Dolphin sightings, picturesque sunsets, new comraderies and great memories are all part of Ocean Yacht racing. It takes a lot of preparation and training but at the end of the day it’s well worth it all.
In focus is Marcus Grimes and his High Anxiety Crew.
High Anxiety is a Stillwell Boat built in 1988 in Terrey Hills for RPAYC Member Peter Hayes. She has seen many different crew and skippers until it eventually ended up in the hand of Marcus.
“ Given it was a well know boat, we were a little worried when we started racing that we would have big shoes to fill.” Says Marcus.
For Marcus, support from the Sailing Office and the Yacht Race Committee along with a few other members made earlier races a lot more enjoyable.
“Allen Stormon got on board for a series of races to lend some experience and other skippers were happy to help out with advice and encouragement” Says Marcus.
That’s what the RPAYC is about, excellence in sailing and the members very much adhere to the vision and help out others, as they say there’s no substitute for experience.
Experience is something which Marcus and his crew wanted to work on, their “never say die attitude” pushes them into racing in all conditions, learning from each race and each other and found that the Blue Water Point Score Series is the best way to go about it.
“The RPAYC Blue Water Races are the best way to build experience for both skippers and crew.”
With a build-up of experience and confidence, the next step was to do a Cat 2 Ocean Race which does require detailed preparation and training. The Blue Water Series builds on experience but there’s a need for certain training programs to become Cat 2 certified.
“As High Anxiety is an older boat and had not been Cat 2 certified we had quite a lot of things to do.
“Getting your boat measured for ORCi stability and crew certifications such as the Safety and Survival at Sea takes some time but best to get started ASAP. However knowing both are valid for 5 years is a bonus, one less thing to do this year!”
Marcus and the High Anxiety crew are prepping for the 2016 Pittwater to Coffs and based off their participation last year, it seems Marcus will potentially become a seasoned Ocean Racing skipper.
“The excitement was really high last year knowing we were lining up against Beau Geste, Team Australia and taking off with an actual spectator fleet. We had met Andrew Butler and had a great battle with Astral up the north coast. A friendly rivalry I look forward to this year.”
High Anxiety took to social media and the Internet for keeping their internal communications up to date so everyone knew what was going on, now it has developed into a micro-marketing tool to tell their stories.
“It’s fantastic for new crew to get an idea of what we are all about, hopefully some non-sailors will see our dolphin videos, read some of our adventures and maybe they will give sailing or ocean racing a go.”
Marcus encourages skippers to “go on, do it” and the Club is here to help. Get in touch with the Sailing Office and they can direct you in the right direction. Alternatively, Marcus is more than happy to lend a hand, you can contact him through www.ha-crew.com. You can also visit the website www.pittwatertocoffs.com.au for more information.