F11 GET ACTIVE IN QLD AGAIN!!
in March this year we saw the birth of a plan to reignite the aEUR~sunshine stateaEUR(TM).....
F11 GET ACTIVE IN QLD AGAIN!!
Last year’s NSW F11 state president, James Ellis was introduced to the Australian Youth Midwinter Regatta, by Gosford friends that had moved to QLD. The Ellis’s competed in this regatta last year in a 29er, had a fabulous time and vowed to return in 2010. Couple this idea with Pricey’s aim to promote the class with association owned demonstration boats (we own 2), and in March this year we saw the birth of a plan to reignite the ‘sunshine state’.
Both the NSW and Aust F11 Associations agreed to pay the entry costs of those F11s who were prepared to travel north to Brisbane in the July school holidays for this regatta. James set in place the delivery and use of our 2 boats at Southport YC’s junior club at Hollywell. With the assistance of SYC’s club coach, Shane Smith, many of the juniors have enjoyed a few months getting used to the joys offered by the F11.
James made contact with the past QLD F11 association personnel Dianne Dagge & Tom Stephenson (ex 1310), who have set the scene for a new executive to take the reigns of future F11 sailing in QLD. Also he found some good folk currently using some older F11s at Darling Point Sailing Squadron (a skiff sailing club on the northern end of the Manly marina complex. Enter Roy Colledge (and son Tom), a veteran of a few F11s back in the late 1970s, who has shown eagerness to carry the advocacy role. As the talking and networking has progressed, it is exciting to see so many of those who have been involved with F11s in QLD over many years, come forward and share their stories. From the late 1980s there have been names like Jason Muir, Kristen Kosmala, the Nobles, the Cavills, the Hurlings (Regatta Director – Suellen as part), the Chews, Lauren Jeffries, the O’Connors, & the Stephensons, all competing at the top level in National Titles through to 2004 year. The association Registrar was researching the archives for QLD boats of past years, including their migration back to NSW over time, and couldn’t locate boat #1322. But at the start of the 2010 Midwinter event, forward comes Terry & Julie Skinner who still own her and plan for their young son to step up from sabot sailing in the not too distant future. Their older son Curtis was the last QLD representative, at the 2006 Belmont Nationals.
With the huge number of junior sailors progressing through the Sabot & Optimist ranks, the future for the Flying 11 to provide the interim step towards larger 29er & 420 classes, is becoming clearer. For skippers of any age once above 40kg, in combination with crews from 30kg, aiming for total weights ranging from 75kg – 115kg, the F11 provides the fun and exhilaration that captivates them as they develop from the sailing basics towards high performance & / or Olympic classes. It became obvious to those NSW folk who represented the F11 at this year’s Midwinters, that well over half of the juniors & their parents had never set eyes upon a modern Flying 11. There was such an obvious look of excitement in the dozens of young Sabot & Optimist sailors that were exposed to these little skiffs from ‘down south of the border’.
There are plans to demonstrate the Class association boats at other locations in QLD in the near future. With the new round of enthusiasm in south-east QLD for the F11 class, we feel that giving juniors the chance to feel the F11 buzz will convert them and parents alike to move along the ‘sailing pathway’ via this brilliant little high performance boat.
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