2018 Gill Flying 11 National Championships
Manly 16' Skiff Club
Dates: 13th - 19th January 2018
Queensland: Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next - especially if you can sail a Flying 11 there!
At least that is what the Flying Eleven Sailing Association of Australia is selling to our 260 odd 12-18yr old NSW Flying 11 sailors. Flowing on from a successful 09/10season in NSW which saw over one hundred Flying 11s contesting the state titles and seventy boats trekking south to Tasmania for the nationals, entries for the OAMPS Qld Youth Week regatta have already started to swell. At the time of writing this article, we have 8 Flying 11s already entered and heading up from NSW.
The National Flying 11 Association has also sent two association Flying 11s ahead to Southport Yacht Club where they have been accepted into the fold at Hollywell. We have provided these boats in order to allow some Qld kids to once again experience the fun that this exciting little class has to offer. Thanks to the efforts of Iain Murray, who has become a strong advocate of the class since his daughters joined the Flying 11 community, these boats were recently transported and delivered to Hollywell where they have quickly been put to use. These boats will also be entered in the regatta with Qld crews and coupled with the eight Flying 11s already signed up, we will have our own division.
In the past 2 years a number of interstate competitors have sought out this regatta as a way of enjoying some nice weather and maintaining their sailing through the winter months. Thanks to a very welcoming attitude from the host club, RQYS and from Yachting QLD, the Flying 11 class will make its debut at this year’s event.
Qld in the middle of winter provides a great opportunity to escape the cold and venture north for a four day regatta. A combination of the temptation of spending some school holiday time in the warmer climate of southern Qld and extremely strong numbers in the Flying 11 class in NSW has resulted in a “spilling over” effect across the northern border of NSW.
The Flying 11s provide an exciting stepping stone from the smaller Sabots and Opties and have really maintained a strong foothold in NSW. With an ideal combined crew weight between 85-115kg, a variety of combinations compete successfully. The usual progression is an older skipper driving with a smaller crew managing the front of the boat. One of the great features of this combination is the opportunity provided for mentoring of younger kids who usually transition to steering their own boat. An added bonus is the fact that both sexes compete on a level playing field in this class, with the ratio of boys to girls often being close to 50:50. Interestingly, the large numbers in NSW this past season have started to swell the 29er ranks in NSW with quite a large group of F11 sailors making the transition to more demanding 29ers this year...some of whom will also be towing their 29ers north this winter!
Looking at the regatta website @ mid-May, Flying 11 sailors make up over half the number of sailors on the list sailing in a variety of classes – something the association strongly encourages amongst its fold in order to maintain and increase the “whole of life” participation in the sport. We believe it is this kind of participation that will result in a sustainable increase in overall participation in sailing. This model has been very successful so far in NSW and Tasmania over the past handful of years. The Flying 11 provides a solid option to keep kids sailing and we look forward to a warm Qld welcome.
The Flying Eleven community has a strong volunteer base and travels with a great deal of expertise in tow. Anyone wishing to find out more should visit the very active website at / and/or make contact with any of the enthusiastic contacts listed at this site.
|YA Article Qld Youth Week|