The containers have arrived and training is well underway for the 2007 SUNSMART FLYING ELEVEN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS at Nedlands Yacht Club
The National Training Camp commenced without a fuss and on time at Nedlands Yacht Club - Perth, 6kms south of the city centre on the 2nd January, 2007. National Coaching Coordinator and past National Champ - Joe Turner, greeted all the local WA crews on the lawns of the club and immediately went about setting up their boats for the upcoming National Championships later in the week.
As the containers from Sydney had some difficulties in leaving just prior to Christmas, only the local "flyer's" were able to get on water on the first scheduled training day of 3 prior to the main event. Joe worked in the rooms for half the session this first day, establishing where their level of skill lay and all seemed to be very well served by having such an experienced F11 champion in their midst. The on-water conditions were ideal for the first day of official training, with a light 8-12 knot southerly breeze leaving the Melville Waters fairly smooth.
Many of the crews from the east, including The Oldham Family who had recently acquired two late numbered boats from Sydney, were arriving and wondering when the boats in the containers would be delivered to the club grounds. A very anxious National President was also wondering when the majority of the fleets' boats would be there too! Although it was not a panic situation, the thought of conducting a Nationals Championship without the majority of boats did seep into the back of ones' mind after receiving news of the delay (4 days worth) between Xmas and New Year's via email from the transporters. Not much we could do about it but make some phone calls to enlighten the company that it was quite imperative the containers were there on time etc.
Lionel McFadyen, our National Vice President, obviously had some very big sway with our transport company, as a late call to the Pres. on the afternoon of the 2nd advised the containers had arrived in Perth and would be delivered at 7:30am on the following day; very big smiles all round at the club.
Knowing what dramas we had to deal with back in Sydney with the truck transport access etc of these large containers, the Pres. took off just before 7am to head to the club and make sure all would be organised when the trucks did actually arrive. Turning off the highway onto the back streets along the Swan River leading to the club, there were the trucks just up ahead - earlier than thought but all looked pretty good. As you might expect, something spoiled this perfect scenario when they turned off to the wrong club - the Royal Perth Yacht Club, some blocks away from the Nedlands Yacht Club. A quick detour in pursuit down their access road, it was explained that they had the wrong spot and after a number of 3 point turns and some gritted teeth from the drivers, we all resumed the delivery of the two 40ft hightop to grounds adjoining the NYC. It all ended without tears and only some 18 hours later than planned.
All the boats had arrived in perfect order, with only one near catastrophe where a top cross frame brace had collapsed under one boat and threatened to cascade onto the next two boats stacked below - 1336 CRUNCHIE would have been crunched!
All the boats were out by 10am and those present were setting up for an early play on the water; the conditions were great as the breeze was around 18 knots.
Joe Turner conducted the second day of training on the water at 12 noon with 9 boats . Unfortunately, 1300 MISCHIEF's crew Claire Bryan and Elyce McCelland, whilst getting rid of the cobwebs, hit the sandbar just off the club and cracked the centreboard casing, causing a big "Olympic" marathon swim in for Elyce to get some assistance from shore. All seemed black but after being towed back to shore on its' side, the boat was "not a write-off" and would be back on the water in time for the Nationals. The girls took the news rather well.
Good strong conditions prevailed all afternoon, many bullets catching crews off-guard, with some great short course training had by the participants, including a hard session of Joe's "follow the leader", akin to chinese water torture, this being a totally new experience for most of the local WA fleet.
By 4:30, as Joe had started coaching with the unpacking of the boats at 8am earlier, the actual training session went for a mammoth 8 hours for many of the crews. All appeared tried and tested by the end of the day and no doubt all benefited greatly from the training experience with Joe.
Day 3 of training will be interesting, as "The Perfect Storm" ( a term broadcast on the local Perth TV news) is due to set in today, issued by the first cyclone of the season further up north apparently just crossing Broome as we go to publication.
Last Modified on 04/01/2007 07:55