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Bronze Age

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail World AUS 12 Sep 21:00 BST
Get It On won Division 4 - Australian Yachting Championships at Hamilton Island Race Week © Salty Dingo

When a call came through about an all-conquering Adams 10 heading off to do some of the Asian circuit, well... Seriously. They had me at Raja Muda. Right now it feels like that was back in the Bronze Age when I did said regatta on a venerable Adams 20. Many thanks to Captain Raw, and also one Matt Burton for the funniest time I have ever had in Penang. Ever.

I'm also very familiar with the Adams 10, having stepped off one doing 15 knots. Wasn't pretty - either the Chinese that caused it, nor the damage to me. Might explain a few things I hear some say... Still. The scars have healed, but the memory of then losing a race we were both winning outright and under IRC remain sore, even now.

The Adams 10s are a perennial favourite with competitive crews at events like the Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta, just to name one. They can move in the light, are good in a blow, soaking wet for sure, but a super high LWL to LOA ratio, especially for their age, and the ability to fly a masthead bag, make for a good deal all round.

Some things are often described as ahead of their time. Few live up to it. 40 plus years down the track, and the slab sided darts are still a bit of a weapon.

Glam Rock

At any rate, Get It On would not be the first Adams 10 seen in those parts. Matt Allen campaigned one heavily for some time. However, checking deeper did reveal that alas the Ten is not on its way to Asia at all. Doh. There is a Corby 36 already there called Let's Get It On which is going to serve owner and crew very well thank you.

It was at this point too that the light was turned on. This is no homage to Marc Boland. It's far more recent, and so much closer to home. The owner's beautiful Sportsfisherman is called It's On. Plenty of other names to ring out from the theme, so there is no problem for our Commodore, should he wish to expand the fleet even further. In the end, that would make the person in question here, one Garry Holt.

Already the Queensland State Champions, the crew have just taken out Division Four of the Australian Yachting Championship that was part of the famed Hamilton Island Race Week. Note too please that when we say taken out, we actually mean smashed. Of seven races in the series, five were bullets, and the other two were second places. BTW, they won Airlie Beach Race Week beforehand with four wins and a second place.

Now it is also true that Get it On is actually out of class. She may well be the very last Ten built, but that stylish and blingy gold stick is some 700mm taller, which also allows for the boom to be that much higher as well - yeehaaaa. It means her sail plan has been altered significantly, as a result of being a 7/8 fractional now, not 4/5. The overlappers are a thing of the past with the bigguns just 105%. Also, the forestay has gone out forward some 300mm. And there's a new rudder too.

Turning Heads

So if the boat's pretty handy, then the same would have to be said of the crew. In the case of Garry Holt, competition lies at the heart. He was a downhill skier, competing for Australia in the European Cup, also the first Australian mogul champion, and yes the knees have been replaced, as well as a grass skiing champion.

Then there are cars. Warwick Rooklyn was the Tactician, and "...helped me the most", says Holt. Rooklyn was the Australian Formula Ford champion in the 80s, and drove with Mark Larkham at Bathurst. Indeed Holt and Rooklyn raced around Mt Panorma together, with Holt notching up three 1000km events in the V8s himself. Holt has also competed in the 12 and 24-hour races at the world famous road circuit, winning the 12 in 2007 and 2010 in a BMW 335i.

Just in terms of sailing, and if you cherry pick a bit, Rooklyn has won multiple Australian titles in the Melges 24, and one North American Championship too. Around 18 months ago he also grabbed a 16-foot skiff Australian Championship to highlight his versatility and experience.

In total seven souls raced Get It On, but there were many involved in supporting the adventures. The sailors all know the pointy end from the blunt in many a class from dinghy to keelboat, skiff to OD, and have the silverware to match: Ron Jacobs, Doug McGain, Marcus Burke, Don McPhee, Adrian Dunphrey, Nigel Lang, Jono Whitty, and Christof Vranek.

Holt is no stranger to the Asian circuit, and it looks like Thailand's King's Cup is the next one on the roster. He has steered for Michael Spies in Asia.

"We're going to keep both, and leave the Adams here. I did not think it would do as well as it has. I was a bit shocked when we reached 17 knots in it. It was a white out and there was 30 knots of breeze around, but it was a hoot as we marched on by a lot of boats. It is more efficient with the non-overlappers. We used the #4 on a reach, but mainly it was the #Heavy most of the time and a full main", said Holt.

"We won the Queensland State IRC and ORC as a 10 (inside class rules), beating boats by Cooksons, and Spiesy on board Maritimo, then started on the refit. Apart from those items named earlier, the keel had 400kg of lead removed, there were some strengthening works to the cockpit sole, the new rudder designed by Fred Barrett, Harken winches were added, and then the carbon rig by Allied Composite Technologies."

"Andy Dovell re-did the numbers on the rig and sail plan to get the Centre of Effort correct, and together with a mast tune the boat finally took off like a rocket!"

So if you are at a regatta on the East Coast, you may come across the navy hulled speedster. More likely, however, that you'll be seeing her gold transom, and you might end up saying to yourself just how glam that is...

Skip they do

As I penned that I said to myself, 'That's such an ageist remark.' Say what you want about the late Malcolm McLaren and The Pistols, but the talent on display in Nova Scotia was just evident as that recorded for posterity in this music video. Double Dutch indeed. The Netherlands won both the 49er, and 49erFX.

The next element that dawned on me was how all four are part of the Dutch SSL Gold Cup crew! Now as if anyone needs reminding that by the time the finalists get to Bahrain at the end of October, beginning of November, depending on your placing, it will be more than game on.

A particular point of reference, given that it is all about the rankings, was that 49er helm Bart Lambriex is now in the top five on the Men's helm, and Odile van Aanholt is now in second place on the table for the Women's helm, behind Brazil's champion, one Martine Grael.

So Italy's Nacra 17 World Champion crew of Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti might not be part of the SSL Gold Cup, but what a scorecard! What is with that? 15 bullets out of 16 races, next worst was a second, you dropped a 20th, got fifth in the medal race, and stormed home by 60 points. That's not daylight for second, it's the milky way...

49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Worlds

Iain Brambell, the High Performance Director for the Australian Sailing Team, said after the World Championships, "All squads came to Nova Scotia with the goal of achieving Gold Fleet and competing within the coveted Medal Race. With many new combinations formed following the Tokyo quadrennial, and the Covid shut down, the 2022 session was a critical year to learn and build momentum into the Paris Games."

"With only one crew achieving the Medal Race on St. Margarets Bay, it is now time to reset and get to work on building from the many lessons learned throughout the 2022 season. All squads will now return to Australia to take full competitive advantage of training throughout the Australian summer. Over the next five months the crews will fine tune these learnings in preparation for 2024 Olympic qualification, which commences at the 2023 World Sailing Championships in The Hague in August 2023."

Just for the taste

This was the title of the note that arrived via press release. Now LWL will dictate when you arrive at the weather mark, just like 190m2 atop a 44-footer will nominate how smartly you will leave it. This video shows the very new Beneteau First 44 under way. Bring it on. No beach ball now...

OK. There it is. There is so much more on the group's websites for you. Simply use the search field, or 'edition' pull-down menu up the top on the right of the masthead to find it all. Please enjoy your yachting, stay safe, and thanks for tuning into

John Curnow
Editor, Sail World AUS

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