NT Sailing Team at the Australian Youth Championship

John Lynch 26 January 2016

The NT was represented in three of the classes in the 2016 Australian Youth Championships. The event was hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club as part of the Splash Festival 2015/16. The Australian Youth Championships is one of the two regattas used as selection for the ISAF Youth World Championships each year. There were six youth classes at the event, 29er skiffs, 420 double handed dinghies, Laser 4.7 and Radial single handed dinghies, Hobie 16 catamarans, and Bic Techno 293 windsurfers. The NT Sailing Team members competed in three classes, Keiran Schortz and Kyle Bonney 29er class, Jed Cruickshank Laser Radial and John Lynch Bic Techno 293. Racing was difficult on Sydney Harbour, with competitors not only having to pick the fastest way around the course but keep an eye out for ferries and other commercial vessels.

The first day of racing provided testing conditions with a strong sea breeze. Many competitors met the ferries for the first time, and were disqualified for impeding the exclusion zone. A cool southerly change on the second day of racing created gusty conditions on the race course. The third day was the tamest yet, with competitors dodging ferries around the harbour in a 12 knot sea breeze. The last day saw very light breeze with the officials doing well to complete the required number of races before southerly bluster came through in the afternoon.

The presentation and closing ceremony were held in the boat park in less than ideal conditions as the southerly change brought wind and plenty of rain. Nonetheless spirits were high as competitors collected their prizes and enjoyed the food and photo booth put on by the Woollahra Sailing Club. John Lynch stepped onto the podium in third place in the windsurfer class. Keiran and Kyle rounded off their first summer in the 29er with a stellar last race which bumped them up into 22nd place. Jed Cruickshank finished in 40th position in the Laser Radial fleet after a tough week of competition.

The week was greatly enjoyed by the whole team and we appreciate Yachting Northern Territory’s support in helping us attend interstate competitions such as the Australian Youth Championships. It was an unforgettable experience to sail on Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.

2016 Australian Laser Championships

Paris van den Herik 11 January 2016

2016 Australian Laser Championships (Dec 28th2015 – 4th Jan 2016)

Sailing on Lake Macquarie in a Laser Radial was a different and challenging experience for me as a new member of the NT Sailing Team. Each day brought a new weather pattern including rain for two days straight and glimpses of sunshine and clear skies. The mountains surrounding the lake made the wind shifty and playing the lifts and knocks became an important racing strategy. In the under 17’s Radial age group, there were five girls out of around 30 entries. It was interesting to see strong representation from Malaysia, China, Japan and France competing in the Laser Radial. The Laser 4.7’s and the Laser Standards also had a solid turn out with international competitors in both fleets.

The regatta kicked off with registration, measurement, practice sailing and an invitation race before the competition started in earnest. Due to the large number of Radial entries the fleet was broken up into groups with each given a colour to divide the large fleet into manageable starts. The Radials sailed an elimination series consisted of six races to determine the gold or silver fleet for the final six races on the last three days of competition. The final split saw, myself being in silver fleet along with Jed Cruickshank. The John Lynch sailed well and made it into the gold fleet. The other NT Sailing Team Member, Kieran Schortz competed in the Laser 4.7 division with just one fleet of 52 sailors.

The wind was consistent for the first three days, ranging from 13 to a max of 20 knots at times. Being fairly new to the power of the Radial sail, I struggled in these conditions. One thing I learnt from this event is the physical strength and endurance that is required to become a successful Laser sailor, is quite intense and demanding. Comparing myself to the other ladies at the nationals, they were all taller, and had developed and trained their muscles specifically for the sport. It gives me something to work towards, not only for the sport but my general physical health.

I had standard races on the first of the last three days experiencing new challenges every day. The last two days were miserable and wet. On the second last day the fleet left the shore in the pouring rain, there was a decent 16-18 knots (this had me worried) on shore. However, when we got to the race area there was no wind, just rain! All the competitors waited out on the water for close to two hours before the AP flag was hoisted and the competitors were towed in. This followed was by another hour waiting before we started racing at 6:00 pm and finished at 8:00 pm, thanks day light saving.

Each of the NT Sailing Team Members John Lynch, Jed Cruickshank, Kieran Schortz and I, had our moments of triumph and challenges. However no-one gave up or went in, even when it reached 25 knots.

I have to commend the NSW Belmont 16ft Sailing Club for the on water support that they, along with the other states provided, it was very extensive. The NT Sailing Team and I all experienced an opportunity that we could never have done without the support from Yachting NT and our parents. Thank you to all.

NT Sailing Team 2016 Laser Nationals

Gary Martin 13 January 2016

 NT Sailing Team overall results in the 2016 Laser Nationals




# Fleet

# Entries

John Lynch



46 (Gold)


Jed Cruickshank



46 (Silver)


Paris van den Herik



46 (Silver)


Kieran Schortz



52 (4.7)


Packing the Minnows

Huw Wiltshire 15 December 2015

Ah, packing the Minnow container AGAIN, LOVELY. Well at least there were less boats to pack, but this was mainly because we have had some new sailors coming into the Minnow fleet that aren’t coming down to McCrae this year. The weather wasn’t too bad, which made for okay conditions to pack the container. The process of the packing started with everyone getting their boats out while the smaller guys, Petie, Phoebe, Liam, Aden and I got the foam down. We then wrapped the boats, masts and booms up in matting and glad wrap. The motorboat, boats and everything else was then loaded in and strapped up with ratchet straps. The packing of the container was finally done with adults quenching their thirst with a well-earned beer.

I would like to say thankyou to all parents and kids who helped out and a special thanks to Nick and Aden McGrath for helping pack the container when they didn’t have any boats of their own going down to McCrae.



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