Since selling the Laser in the late 1970s, most of the sailing
I've done has been whilst on holidays with the family in Sydney. Of
course, for most of the 1980s, gliding
was more important to me.
For my dad's 60th birthday in June 1992, we
chipped in together and hired a 45' Beneteau yacht from Pittwater. It
was a total surprise for dad. I drove up from
Melbourne and joined everyone just after they'd got on-board
on the Friday afternoon. We sailed off, picked up a mooring
for the night and had deep and meaningful discussions in to
the night. As you do.
The next day we had a great day sailing around Pittwater
and on the Hawkesbury river. On the Saturday night we met up with other
family members at a restaurant right on the water and had a
memorable birthday celebration. Kym had made a brilliant
video that chronicled Dad's first 60 years.
Uncle Doug Farrar came on board
that night and sailed with us the following day. Some strong
winds and rain around the middle of the day made in an even
more memorable weekend. Uncle Doug showed that although he'd
qualified as a naval architect, having good sea legs wasn't
one of the requirements. Unfortunately, I had to depart
mid-afternoon to set up a stand for AUSLIG at a Direct
Marketing conference and exhibition at Darling Harbour the
???, Kym, Paul, Lloyd & Dean
Hawkesbury River, June 1992
On another visit to Sydney in July 1998, we
again chipped in together and hired a 30' yacht for a great
day sailing on Sydney Harbour. Dad now sails regularly on
the harbour in either mid-week or Saturday racing.
The Boat Sinks
Another holiday sailing experience was a real first. While
attending the Microsoft Certified Solution Providers
conference at the Hyatt Coolum in October 1999, I opted for
sailing on the activity afternoon along with about 30
Glenn Charlesworth, a work colleague from my days at Expert Software
Services as well as from my BHP days, happens to be the
sailing master at his yacht club in Melbourne. We found
ourselves assigned to sail a "Flying 15" in the
river at Maroochydore. Just
getting the two of us in such a small craft was quite something.
But we headed off full of confidence, Glenn at the helm and
me trying my best to stay out of the road.
We were going quite well actually. The breeze came up a
bit and Glenn hiked out. Next thing there's a splash and I
look around to see a hand clinging onto the back of the
boat. The hiking strap had broken and Glenn had gone in. He
scrambled back onboard and we spent the next 15–20 minutes
almost dying from laughter.
I later transferred to the tender and left Glenn to sail
on alone. Halfway through the afternoon we all stopped on a
beach for refreshments. Then I headed off alone in the
"Flying 15" competing in a short race that had
By the second mark I was in third position and going
well, though the boat did seem to be riding rather low in
the water. Then on going about I capsized. The tender came
alongside, we got the boat upright and bailed it out. But it
was still riding very low in the water.
We decided to let Glenn sail the boat back. I went with
the tender to pick up the others helping to supervise things
and drop them off where they could do this better. Then it
was back out to see where Glenn was. Just as we caught up
with him, he went about and capsized. We came alongside and
got the boat upright, but the hull was totally underwater
and going down fast!
We eventually got the boat back to the surface and over
to a private jetty where we got it upright again and bailed
it out. It turned out the buoyancy tanks had flooded. No wonder
the craft had been low in the water and easy to capsize.
Wet and tired we headed back to join the others and
depart. A most memorable afternoon on and in the water!
Monday, 01 April 2013