young sailors were in keen competition afloat under the watching eye of their coaches, the temperature had soared to 11 degrees (still felt like 7 degrees), but it was sunny and the nor’wester was still blowing on a sparkling River Derwent.

Words and photos: Peter Campbell
11 June 2018