Major Events in Oceania
It was not possible to run either 2021 or 2022 Oceania or Australian Open & Youth Championship events due to COVID border closures. Fortunately districts and clubs largely managed to run their events with a few cancelled due to lockdown.
The 2022 Oceania Masters in Darwin 20-26 May 2022 was a great success. The long drive for many was worth it. The sailing was great, and the club meals and presentation night were much appreciated by the 37 sailors. The venue turned on other attractions including a jet fighter display and breath-taking sunsets. Well done Garry Martin and the NTLA team.
The VLA ran a great 2022 Australian Masters Event 25-28 February 2022 in conjunction with host Western Port Yacht Club south of Melbourne. Over 100 boats competed.
The Oceania & Australian Open & Youth Championships were completed on 8 January 2023
at Georges River Sailing Club. 180 boats competed with 150 sailors from all Australian districts and 30 international sailors from 13 countries. It took the support of 70 volunteers plus an international jury and PRO Peter Merritt to stage this event. Well done GRSC and all involved.
The Oceania & Australian Masters will be run 10-13 March at the Bay Sailing Centre Port Stephens. A big roll up is expected for this event.
Move to ILCA Identity
ALCA and some districts are in the process of changing their names to ILCA.
At this AGM I have tabled motions to start the process for OLCA to change as well. It is recommended that these motions be approved so we can move with the rest of the ILCA world as over time all Regions and Districts will adopted the ILCA brand.
At the Oceania & Australian Open & Youth Championships we piloted a Solidarity Program loosely based on the successful EurILCA’s initiative. The pilot provided for six ILCA 4 women sailors, (one from each Australian district) free entry for the Championships, team wear, a boat, and a coach. Thanks to the efforts of John d’Helin and the VLA it was a great success. In 90 days, John took this from an idea to reality.
Next year we plan to expand the program into Oceania. We are currently reviewing this year’s pilot and will publish details of the expanded program in the next few months.
Memberships & Participation
Throughout the year we have seen some encouraging things happen.
Our Australian district membership has increased to over 700, a steady rise in the past three years. This is something I thought would not happen because of COVID. As well we retained our 13 Oceania districts registered with ILCA.
The ILCA 4 is on the increase. At the 2023 Australian & Oceania Championships we had the largest ever ILCA 4 fleet ever.
The ILCA 4 is the logical transition boat for sailors from the junior classes into youth sailing. The ALCA/OLCA mantra should become “More sailors in ILCA 4s, in more clubs”.
Ken Hurling OAM
Chair ALCA OLCA.