Welcome to the New South Wales NS14 Association.
Congratulations to Kylie Vaiciurgis and Dimity Redmond sailing "X" - 2015 NSW State Champions
A NEW series of NS14 Training Videos featuring Peter Vaiciurgis sharing some racing tips and practical "how-to" demonstrations to help the average NS14 sailor improve on the race track. Tips include how to start a race and how to create your race strategy. Filmed just after the Nationals in Teralba, January 2015.
A series of training videos have been produced featuring National Champions Peter Vaiciurgis, Tina Babbage, Hugh Tait and Tara McCall. Joined by MG National Champion Rohan Nosworthy they demonstrate both on and off the water, the many aspects of rigging, tuning and racing a NS14.
There can come a time when the pursuit of sailing excellence tends to cloud a person's sense of better judgment. In the short term it's seen as nothing more than being 'keen as', but in the long term, things such as sanity come into question when amazingly odd decisions are continually made in the name of sailing.
The die-hard dinghy sailor takes enthusiasm to a whole new level, to the untrained eye their attention to detail is often seen as mere random acts of stupidity.
It seems the condition is most prevalent in second-generation dinghy sailors. The kids of the Eighties whose Christmas holidays read like an NS14 National Titles Venue Retrospective. Those kids that when asked the significance of Good Friday, replied "it's when heats 1 and 2 of the State Titles are held, Miss". The very same kids that passed endless hours in North Coast traffic-jams skateboarding up and down the Freeway whistling Uncanny X-men songs, while Dad sat in the car stressing about making the 12:30 briefing. It was never a matter of 'if' they took up the sport, but 'when'.
For them, a standard wardrobe consists of a collection of ill fitting National Titles T-shirts spanning the last couple of decades. An accurate dietary profile for any given regatta can be gained through a series of sauce and beetroot stain analysis - the dropped pie never lies. The range of wetsuits, from short-john to steamer, far exceeds that of the collared shirt; and as for the 'good boardies' - they're only for special occasions.
Furniture, in most circles, is seen as a fairly integral part of any household. Yet when a choice has to be made between the purchase of - say - a lounge, as opposed to the purchase of a new sail, the decision is really quite clear. Sure, beanbags aren't exactly endorsed by the Chiropractors Association, but they do compliment the Besser-brick and milk-crate entertainment unit superbly. As a rule, the best bath towels are reserved for the making of fin covers, and it's no coincidence mum's sewing machine started making funny noises the day a new set of hiking straps appeared on the boat.
The garage is home to the current 'racing machine' and the surrounding walls resemble something of a shrine to boats past. You'll find no car here, just boxes of old fittings entangled in frayed bits of stainless steel wire. A collection of useless lengths of rope, that if laid end to end would circle the globe, hang in old shopping bags on the slim chance that one day a 5cm piece of spectra will come in handy. It's a magical place, where screwdrivers double as chisels, chisels double as screwdrivers, and everything doubles as a paint stirrer. More chin scratching has gone on here, than actual work.
The car, which is merely seen as a boat-towing device, exudes an odour not dissimilar to a wet dog. This is where old battens go to die. Over-spray from the act of boat hosing, is the closest thing this jalopy has come to a wash in years. The boot contains enough hardware to rival that of most ship chandlers and during tight cornering it's often difficult to hear the radio over the shifting load. The Royal Australian Mint probably still wonders what happened to all those 1 and 2 cent pieces that now fill the glovebox, and old sets of sailing instructions provide a simple, yet effective, passenger seat floor mat. The only thing standing between the car and a wreckers yard is a pink slip.
So as you can see, the die-hard dinghy sailor is a breed unto itself. Every club has at least several textbook cases; they're easily identified, tend to gather in small groups, speak in tongues, and as a rule pretty harmless. Are they of sound mind? Who knows? Should they be trading in their buoyancy jacket for a straight jacket? - Maybe. But come to think of it, when did you last spend New Year's Eve without a killer dose of gunwale bum?
Steve Donovan, 2002