Friday, December 17, 2010

Whitsunday sailor takes on world

Whitsunday sailor takes on world


The eyes of the sailing world are on Melbourne this week as the world's top sailing talent descend on Sandringham Yacht Club for the opening round of the 2010/11 ISAF Sailing World Cup.


Whitsunday youth sailor Klaus Lorenz will proudly sail an Optimist (sail number AUS 677) for Queensland.


Although the event is billed as "Melbourne set to have the wind in her World Cup sails" light winds played havoc with the Sail Melbourne program on day one for the invitation races with some classes staying on the beach.


Your Waterfront writer was last week was talking to visiting members of Sandringham YC about the huge preparations at the refurbished club. The 'Sandy YC' members won a yacht charter with Queensland Yacht Charters in their youth sailor raffle.


They are proud this event will attract 400 the world's best male and female competitive sailors from around the globe to their club and excited that the World Cup acts as a key Olympic selection event.

The World Cup encapsulates all the glamour and excitement synonymous with the world of sailing. Fashion, fun and summer spirit are incorporated across all aspects of our lifestyle marine driven carnival, making it an exciting addition to Melbourne's Summer Events Calendar.

Off shore and on shore the event promises the largest sailing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia's own Beijing Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page and his new 470 partner Mathew Belcher will be up against the world's best on Port Phillip Bay. Current 49er world champions Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen and Olympic RS:X board sailor Jessica Crisp are just a sample of the sailing elite taking part on their quest for world glory.

Interactive spectator activities include sailing lessons and on-shore demonstrations will tempt the whole family into discovering the excitement and glamour of the sailing lifestyle. Online you will find sailing action on YouTube.


Klaus graduated from champion Sabot sailor to maintain his champion status taking a gold medal the recent NSW Optimist Championship. Klaus is honing his skills as he has entered in the Australian Optimist National Championship to be held at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Pittwater in Sydney starting on January 9.

Klaus has entered the Nationals with training partner and Sister Eva who crewed together when they won the Queensland State Sabot Championships.

Royal Prince Alfred has received entries from every state of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany and Cook Islands and is expecting 150 entries by Friday's closing.


Sailing Santa


Young off the beach sailors will no doubt enjoy their visit from Santa this Sunday afternoon after racing. With a bit of luck Santa will be steady on his feet and not fall from the committee boat into the harbour as happen on the soggy Santa occasion. Yo! Ho! Ho!


Seeing the light


Bloke up Cape Gloucester way was geographically embarrassed while driving his vehicle and ended up bogged on the beach.

Seeing lights, he said to himself "here they come to rescue me" so he had a nice nap while waiting.

Waking some time later he wondered why he had not been saved.

He realized the lights were the Gloucester channel navigation beacon lights.


Marine notices


The Narrows - Mariners are advised that the port lateral mark buoy located south of Stanley Point between Hayman Island and Hook Island is off station.

Shute Harbour - Mariners are advised that the port lateral mark No. 8 buoy Fl R 3s located at the entrance to Shute Harbour, is reported off-station.

Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 253 & 254


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

New date for 2011 Rotary Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show

New date for 2011 Rotary Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show


The Rotary Club of Airlie Beach have announced the return of a bigger and better 2011 Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show to be held on September 10 & 11 right in Airlie Beach at the new Port of Airlie marina.

As this is the weekend of the famous Whitsunday Fun Race, the Boat and Leisure Show will provide another element to the iconic event.

The move takes the show away from its earlier spot on the event crowded June long weekend and ends competition with the long-standing Dingo Beach Whit Fun Day.

Meridien Marina's Port of Airlie site will stimulate visits to the region and bring direct economic benefits as well as adding to our other 'winter' boating and leisure events.

Located in Australia's foremost tropical boating paradise this major local event will take full advantage of a great new location, with more space than before for more exhibits set in a prime new marina complex.

The show will be an irresistible event for anyone who loves boating, fishing, sailing or finding excuses for spending time on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.


Hammo regatta change


There have been a few changes in the 28 years that Hamilton Island Race Week has been sailed and 2011 will see some more improvements for the premier event.

Olympic and America's Cup sailor, now Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke says, "It is part of our on-going efforts to improve the regatta and see it retain its reputation as one of the world's great sailing events."

"We have decided to reduce the length of the regatta by a day after consulting many of the longstanding competitors,"

'The changes in 2011 mean that we will be presenting a more compact and stimulating sailing and social schedule, and once the trophies are presented to the victors the competitors will have an entire weekend to get themselves home. There will be no need to rush to get back to work.'

Glenn Bourke also confirmed that there will be only one lay day in 2011, and the super yacht division which was introduced this year will again be part of the regatta. Additionally, the sportsboat and high performance keelboat divisions will be expanded.

The Notice of Race, detailing competition days from Saturday August 20 to Friday August 26, has been posted on the regatta website -


Sailability meets


Sailability Whitsunday is a local branch of an international organisation facilitating sailing for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

The local group has incorporated with Sailiability Queensland and is calling for help and volunteers to attend a meeting on Thursday, December 9, 10 am at Whitsunday Sailing Club.

John Hamaty, President of Sailability Queensland will be attending. RSVP or info 0417 363 097


Ferals shot


Mariners are advised that the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will carry out a 'Feral Animal Control Program' which will require the use of live weapon firing.  The programme will take place on St Bee's Island, South Percy Island, High Peak Island and Wild Duck Island in the Mackay\Capricorn National Parks Management Area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Control operations continue until Friday, December 10. Exclusion zones extending 500 metres seaward. QPWS will make visual checks for vessels in the vicinity and radio contact will be attempted should a vessel pass within the 500 metre exclusion zone. Security calls will be broadcast VHF radio channel 16 from the QPWS vessels 'Tamoya' and 'Woppaburra'.  All vessels are to remain clear of exclusion zones during the above detailed times. AUS charts 251, 822, 823 & 824


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Heartless, no brain killers in Queensland waters

Heartless, no brain killers in Queensland waters


What has no heart, bones, eyes or brain, is made up of 95% water, and yet is still a remarkably efficient and deadly ocean predator?

If you thought of the box jellyfish you would be right. However, to put this in perspective, there are many creatures that kill more people.

Official records show the box jellyfish has caused 63 deaths since 1884, in waters surrounding Queensland and extending further North.

Deaths by this jellyfish have also been reported from Philippines, Maldives, Japan, Papua New Guinea, South India, Java, Malaysia, and Gulf of Thailand. The Labuan District Hospital in Malaysia recorded two to three deaths every year since 1991.

In the Philippines the multi-tentacled box jellyfish is estimated to cause 20 to 40 deaths every year.

The much smaller Irukandji is the focus of research and investigation with the Whitsunday Marine Stinger management committee working to coordinate research to understand this potentially deadly creature.

But what animal really kills?

According to the National Geographic Channel documentary 'Elephant Rage', some 500 people are killed by elephant attacks each year.

According to the Department of Elephant Research investigating the increase in DBE (death by elephant) cases elephants kill people by sitting on and smothering them, by strangling them with their trunks or by trampling.

Jellyfish, Crocs and sharks hardly rate in the death stakes against the mosquito responsible for the deaths of more than two million people per year due to malaria.

Locally, with the early rain and runoff, there is an increased chance of box jellyfish in local waters. Take precautions and be safe.


Flying a kite


A new approach to harnessing tidal energy is ready for testing with underwater kite power generators tethered to the ocean floor near Ireland.

'Deep Green' tidal kites will be anchored underwater and, using kinetic energy and automatic rudders will fly in figure eights with the oceanic tides. Because water is eight hundred times as dense as air, these kites technically could produce nearly eight hundred times the energy as wind turbines.

Eventually, the silent tidal kite farms could significantly increase green energy across the world if the test is successful.


Beer, girl, coconuts, boat


Three teenage boys, who had attempted to row the sixty miles between two small Tokelau Pacific islands, became lost and drifted for fifty days across nearly 700 nautical miles (1300Kms) of the Pacific in a tinny.  

A more complete story is now coming out how the three boys, two aged 15 and one 14, found themselves in this predicament.

It all started with a girl.

In October, a sporting event was held on Atafu, the Tokelauan atoll that is the boys' home.  One of the attendees was a girl from a neighbouring atoll, Fakaofo.  At least one of the boys was smitten by the young lady. 

When she left their island, the three boys decided to go visit her.  Reportedly, alcohol may have played a part in the decision.  Around midnight on the day of her departure, they stole a skiff and brought along a bag of coconuts, some beer and a fuel tank.

The fuel ran out, so they decided to row to the neighbouring atoll, some sixty miles away.

Instead, they got lost and drifted for fifty days before they were picked up by a passing tuna fishing boat. 

Remarkably, all three boys are in relatively good health – a bit sunburned, thin and thirsty, but generally OK.


Mackay Harbour


Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark No. 2 beacon Q R, which marks the entrance into Mackay harbour is temporarily unlit. AUS chart 250


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Volunteers wanted for local Sailability

Volunteers wanted for local Sailability


Sailability Whitsunday is a local branch of an international organisation facilitating sailing for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

The local group has incorporated with Sailiability Queensland and is calling for help and volunteers to attend a meeting on Thursday, December 9.

Spokesperson Bruce Carter says they have had assistance from the state organisation to set up the group and now wants the community to get behind it.

"The organization's purpose is to facilitate sailing for everyone, regardless of age or ability with emphasis on opportunities for people with disabilities". Mr Carter told The Guardian.

"Nationally, Sailability Australia is a Yachting Australia Committee whose key objective is to encourage and facilitate sailing and boating throughout Australia for people with disabilities in social, recreational and competitive activities.

An important aspect of the organisation is that availability of the Access dinghy designed to appeal to that huge majority of the world's population who would love to have a go at sailing, but find it too difficult or uninviting to do so.

"Whether as a recreation, a competition sport or a therapeutic activity; the Access Dinghy design features allow total novices of any ability level to sail with little or no tuition, in safety" Mr Carter added.

Around the world, Access Dinghies are introducing whole new communities to sailing. Apart from the development of revolutionary sailing craft and supportive equipment, the Access Dinghy Sailing System also fosters the formation and development of the innovative "accessible sailing" network throughout the world.

An Access dingy will be available at the meeting for inspection.

People with disabilities are an entire segment of the community who want to enjoy and will travel to social and competitive events designed to include them.

Disabled people need the same thing as other tourists; facilities and access that are suitable to their needs.

The branch will soon have a web site and the meeting on Thursday December 9 at 5.30 downstairs at the Whitsunday Sailing Club will establish a plan for future training and events.

Further information: Bruce Carter 0407 632 887


Free boat festival


Entry to the Australian Wooden Festival on Hobart's waterfront in February will be free for the first time.

The State Government has given an additional $300,000 to the festival to make it free for the public and allow the perimeter fences to come down.

Premier David Bartlett says getting the fences down was an important part of getting more people involved and spreading the economic benefits of the festival.

Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail solo round the world, will be a special guest at the festival in February.


Travellers radio Net 


The Travellers Net, a voluntary service to the amateur radio community will run in a new time slot from 04:00 UTC to 05:00 on a frequency of 21.185 MHz

The Travellers net commenced soon after the introduction of the Novice Class licence in Australia to allow travellers with Novice calls a similar service to the 20 metre Traveller's Net which runs on 14.116 opening at 02:00Z for full calls.

The operators on both nets log call sign, name and planned overnight stop for all travellers who check in each day, pass any messages as requested to their family and friends.


Propeller injures


A woman was recovering in Rockhampton Hospital after she had to be evacuated from Great Keppel Island for medical treatment.

The woman suffered a large laceration to her lower leg from a boat propeller.

An ambulance representative said the woman was standing too close to a boat.


Mackay Harbour


Mariners are advised that an Iso R 2s light of lower intensity has been temporarily established on the port lateral mark No. 4 beacon, which marks the entrance into Mackay harbour on Bagley Point. AUS charts 249 & 250


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan