Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sydney Marine Park

The waters around Sydney are world renowned for their natural beauty, serving to draw millions of tourists to the city and supporting a multitude of industries. For over 200 years our state has benefited from the riches our marine environment provides. But decades of overfishing and pollution have caused fish populations to plummet, and even led to the extinction of some species.
Despite this, Sydney Harbour is still home to over 600 species of fish; more than the United Kingdom or the whole of the Mediterranean Sea. Iconic species, such as Green Sea Turtles, Fairy Penguins, Weedy Sea Dragons and Humpback Whales all grace our waters. Not only is Sydney Harbour listed as one of just 16 national landscape icons, it already has areas of land protected as national park. All that is missing is protection of our fragile and unique marine environment. Our government can ensure this happens by declaring a new marine park for Sydney. Together we can preserve our iconic waters for everyone to enjoy, now and in the future. Click here to show your support for a Sydney Marine Park today!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

21 Century Laser

The new RS Aero is on its way to mix up the single handed skiff scene. If the review copied below is a fair guide, it looks like a serious alternative to buying a new Laser.

US distributor West Coast Sailing has an on line order form with a promise to deliver by March 2015

Here in Australia  RS distributor, Sailing Raceboats says the first container load of 30 boats is coming to its showroom at Sandringham Melbourne in October 2014.

Pricing around the world seems to match Laser prices in each country. A 'standard package' Laser costs $9,990 from NB Sail Sports

This is the brochure from RS Sailing
Download brochure

It would be great to a see a video of a match race between a Laser and an Aero.  Will the Aero's modern rig and light weight hull significantly improve performance over a Laser. The boats have similar  length and beam.

It would only take a small fleet of say 6 to 10 boats and a friendly host club to kick start this class on Sydney Harbour, so it looks inevitable that we will see fleets of Aeros and Lasers this time next year.

30 kg hull allow the boat to be picked up.
Early in March 2013 Proper Course hosted a discussion. One of the contributors posted this review.

Wavy said...
It's interesting to hear your excitement, anticipation and in some instances
speculation. It has been my absolute pleasure and privilege to have been a
small part of the development process and I have sailed the V3 Aero on 4
occasions in wind and waves and in the lighter stuff on a lake. (I don't work for RS by the way)

As we Brits like to think of boats in the feminine sense, I thought I would
put down some thoughts based on my own experience of sailing this wonderful
craft. I would say that the Aero can be compared to the perfect girlfriend
as follows:

She is uncomplicated yet sophisticated, she doesn't take forever to get
ready, she goes like a train, she has no vices or annoyances, she is an LMB
(Low maintenance Bird) as opposed to an HMB, she won't bite you in the arse
or take advantage of you when you make a mistake, she will be easy to live
with yet rewarding in the long term. She will make you smile.... every time!

Seriously though, it really is a pleasure to sail and I haven't been so
excited about my sailing since the launch of the RS600. But make no mistake,
the launch of the Aero is infinitely more significant and infinitely more
accessible. I truly believe we are all witnessing an important moment in the
history of Dinghy Sailing. I placed my order shortly after the show last week along
with my brother and several mates. The truth is though, in my head, I had
placed the order within 5 minutes of stepping into it back in October on a
very windy day in the Salcombe estuary (wind over spring tide).

Jo Richards and Alex Newton-Southon deserve massive credit for the careful consideration and total understanding of market needs. I hope you get the fleets you want over there!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Looking forward to Sprinter - Tugarah gunya'marra season

It has been a windless and sometimes wet Winter in Sydney with fewer sailing opportunities. We are hanging out for some more reliable wind in August, a season known as the 'Sprinter' at the Botanic Gardens and Tugarah gunya'marra by the D’harawal people.

The seasons recognised by Aboriginal communities vary across Australia, and are based on changes in wildlife and vegetation. However, since European occupation, the 'traditional' view of the weather has been that of the Northern Hemisphere, with four seasons; Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn.  
In the Sydney area, koalas fighting signify
hot weather approaching. (Pic. NPWS)

More recently Scientist Dr Tim Entwisle, at Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens  has  developed his own five-season model for Australia's central east.  In his model , spring begins a month early in August, when many native plants flower. Named 'sprinter', it lasts two months, and is followed by Sprummer a four-month-long summer beginning in December. 

The traditional owners of the  D’harawal Country and language area (from southern shores of Sydney Harbour, to the Shoalhaven River and  the Wollondilly River) have an even more refined system of six seasons, documented by Frances Bodkin, a respected D’harawal Elder  and author of the book: "D’harawal Seasons and Climate Cycles".

D’harawal Seasons 

Coming soon the D’harawal Season of Tugarah gunya'marra, cold and windy.
'The lyrebirds' calls ring out through the bushland as he builds his dancing mounds to attract his potential mates. It is the time of the flowering of the Marrai'uo (Acacia floribunda) which is a sign that the fish are running in the rivers. Boo'gul the marsupial mouse mates and dies.
The season ends with Boo'kerrikin (Acacia decurrens) flower, which indicates the end of the cold, windy weather, and the beginning of the gentle spring rains.'