World class sailors are to visit Eden for The Flying Dutchman National Titles this Friday followed by the Twofold Bay Yacht Club’s 44th Annual Regatta across the weekend.
Event organiser Ted Dexter said there will be some skilled sailors in the competition including former three time world champion Ian McCrossin of Milton.
“There has been a good range of entries that have been flowing in. So far we have a sailor from New Zealand as well as former world champion Ian McCrossin,” Dexter said.
McCrossin has claimed a world title in the Flying Dutchman class in Italy, America and South Africa but says that Eden’s Twofold Bay is considered world class for sailing.
“Eden would be as good as any place in the world to sail – particularly if the wind is coming from the south east,” he said.
Eden would be as good as any place in the world to sailIan McCrossin - Former world champion
McCrossin will be helmsman on the weekend sailing with crew member James Cook. The Flying Dutchman is an international class that featured in the Olympics up until 1992.
“It is a very popular class worldwide with its main strength in Central America, Germany, Italy, Holland and Austria,” McCrossin said.
McCrossin hopes for 10 to 20 knot winds to create enjoyable sailing conditions. There is estimated to be a fleet of 10 for the Flying Dutchman class, which consists of 20-foot two-person mono-hull dinghies.
Organisers said the fleet is expected to be big for the 44th Twofold Regatta which is open to all classes from the small X3s and Bic O’Pen single sailors, right up to 40-foot keel boats.
“We have had quite a few pre-regatta entries which is a good sign that numbers may be up this year and the weather is looking good also,” Twofold Bay Yacht Club secretary Robyn Malcolm said.
Although a big turnout is expected on the day, Malcolm said that sailing as a sport has become less popular because the active sailing population is ageing.
“Sailing clubs around the country are finding that there are not a lot of juniors coming through,” she said.
“In particular, off the beach regattas, like the one we are having this weekend have been suffering because as we get older we are not that keen to travel and the youth are busy doing other things. They are not discovering this fantastic sport.”
“People think that sailing is expensive, but it is not. The club has boats that you can use and second hand ones are cheap,” Malcolm said.
Plenty of club members will be available to have a chat to any keen new sailors on the weekend.
Along the Bundian Way is the best spot to perch up and spectate the boats in action.
A presentation will be held after the event on Sunday, anyone is invited to attend.
For more information or if any families would be interested in borrowing a boat on the weekend contact Robyn Malcolm on 0428 961 659.