Archive for the ‘Water Sports’ Category

Boat Sports for the Summer

Spring is in the air! The sun is beginning to return from its slumber behind the clouds. The temperature is slowly but surely beginning to climb higher into the 20s. The ocean is starting to look a little less like a raging torrent of ice glacier infested waters.

Summer is near. You know what that means?

It’s time to wipe the dust off your old mate boat and drag it out of the garage for an emotional reunion with the sea.

Here are some fun new water sports to try out/good old family favourites to return to.

Donut Riding

It’s time to swap donut eating on the couch covered in a blanket while watching 5 seasons of Friends with getting your actual friends together to ride some donuts on the water. This one’s fun, exhilarating, relatively safe and best of all, you could even have a nice catch up chat with your next door donut pal in the ocean.


“This is way better than slumping my butt on the couch”


This one requires a bit of a higher expert level because it involves more than just, well, sinking your butt into a donut (see above). Think of wakeboarding as a wonderful combination of water skiing (but with only one board), snowboarding (but without the snow) and surfing (but you’re tied to a boat, usually going at 30-4km/hr). Basically, you ride a wakeboard which is attached to your feet and you can try and do cool tricks and stuff.

My personal favourite is called the Fashion Air where the super stylish wakeboarder curls the board towards touching their butt while arching their back and striking a sassy hand behind the head pose for the paparazzi.


Such style.

Sit down hydrofoil

To be honest, it kind of reminds me of a pogo stick on the water. Basically there’s a hydrofoil attached to the water ski, which, combined with the pressure and speed of the pulling boat, means the board flies above the surface. Just make sure you don’t hit a fish and end up stacking it like the guy in the video below.

The water is heating up and it’s calling for you to dive back in. Take the boat out for a spin with some fun water sports!


This article was proudly brought to you by Boat Accessories Australia.

Opposition to Carney’s Bid to Play in European Super League

Disgraced Australian footballer Todd Carney may have been signed by the French side the Catalan Dragons, but his move to Super League is being vehemently opposed.

Leeds Rhinos rugby league boss Gary Hetherington believes allowing Carney into Super League will tarnish the game for all players. The UK newspaper the Sun has reported that Hetherington has emailed the bosses of other clubs in an attempt to block Carney from playing at the top level.

The Sun alleges Hetherington’s emails included: “We’d be appalled if his application was granted because it would damage the integrity and profile of Super League.”

Hetherington opposed the signing of Greg Bird to Catalan in 2009. Bird had recently been released from Cronulla over alleged assault charges. “It is disappointing that a club should want to sign him,” Hetherington said at the time. “Our competition cannot become a dumping ground for other people’s problems.”

10419978_822161377815941_602083928083827657_nCarney has been sacked from three NRL clubs and yet, incredibly, he has been offered the captaincy at the Dragons – pending his approval to play Super League.

Bernard Guasch, chairman of the Catalan Dragons, describes the signing of Carney as a coup. The club has in the past recruited players such as Stacey Jones, Steve Menzies and Greg Bird.

Carney, meanwhile, is clutching at a three-year deal with the Dragons in a last ditched effort to reviving his shattered footballing career.

Belcher & Ryan Win Fifth Consecutive World Crown for 470 Dinghy Class

Sailing duo Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have fought back from sixth place to win the world 470 class sailing crown. This is the fifth consecutive world crown for Belcher and second for teammate Ryan.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan. Photo:

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan. Photo:

Belcher becomes the first man ever to win five successive crowns – and he did it on his 32nd birthday.

But they didn’t have it all their own way.

The two had to fight their way back from sixth place earlier in the Spanish regatta, held at Santander. Their fourth place in the last event – a double points Medal race – was enough to see them win overall.

But celebrations were put on hold as they were forced to stave off a protest. With everything in the balance Belcher was able to convince race stewards to dismiss the protest.

“I guess what I’m really proud of is that this week we really stepped it up another level as a team,” Belcher told reporters. “This means a lot. You have to be able to qualify your country (for the 2016 Rio Olympics) and for us to tick that off here gives us a lot of confidence.”

And confidence is what they’ll need as the 470 dinghy class is becoming more hotly contested each year.

Australian Rowing Gets Nasty Surprise at Lucerne

Australian rowing crews have been given a nasty surprise with a less than shining performance at the final regatta of the 2014 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The Australian team managed a mere three silver medals in an event dominated by New Zealand and English crews. Ahead of the Commonwealth Games this poor performance will have Australian coaches deliberating over last minute changes.

Rowing World Cup in Lucerne. Photo:

Rowing World Cup in Lucerne. Photo:

New Zealand won the series with 141 points. Victories from Olympic sculler Mahe Drysdale and world scull champions Erich Murray and Hamish Bond set the Kiwis up for a strong performance. Emma Twigg continued her ascendency, overpowering Australian Kim Crow in a hard fought and thrilling race. Such crucial wins sent shockwaves through the Australian squad – especially with the Commonwealth Games so soon to begin.

Australia finished the series with 125 points on the back of second places to Crow, and the crews of Alice McNamara – Ella Flecker and James McRae – Sascha Belongoff.

Great Britain edged out the Aussies for second place in the series with 126 points. However, it must be noted the Great Britain team did not compete in all of this year’s regattas – sitting out the first round in March.

Australia’s men’s and women’s eights finished last in the finals. A disappointment keenly felt as much by them as by all Australian rowing fans.

Who’s the Fitness Angel?


There’s a girl in my office, I’ll call her H. I like her. She’s fair and blonde, with a pretty smile. I’ve tried to engage her in conversation; but this is a small business and there’s really no way talk socially without being overheard.

We do talk – but it’s always about work. When it comes time to go home everyone melts into the Sydney evening; each in their own direction.

But one day the boss decided to invest in some corporate lunchtime kayak sessions with Fitness Angels. ‘This,’ I thought, ‘could be my opportunity.’

Initially H was reluctant to go – ‘too much work’, ‘not really into kayaking’, ‘belong to akayaking-classes gym already’. But we nagged and convinced her – lunchtime kayaking is as much about having fun as exercising.

We all assembled down at the Sydney Harbor water’s edge, in the shade of million dollar waterfront properties. Standing on the shoreline I could clearly see the imposing structure of Harbor Bridge, the jaded Luna Park, and tucked just out of sight the somewhat dramatic Opera House.

It was peaceful listening to the water lap at the sand and feeling the sunshine on my face. The stress of our claustrophobic office seemed another world away.

We donned life jackets while Laura, our instructor, went through the basics of paddling. I moved closer to H and tried to catch her eye.

But she was watching Laura with that enigmatic smile.

“I want you to pair up,” Laura said (helpfully). “We’re going to have a kayak teams race. So I want boy – girl teams.” I looked at H, she smiled.

Laura continued, “You’ll be paddling together, so help each other out.” She gave two of the guys a measured look, eyes narrowing, “And I don’t want any kayaks being overturned.”

H and I dragged our kayaks to the waterline and waited for the starting signal. I turned to her and said, “Perhaps we might stand a better chance if we slip stream each other?”

H just smiled and said nothing.

“Go!” Laura shouted.

The three teams of two charged into the water like we were competing for the Olympic medals. I vaulted into my kayak and started pin-wheeling my paddles, expecting H to slip into my wake for the first leg of the journey.

But she passed me like I was at anchor! Her paddles flashing through the air like a fan!

I redoubled my efforts and leaned into each stroke.

Her kayak effortlessly glided ahead of mine.

I slipped into her wake.

Within a few strokes we were clear of the others.

Within a dozen I was puffing.

As we rounded he first buoy she was slowing to let me catch up.

H and I easily won the Fitness Angels kayak relay. H dragged me around the course like I was an anchor, but she didn’t seem to mind.

lunch-time-kayakingLaura had erected a Fitness Angels banner to signify the finish line. H and I were the first team across. I tried to say something, but all I could do was puff and slump forward in my kayak; sweat streaming from my brow.

H was already ashore, talking to Laura. I later discovered they’d been teammates in a kayak development squad at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Fishing, Technology, Accessories.

You can’t beat Mother Nature.

That is the biggest load of rubbish ever spoken. Mother Nature gets beaten every day. In fact she gets beaten so often and so comprehensively it’s almost a no-contest. And who is it that beats her?


This was brought home to me during a conversation with a friend, Rob, who is an avid fisherman.

Like most sporting fishermen Rob keeps a close eye on updates107653-jpw5940 in his field. I was surprised to learn that technology influences the sport of fishing as much as it does everything else.

“Just think about it,” Rob enthused, “Biologists are always uncovering new behavioral traits in fish species. These discoveries are being exploited by fishing accessory companies to improve the performance of fishermen.

“For instance,” he continued,” certain fish swim at certain depths. Depending on the current you’ll need a specific weight to keep the hook and bait at the correct depth. Then the line must have a specific tensile strength to be able to withstand the resistance put up by the fish.”

These are just the two most obvious elements in what has become more of a science than a sport.

“For that reason,” Rob told me, “there’s virtually no going in going to a fishing accessories store.”

I was surprised to hear him say this, since Rob has all the latest gadgets to do with fishing.

“You see, technology affects fishing the same way it affects everything else. By the time it’s in the store (whatever ‘it’ is) it’s already being superseded.”

117569-jpw12910-ThumbnailRob gets all his gear from Boating Accessories Australia. Because they’re an online store they are constantly upgrading their stock. “It’s not like a normal store where they buy from the manufacturer and then have to sell it to make way for new stock.”

Rob subscribes to several fishing magazines, so when they talk about a new development in the field he can go straight to the Boating Accessories Australia website and either purchase it or send an email asking how many days before they offer it. In fact, he can order through them if he’s discovered something they haven’t already (which doesn’t happen often).

I returned home to have a look at the Boating Accessories Australia website. It is truly incredible what they offer and the rapidity with which they update their stock.

Of course you can do it the old way – stick, line, hook and hope. But unless you really don’t care whether you catch anything or not then you’re wasting your time. The traditional fishing accessories stores are more expensive and carry outdated stock. Finding the gear you need has gone online. The future is now.


Sports With Less Energy


When you’re caught up in the adrenaline of a sporting competition, that’s all there is. Whether you’re a participator or a spectator, during the event your focus is on the finish line, the goal posts, or the podium.

What we tend to forget – at least in the midst of a sporting triumph – are the logistics behind sport. Putting on almost any event – from a game of ice-hockey, to swimming races – requires energy expenditure. As concern about climate change and energy efficiency continues to grow, elite sports teams and relevant bodies are working to minimise the negative impact they’re having on the environment.


For indoor sports, the efficiency of lighting arenas and stadiums is a key concern. Each event requires numerous hours – and innumerable kilowatts – of energy expenditure for stands, scoreboards, and playing zones, which can prove to be both financially costly and detrimental in terms of emissions.

In response to this, some sporting facilities are beginning to adopt LED lights, as explained in the New York Times. However, it’s not quite as easy as recognising the benefits of LED lighting and installing them immediately. Although they offer long-term savings, LED lights cost much more to install than the incandescent models which have traditionally been used. They are also much more complicated to initially install, despite lasting longer. The considerable upfront expense associated with LED lights has reduced the enthusiasm of some potential adopters.

Sports audiences have to be considered. While LED’s can be dimmed, thereby saving resources when floods of light are not required, they must also be vetted to ensure they do no negatively effect the vision of fans – in the playing facility, or watching at home on TV. Despite these potential difficulties, it is thought that LED lights will become more commonly used over time. In fact, they can be used to buoy players moods, due to their superior simulation of natural sunlight when compared to incandescent options.


For competitive sports requiring motors, improvements are being made in leaps and bounds when it comes to marine energy power systems. Compared to the motoring resources used in the past, contemporary options such as Capterpiller power generators are improving energy efficiency for competitive sports including sea fishing, deep-sea diving, and yachting. As with all means of energy provision, there is no doubt that improvements can still be made to increase the effectiveness of energy power systems further, but present trends indicate that this will surely occur.

Water-based facilities

There is little doubt that pools, with temperature-treated water, air conditioning, and extensive lighting, are big consumers of energy. By upgrading equipment – and perhaps, as previously discussed, transitioning to the use of LED lighting – these facilities are beginning to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. In part, these improvements are being aided by government-funded efficiency programs, such as that of the Geelong Council, demonstrating the effectiveness of collaboration between the public and private sectors when it comes to this issue.

Collective efforts

In order to encourage ongoing, meaningful change, sports stakeholders are banding together to encourage reductions in the energy expenditure in training and playing facilities. For example, the US-based Green Sports Alliance aims to “help sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance”. The Alliance has been in operation for almost four years, with impressive results. Alliances such as Green Sports also work to educate fans, attempting to generate a sense of social responsibility among the fans of participating teams, and ultimately achieve genuine, effective change.

Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race


No yacht race gathers the same media and public attention as the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in Australia. Sailors from every level of expertise, and yachts of all caliber, flock to Sydney Harbour for this momentous occasion every year. Boxing Day has different meanings for every country. For most, it’s the day everyone winds down after Christmas, and eats leftovers with the family. But in Australia, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race streams from every television, for as long as it takes the first boat to reach Hobart. And this year is no exception. Over the past 68 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events as the Melbourne Cup horse race, the Davis Cup tennis and the cricket tests between Australia and England. Gear up for another seriously exciting race this Boxing Day!

Sydney to Hobart yacht race 2013

Back again, this race is something not to miss. Whether you catch it on the TV, or you head down to Sydney Harbour to watch the first leg of the race, you’ll be thankful for it. The atmosphere alone is something to behold. People flock from all over NSW to watch the huge amount of yachts float in the Harbour, waiting for the horn to sound. This year, 97 yachts are registered to race, including 22 international entrants. Six-time line honours winner and current race record holder Wild Oats XI is again the boat to beat for line honours. In its 69th year, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race kicks off at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. If you’re keen to watch the race opening down in Sydney Harbour, book yourself into the Hotel Urban Sydney for the night. With a North Sydney Hotel and even a Chatswood Shopping Centre Hotel, you’ll find a fantastic place to stay, and a great escape right after Christmas.

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race is an impressive event that ranks as one of the biggest Australian sporting events of the year. Wrap up Christmas with a bang, and don’t miss this incredible sight in your own Sydney Harbour.

sydney to hobart