Over the past few weeks my team and I had the unique privilege to travel to Australia and compete in two regattas spanning all across Australia. The first was in Perth Australia sailed in these boats very similar to the Catalina 37 which is sailed in Long Beach, CA. The team arrived one day early in Perth, which allowed us to experience Australia Day their version of the fourth of July. We had a great time familiarizing ourselves with the local traditions and exploring Perth. The following day we reported to the yacht club to assist in relocating the boats for the event.
For this event we were being sailed directly off of downtown Perth which was an extremely challenging place to sail for a few reasons. Sailing directly off of the city caused an extremely shifty environment. But the greatest challenge was the exclusions zone. Due to the unique positioning of the in what was more or less a river there were a variety of sandbars scattered throughout the race courses. Sometimes it would just be luck of a draw if your sailing in a race and hit a sandbar and be forced to figure out how to get off of it.
As the week progressed it was very clear our team was becoming more and more comfortable with the boats. We learned a lot at this regatta and were actually issued the first invitation for next year! Following this regatta, the team packed up their equipment and moved ourselves across Australia to Sydney for the Hardy Cup.
Something we had not realized before was that Australia is just only slightly smaller than the United States in terms of geographical size. After a full day of travel, the Team made it to Sydney where we were assigned a host family and was able to get out on the water later that day. The regatta was being sailed right off of downtown Sydney in Elliott 7 meters with asymmetrical spinnakers similar to a J70. After four incredibly intensive days of racing we finished 8th in the regatta. We took away a variety of valuable learning points that we can apply to other regattas moving forward.
Thank you again for everyone who continues to support us at the club. Without the support from the yacht club we would not be able to continue representing the club on an international level.