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Sydney Social Cat Sailors Group

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Hi everyone,
after surveying the 14ft / 16ft cat sailing scene in Sydney for a few years, it's become apparent that there isn't an opportunity for 14ft (or 16ft) cat sailors to get together on an ad-hoc basis...
Kurnell Catamaran Club is focused on racing the high-performance larger designs - and typically there are no 14's sailing there regularly. And getting them to develop 14ft cats (as a training class for their juniors) is seemingly a futile exercise...
Concord-Ryde sails on a Saturday - so that precludes many of us who work Saturdays from attending their events...
My idea is to start a Cat Sailors Social Group - and to maybe put up a Facebook page - where we can loosely plan Sunday get-togethers - possibly around a central Sydney venue like Clontarf - (which is easy to get to for anyone within an hour of the CBD) - and to occasionally attend 1-Day Regattas at various venues.
Nothing serious - but an opportunity to help get social sailors up to speed with sailing/tuning clinics, and for friendly 'ad-hoc' races around the bay using existing marks - very much 'low-key' stuff...
Occasionally, travel for weekends away at South West Rocks or Jervis Bay - for example...
I appreciate this is not the site to find these sailors, but it's a start?
Any feedback would be great...
:)
PP

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Not sure if you follow my SEQHS facebook page but i started a social sailing group doing exactly as your describing several years ago here in Brisbane and the success is immeasurable. The hardest part is 'finding' those people your talking about, people who aren't linked to existing clubs etc.

I started on this forum meeting several people in person and grew from there. I found the best way to 'find' those people was to trawl Gumtree/ebay adverts involving beach cats and simply saying 'here's a really good reason to sail' and that if they sell to please tell the new owners about the group. What started with a handful of cats quickly grew and we have a huge member base speading as far as Northern NSW into central Qld. Whilst the name says 'Hobie' we don't exclude any makes (but dislike those 'N' boats..... joking) and a central part of our fleet are Calypso's with some new members recently joining us with CaperCats, Hydras, Mari's, Windrush etc.

The group is found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthEastQueenslandHobieSailing/

I organise monthly sail events but we also discuss sailing every weekend so that members can meet up. Outside this we also organise group sail-camping adventures to the Whitsundays and Great Keppel Islands.

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Hey Matt,
yes, I'm aware of your group - in fact I modeled my idea on it...
As far as the 'N' boats go - yes I get it - they're the 'North American Catamaran Racing Association' - what are they doing here in OzTrayLeeYah?
They are like the Myna birds of the Cat Sailing Scene...
:)
Yes, I know I'll be crucified for saying that - but how about Australians supporting local designers and innovative Australian design?
As far as I'm concerned, everyone should be on a Windrush 14 or F18 Edge - but seeing as Windrush don't make a 16 yet - then go the Hobie 16's!
BTW, my frustration came about as a consequence of the curious attitude at KCC - their 'take' on things is that there isn't a suitable 14ft training boat available...
I say 'bollocks' to that... the Windrush 14 is the most versatile boat for teenagers - or an adult and a teenager - as it's able to be sailed in many different configurations - and it isn't hard to find reasonably good boats at silly prices online... but there's nobody down there who wants to make it happen... just a bizarre attitude for a Catamaran Sailing Club...
:(
Anyway - I appreciate your thumbs-up for the idea - hopefully we can get something happening down here too... and one day meet you guys at South West Rocks...
:)
 

2-Up Windrush 14s.jpg

Racing Windrush 14s.jpg

Hot Pepper_Windrush 14.jpg

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I hear ya!!! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain. Might I add too that from my own experiences there is a very defined difference between what I call 'racers' and 'social sailors'. Without naming names and going into detail, lets just say that those who come from serious racing backgrounds often struggle to see the point of what social sailing is all about. They respond with doubt and negativity to the freedom that myself and the group enjoy so much. It could be jealousy.....???

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I've just sent a request to join to the seq group. I'll not be taking the tiny cat out until I've sorted the rig, but I might come out with you lot one day if the wind is light.

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20 hours ago, Matt15 said:

I hear ya!!! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain. Might I add too that from my own experiences there is a very defined difference between what I call 'racers' and 'social sailors'. Without naming names and going into detail, lets just say that those who come from serious racing backgrounds often struggle to see the point of what social sailing is all about. They respond with doubt and negativity to the freedom that myself and the group enjoy so much. It could be jealousy.....???

Hey Matt,
the social sailors wanna go faaaast too - (that's probably why they bought a cat instead of say - a Laser - right?)
And it just so happens that a correctly tuned boat is just so much more fun to sail socially too.
You can't learn that from just 'pottering about'...
The 'problem' seems to be the 'seriousness' that many perceive when they get involved in racing - and nobody wants to be Tail-End Charlie too many times - or even once...
The flip-side is that once you do race - and you get support from others sailing the same boat - it increases the 'fun-factor' when you just want to go for a blast - coz the boat feels a whole lot better when it's correctly set-up.
Too many are turned off sailing because the boat wouldn't turn, or it was sluggish - or wouldn't respond etc etc... or they pickled it and couldn't right it - leading to an initially negative experience.
The plus side of racing is that you have a rescue boat - and knowledgeable sailors to give you advice - if you ask for it...
I don't really think the racing guys are jealous at all - it's just that they get a kick out of pushing their boats - and themselves - to the limit...

Ideally you want a mix of both - which is what I'll attempt to do - if I get enough interested cat sailors...

PS

The guy sailing Hot Pepper is Warren Pfeffer - (now trying his hand with a Maricat 4.3) - who is one of the nicest guys I ever met - he's probably among the best 5 Windy sailors to ever step on the boat... very friendly and always happy to offer advice to me and others - so not all racers are hard-nosed egotists - I can assure you...
:p


 

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Totally agree. We have many ex racers and some who still do race in our group so i will never put all the 'racers' into the same basket. To explain the negativity part - it comes when we're solo sailing our H16/H18's or running SPI spinnaker kits on our H16's. Our limitations are endless and not bound by tape.

We're also very very competitive and always looking for something to change or adjust for more performance. Members are always willing to give each other a hand, advice etc too.

And no we don't have rescue boats but we do have volunteer marine rescue (for then things are really bad) as well as each other for safety. I've towed cats back to the ramp or nearest beach plenty of times.

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Sorry i don't know Warren Pfeffer or his cat Hot Pepper?

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6 minutes ago, Matt15 said:

Sorry i don't know Warren Pfeffer or his cat Hot Pepper?

He's the skipper in that smoking pic of the Windrush 14 Super Sloop I posted above...
:)

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Did you set up a face book page yet? I am on the central coast and am interested. I could organise a few days up here each year.

I have Arrow which I race but also enjoy the marathon type races and just going for a cruise without the stress of racing.

 

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Sure did... you can find it here:-
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1377025849023628/
I have yet to 'stalk' Gumtree and other on-line resources for potential members - but I'll get around to it eventually - hopefully we can get a core group of at least 6 to 10 sailors/crews up and motivated to do some weekends for next season – particularly up at South West Rocks...
:)

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