57th Tassal Australian Cadet Championships 2018

Day 1 (27/12/18) – Measurement, Invitation Race and Opening Ceremony

The official day of Nationals began in the early morning. All competitors lined up and waited for their boats to be measured under the big marquee by the measurers. Thankfully all went well and nothing had to be replaced on any of our boats. Only Bullant’s skipper Oscar had to buy a new PFD, his current one with only 30kg buoyance didn’t match his actual weight……

Soon after there was a Victorian Team briefing, and then a general briefing for all states, led by officials, the race officer Steve Aulich, the jury and members from Sandy Bay Sailing Club. The competitors found out everything they needed to know, including the courses and the structure for the rest of the day and the following week.

After the briefing everyone went and got ready for the invitation race.

The cadets hit the water at 12:00pm. This gave everyone enough time to practice and to get to the race course. The first warning signal was at 12:55pm and shortly after the invitation race began.

The breeze and the conditions were perfect and we had some great results!

  • Supersonic, 10th               (Mats Maertens & Lasse Maertens)            
  • Bullant,  12th                     (Oscar Kirkpatrick & Leo Church)            
  • Bridgewick Farm,  14th     (Maddie Scambary-Speller & Zac Sayle)   
  • Thrill Seaker,  UFD (Emma Maertens & Carla Maertens)        

A strong start for the RYCV fleet!

In the evening, the opening ceremony was held. There were food vans and lots of speeches, and each state got to pull up their flag. All the kids from each state had a great time together, running on the beach and getting to know each other. Everyone went home early to prepare for the real racing the next day….

Each day began with sailors arriving at the Yacht Club at around 9:30am, to rig up their boats. At 10:00am a Victorian team briefing was held by the three coaches, Tony Bull, Clare McAuliffe and Angus Rae. After that there was more time to rig up boats, and at 11:00am there was a general briefing for all states. At the general briefing, prizes were handed out for each of the races from the previous days, and the race officer explained what the courses would be. The best part however was the Jury and his pink notebook. The pink notebook was an idea that meant that after each day of racing, competitors could come up to the Jury and “dob in” another sailor. It could be for anything, for an act of sportsmanship or for a simply hilarious story, as long as it was something positive. Competitors always looked forward to this each day. After the briefing all sailors got ready, and waited for the “okay” to hit the water.


Day 2 (28/12/2018) – First day of official racing, Races 1 & 2

The conditions were, like the previous day, perfect. It was warm and there was a perfect sea breeze from the south of around 15-17 knots. Due to this, the Race Committee was able to get in two races.

Race 1 Results:

  • Thrill Seaker , 20th
  • Bridgewick Farm, 24th
  • Supersonic, 26th
  • Bullant, 41st

Race 2 Results

  • Bridgewick Farm, 11th
  • Thrill Seaker, 12th
  • Supersonic, 24th
  • Bullant, 32nd

Considering it was the first day of real racing, our results were pretty decent (the girls leading the boys!), and we all had fun, and knew what we did wrong, so we could improve for the next race.



Day 3 (29/12/2018) – Second day of official racing, Races 3 & 4

Day three….  It was very windy. The weather forecast said it would definitely die down, but a few sneaky locals said it would just continue to build. For hours and hours the sailors waited around, the postponement flying like crazy. It was getting closer to the end of the day, but THEN! We went out!!! What a crazy race committee. It had died down to a sailable breeze (still very windy), and some did not go out as they did not feel comfortable, but Thrill-Seeker, Supersonic and Bullant did for race one, and for race two Bridgewick Farm joined them too. When we went out it was super windy, but halfway through race one, the breeze died out. Like, completely! The Derwent is so unpredictable!

Race 3 Results

  • Thrill Seaker               13th
  • Supersonic                   14th
  • Bullant                        18th
  • Bridgewick Farm        DNS

Race 4 Results

  • Supersonic                   14th
  • Thrill Seaker               15th
  • Bridgewick Farm        38th
  • Bullant                        39th

Some very good and consistent results for Thrill Seaker and Supersonic. Bridgewick Farm was also featured on the podium at briefing for winning handicap in race 2 the previous day! At the end of this day, the overall results also showed Thrill Seaker in 10th position overall!


Day 4 (30/12/2018) – Third day of official racing, Races 5 & 6


The wind was a northerly and the conditions were hard, due to the current now flowing in the other direction, it was nearly impossible to be on the starting line. The RYCV Team did not have the best day. Supersonic also needed a replacement crew for race 5 as Lasse was very sick. He was watching his brother struggling in Race 5 and decided that he had to go out there to help him for race 6. And he did….. and it helped!

Race 5 Results

  • Thrill Seaker   22nd
  • Bullant            27th
  • Bridgewick Farm    32nd
  • Supersonic                   45th

Race 6 Results

  • Bridgewick Farm  18th
  • Supersonic                   20th
  • Thrill Seaker   21st
  • Bullant            39th

All in all some average races from our teams.

The 31st of December was a lay day. Lay days are used if there has been a day where racing wasn’t possible due to weather, however as we were on schedule with all the racing it meant there was no sailing for that day! Rest for all sailors and a relaxing last day of 2018!


Day 5 (01/01/2019) – Fourth day of official racing, Races 7, 8 & 9

Due to some great weather and the Derwent being used the next day for another boat race, the Race Committee got in three races. It was the strangest wind ever, one second it was super light and the next it was so windy that boats fell over like dominoes.

Race 7 results

  • Bullant                        15th
  • Supersonic                   18th
  • Thrill Seaker               23rd
  • Bridgewick Farm        45th

Race 8 results

  • Supersonic                   3rd
  • Bullant                        8th
  • Bridgewick farm         24th
  • Thrill Seaker               32nd

Race 9 results

  • Bridgewick Farm        11th
  • Thrill Seaker               25th
  • Supersonic                   RET
  • Bullant                        RET


Day 6 – no sailing but heaps of prizes!

At the briefing that day RYCV was featured a lot. Team Supersonic were up on the podium for coming 3rd place overall in Race 8 the day before! Bullant was also featured for winning handicap in Race 7!

Day six started early because the King of the Derwent (annual keelboat race) was on that day so we had to be off the water by 12:00pm. We went out early and did SIX starts, but none of them were successful, as the wind always shifted in the last minute or dropped off completely. Even when one race was started, the wind shifted a full 180 degrees, and we found ourselves sailing downwind to the top mark! Eventually the AP over A went up and all cheered as the racing was cancelled for that day

Day 7 – Sixth day of official racing, Races 10, 11 & 12, the last day!!


Due to no racing the previous day, the race committee was very eager to get in three races – they were successful. It was a very light wind day, but the weather was amazing and the Derwent was sparkling. Thrill Seaker had their best race of the Regatta, Supersonic was consistent, and Bullant and Bridgewick had a good day too. Most importantly though, the four boats had fun on their last day of the Championships. The Derwent didn’t disappoint with a fine 28 degrees and the sun shining!

Race 10 Results

  • Thrill Seaker               11th
  • Supersonic                   18th
  • Bullant                        23rd
  • Bridgewick Farm        30th

Race 11 Results

  • Bridgewick Farm        28th
  • Supersonic                   30th
  • Thrill Seaker               37th
  • Bullant                        UFD

Race 12 Results

  • Bullant                        13th
  • Supersonic                   19th
  • Thrill Seaker               20th
  • Bridgewick Farm        43rd


Regardless whether each of the teams left the regatta satisfied or disappointed with their results, they are proud of themselves for sailing in such tricky conditions and for getting out there and participating in what is a very challenging, often daunting sport. The overall results also don’t demonstrate the months of hard work, commitment and training that we all did to get to the Nationals in the first place. They also don’t show the fun we had competing in the event, or the tough days we had.

Overall results

There were 52 boats in the regatta.

  • 19th: AUS9611 Thrill Seaker            Emma Maertens & Carla Maertens
  • 20th: AUS9626 Supersonic                Mats Maertens & Lasse Maertens
  • 33rd: AUS9617 Bullant                      Oscar Kirkpatrick & Leo Church  
  • 34th: AUS6969 Bridgewick Farm    Maddie Scambary-Speller & Zac Sayle

We would also like to mention that Carla from Thrill Seaker got “dobbed in” to the Jury for sailing a whole race without a hiking strap (it broke), on a heavy wind day. Mats from Supersonic also got “dobbed in” for holding the record for the most capsizes that regatta, six in Race 9 to be exact!


First and foremost we would like to congratulate and thank the Sandy Bay Sailing Club for organizing an amazing regatta. It was a perfect organisation and there nice and helpful club members were always there to support us when necessary. We really enjoyed our time in Tasmania and hope we can put a similar show on in two year when RYCV hosts the Nationals.

We would like to thank the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria and especially Roger Eastham for their support, in sponsoring our starting fees, providing us with club hats and enabling us to take the Hillenaar over to Tasmania so that we had our own coach boat. Your kind gestures did not go unnoticed and were a huge help to all families.

Secondly we would like to thank our coach Clare McAuliffe, as well as Rodger McAuliffe for being our coaches this year. Clare began coaching us just nine months ago and from that day we have seen an extreme amount of improvement. Some of us went from back of the fleet sailors to mid to front fleet in such a short amount of time, and that is all thanks to Clare. Rodger also volunteered his weekends to assist Clare and spent many hours teaching us his years of knowledge on sailing. We can’t thank both of them enough for their on and off water coaching and support.

Individually we would like to thank our parents and family members for their endless contribution to us throughout our time sailing. All your hard work is often behind the scenes but definitely does not go unnoticed. We are all extremely grateful for what you do for us each week and for getting us to the Nationals.

Thank-you to Thorsten Maertens for organising a lot of the things related to our Nationals campaign including the transport of Hillenaar to Tasmania and back and for his support in making sure all the Cadets had everything they needed and that nothing was broken each week.

There were others who were also involved throughout the year and during the Nationals, and to anyone who contributed we would like to say thank you for helping us out.

Now that the 2018/19 Cadet Nationals are over we’re already training for next year’s Nationals at Royal Geelong Yacht Club!

In March this year the State Championships will be held at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, which we are very excited about.

We encourage any kids who are interested to come and try sailing a Cadet. It’s a very awesome, rewarding and fun sport!


By Emma Maertens