The Crew Experience Program can open many doors with the Club being host to many short ocean races which occur throughout the summer sailing season. These short ocean races are a great way to really see the benefits of ocean racing. These races provide a real introduction to ocean racing, the races only take one day so there’s no night time sailing, just warm summer sailing with the chance of sailing past the odd pod of dolphins.
The main ocean race The RPAYC hosts is the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs. This yacht race is sometimes referred to as the “warm water classic” and that’s what it is. Being held in January, the middle of summer the weather is always warm. With the East Australian Current being just off the coast, sailors usually sail in close to shore to avoid the current which makes for a picturesque race hugging the beautiful NSW coast.
Lining up against boats like Team Australia makes the crewing experience all that more exciting
The Crew Experience Program isn’t just for new-comers or novices, it’s also designed to help experienced sailors to take the steps to becoming a seasoned ocean racing crew member. The program provides participants with the right direction in regards to finding the right team and taking the right training courses to get prepared for the Cat 2 race.
Club Youth Development sailor, Alice Tarnawaski, more known for her match racing achievements loves racing the Club’s Warm Water Classic.
Taking on the race 3 times now, Alice loves the challenges ocean racing can bring and how it compliments her match racing pursuits.
“Doing an ocean race makes Saturday racing easy, especially when you are sitting on the rail for 36 hours, but when you are working together in such a small space for a long time you really get to know your team very well”
To crew on a Cat 2 ocean race does require some prerequisite training and also on top of that some added practise. As the Cliché goes, practise makes perfect and in this case the Club’s short ocean races are a great way to get out there and practise. For Coffs, Alice highly recommends sailing as much as you can and knowing your limits and also doing the Safety and Sea Survival Course.
“Doing the Safety and Sea Survival Course as well as knowing your limits and the importance of rest and food when you’re doing a long race, you can’t just push yourself too far, after a few races you know when to back off and you will know when to help out and become a valued crew member.”
Smiles all round for the About Time team after finishing the Pittwater to Coffs
As with any ocean race there’s going to be plenty to see, the ocean can throw in some spectacular sights which you wouldn’t see anywhere else. With the lack of light pollution you are able to see every star in the sky, amazing sunrises and sunsets, big schools of fish and phosphorescent dolphins.
To get involved with the crewing programs at the Club, go to www.rpayc.com.au or call the Sailing Office on 9998 3700 and they can help you get on board. To keep up to date with the “Come to Coffs” promotion, visit:
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