South Australians head east and call on other states to return the favour

The South Australian co-owner of Concubine, which will compete at the upcoming Australian Yachting Championships off Melbourne, has called for more Victorian and NSW boats to return the favour and head west in February to sail in the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race.

Shevaun Bruland, who owns Concubine with her husband Jason Ward, the boat’s skipper, believes South Australians have developed a culture of travelling to bigger regattas, often in Victoria or NSW, with some making the trip annually. Of the 36 yachts registered for the monohull division of the AYC, hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club from January 19-21, 2018, six are making the journey from the Festival State. In the multihull division, 15 yachts are entered, of which four are from SA.

“I think that’s because, as South Australians, we are accustomed to travelling, taking the boat around to Sydney, down to Hobart and back to Adelaide again. It’s quite a big undertaking, but we’re accustomed to it,” Bruland said. “I think it’s a little bit harder to get boats to come the other direction, to sail in Adelaide, even though we’ve got some absolutely amazing sailing. One of the best races we do is the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race in February. We’d like to get some more Victorian and NSW boats across to Adelaide to do that race. It’s the best race on our calendar.”

Bruland said those Victorian boats that had competed previously in Adelaide to Lincoln and the four-day regatta which follows it had enjoyed it.

“Port Lincoln is one of the hidden gems of Australian sailing. It’s just a beautiful place to sail,” she said. “What we’d like to see is some of the NSW boats that are going to be in Victoria anyway for the Australian Yachting Championships to continue across to Adelaide. If we had a few do that, it would be really great.”

The AYC should provide the South Australian crews with similar conditions to home, with the shorter swell on Port Phillip Bay often similar to those in the Great Australian Bight and unlike the rolling east coast swell that confronts the Sydney to Hobart competitors. That said, Concubine has been in Sydney since August, contesting the Blue Water Pointscore series in preparation for the race to Hobart, though Bruland said some crew adjustments would be made before the AYC.

Geoff Boettcher, skipper of another South Australian yacht, Secret Men’s Business, has won the Adelaide-Lincoln race several times. He describes it as a “dog eat dog” contest, which his crew looks forward to, like they are the upcoming AYC.

“We’ve sailed quite a bit off Melbourne,” Boettcher said.

“We’ve always done the Melbourne-Geelong and Geelong Week. We’ve won many of those and we enjoy the Bay. It’s very similar to Adelaide sailing, I guess. It’s got similar sea ways.

“Sandringham is a beautiful club, too, the boys are excited to get there and we’re expecting some good sailing.”

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