In these troubling times. Many of us are in lockdown and furloughed, fitness is on the wain for some as the temptation to eat your way through that stash in the fridge becomes overwhealming, racing is currently a thing of the past as clubs are all shut and the grass grows around our beloved boats. So, we too the opportunity to ask our National Champions and a few other 'A' Cat luminaries, a series of questions to see if we normal mortals can learn about and from these masters.
We will be publishing these, in no specific order, over the next few weeks as their replies to our questions arrive, and we will start with multiple class, including 'A' Cat World Champion and 1984 AUS Olympic sailor Scott Anderson
- When and why did you first start sailing and in what?
Scott: 7 Years old , Sydney Harbour , Manly Junior a small dinghy with Main,Jib Spinnaker with my elder sister as crew. When she mutinied enrolled my younger sister , poor lass. But a fantastic way for kids to learn sailing – three sails and a crew – all you need.
- When did you first become aware of the ‘A’ Class Cat?
As a teenager but my eyes were for Tornadoes.
- Where and at what age did you first get a sail on one.
Sydney , I was 30
Fitness and training.
- What is your current fitness routine, and do you have any special diet?
Time sailing has always been my #1 priority.
- How often do you sail each month?
I try once a week , but more leading up to a Regatta . Depends on your goals and commitment .
- Do you have any specific fixed training regime?
Every time on water I try to learn something. Training important to have good training partners . Have a plan , do straight line sailing , compare , should be able to see if fast or slow , where , why , then do short races . The why may take time – also discuss on shore later . Help each other.
- Where did you learn your race tactics?
Years of looking and learning and reading. Dr Stuart Walker wrote a wonderful book. Pick up bits and pieces from articles. Talk to good guys . After every race ask yourself question “where did I loose / gain – what was the key thing” . Ask in a constructive mindset , not a negative one . Learn from mistakes.
- Do you practice race tactics in any way whilst training?
In training races it tends to come naturally
- Do you concentrate on specific areas when training?
Depends on if I am testing new settings, otherwise as above
- Was there a particular technique you found that unlocked something in your sailing?
- Do you have a regular sailing partner and what do they do for your sailing?
I have been fortunate enough to have had some wonderful sailing partners . Friends all . That’s important . Racing is still only a boat race and an extension of our love of sailing . The passion and love and eagerness to learn are the go – I think that can transfer to work and to life itself.
- What do you most enjoy about sailing the ‘A’ Cat?
The agility of the boat , the feel of the helm , the way the boat can tell you if its going well or not.
- What was your best sailing moment? (and if you feel strong enough, your worst!?)
That’s a hard one – have so many fantastic times . In joy – too many , maybe one example of many - sailing in Lake Garda 18 knots flat water ,close to the side of the mountain with cliffs rising straight up the immensity and the grandeur mixed with the speed and the feel of the boat on my feet . Racing , pretty much all the duels I had at Worlds and Europeans with Glenny A. (say no more) and other top guys. He won nearly all but our friendship was the real winner . Worst ? Why think that .
- If something goes wrong in a race, how do you start to deal with it mentally?
Try not to yell , know I shouldn’t but sometimes I do to release pressure . Then keep calm , keep thinking , keep looking, don’t follow one mistake with another is very important. Everyone will make mistakes -make less.
- What would you sail if ‘A’ Cats were suddenly banned?
A lead-boat with my beautiful wife. Must have a shower , a loo and a fridge for icy colds.
- What improvements do you feel could be made to the boats currently and which direction do you think the two divisions should be heading?
Improvements will come from new materials and design evolutions , from boat handling (especially Foilers) , but I strongly hope costs are always considered in class decisions . The price paid for unfettered development in foiling past 12 years to me have been a negative. Hopefully now the CL (Classic) division has a road forward that encompasses both possible development and reasonable costs and continues to appeal to many , as well as to provide an ‘umbrella’ for the large number of non-foilers in our community.
- Where is the best place you have ever sailed your ‘A’ Cat?
Too hard - too many , can’t compare .
- Who are your sailing heroes and influences?
Heroes hard to go past Paul Elvstrom . Super competitive but well balanced - an absolute gentleman and an impressive sportsman. At 1984 Olympics after final race and we had just beaten him by a tiny margin for the bronze medal , first thing he and his daughter Trine did was walk up the beach and congratulate us with a smile and a hug and handshake. And others ? I have had the privilege of sailing with and against some really great people - wouldn’t start to individualise , except as above , one special one has been Glenny A – in my humble opinion the greatest sailor Australia has produced.
- What single piece of advice could you give to the average ‘A’ Cat sailor?
Advice ? I have no advice!
Thanks to Scotty!