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Happy Days

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 20 Sep 23:00 BST
Happy days indeed - this dolphin ensured that we knew who was really made for the water when we were out during the course of the week. © John Curnow

Getting out on the water this week was superb. The winds were a little bit variable, and at 5 to 10 knots they were hardly going to set the world on fire either. The washing machine caused by conflicting NE and SE swell lines, and a significant ebbing tide was also another element to contend with.

At any rate, this dolphin certainly made you realise that you had to remain glass half full, and also promptly reminded one just who was master of their domain, and who was effectively trespassing. There were whales making a huge scene as well, just not as close as when I had been at Coffs Harbour back in July. All in all, one did get to think of simpler times, and peel off many layers of stress, as you got to appreciate the truly magnificent and simpler things laid out before you.

In Europe, the Genoa International Boat Show is all set to get under way from October 1-6, and celebrate its 60th anniversary in the process. Determined to go ahead at an early stage, I Saloni Nautici who administer the show laid out the best health and safety conditions, in line with the parameters defined by the World Health Organisation. Logistics, remote management and controlled access were cornerstones. They also went for a new vision based on their large open air spaces. Online ticketing has also played a crucial role in the show meeting its health and safety requirements

Saverio Cecchi, President of I Saloni Nautici said, "It is with great pleasure that we see the Liguria Region, the Genoa Municipality, the city's Chamber of Commerce and the city itself involved once again in the event. A responsible and committed approach is the only way to truly respond to and acknowledge the level of trust companies have shown to have in us by registering for this year's Show."

Some of the sailing brands that are attending include Bavaria, Jeanneau, and Beneteau. Back in Australia, and talking with Graham Raspass from the local Beneteau distributor, Flagstaff Marine, we are delighted to report that the first First Yacht 53 is currently undergoing commissioning, and would appear to be just a few weeks away from some inaugural sails on Sydney Harbour. We are definitely aiming to be a part of that programme, so will report back when it is sorted.

The vessel will be active in local regattas, and is going to be calling the Mosman area home, so she is bound to plenty visible when out and about. Another vessel, a First 27 is in her container and just had a minor routing issue, crossing the Tasman Sea to Auckland before returning to Sydney for unloading. Thankfully her new owner is waiting patiently for her late arrival, to say nothing of the distributor... We'll get a go as soon as we can make it all happen in the brave new order.

Back in Europe again, and Nautor's Swan is going to be in Tuscany soon, and how. Firstly there'll be their 'Experience', and then the Tuscany Challenge regattas. Nautor's Swan has also just released the ClubSwan 80 - a foiling canter looking a lot like Fast40 and AC75. Even the go-faster red paint job of the render was enough to get one fired up. Definitely worked for me, and yes, they're quicker, just like cars...

Could not help noticing Solaris Yachts launching a new, all-carbon 111 footer. Now for sure she's not as racy as the Swan, but that sort of waterline and lower mass courtesy of her construction is always going to make for some fun at some point. Giddy Up!

Also aiming to go ahead by deploying best practices to ensure the safety of staff, exhibitors and patrons alike is the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from October 28 to November 1. They could definitely take a leaf from Genoa, and also perhaps the recently completed Kieler Woche.

Clearly, there was no real previous experience to draw upon, and after postponing in March it was clear that any new plan would have to take a very serious approach to dealing with any enclosed spaces and also the flow of participants around the complex that had over 2.1km of temporary fencing around it.

Sven Christensen, from Point of Sailing that organise the event commented, "Ultimately, every question revolved around this topic, whether it was the layout of the areas, dealing with sponsors and partners, commissioning service providers or, more specifically, setting up the hygiene concept. And there had to be intensive communication - both internally and externally. Press, politics, helpers, volunteers and race organizers: All of them had their own, in the past clearly defined image of Kiel Week, which now had to be redrawn."

Also, a fast response, infrared spectral analysis test was a key component of not only the safety regime, but also confidence building. Just like the sailing itself, this item attracted plenty of its own attention. This is of little wonder when you consider the appeal of these types of things to help bolster the appeal of airline travel, and major sporting fixtures. One of the Sail-World team stated, "It contained what I thought were really interesting details about how to manage an event such as a regatta (or a boat show) in the pandemic, which I thought applicable outside the sailing/racing world." And indeed it did...

So there is definitely hope of more happy days to come. Just a whole bunch of planning and behavioural change to account for along the way. Alas, boating on the whole is being seen more and more as a healthy, clean, efficient and fun pastime. Growth of our sport is a sideline benefit of a terrible time, but just like the dolphin, we need to power on wherever possible.

Right oh - there is plenty of information on the group's sites for you to review when you can. Please avail yourself of it.

Now if your class or association is generating material, we can help you spread your word just by emailing us. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, thank you for keeping a weather eye on Sail-World. Your increased patronage and sensational, heartfelt comments have made our crew work even harder to bring you the best from all over the globe...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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