Australian VX ONE Association Season 2015/16
The class is steadily growing in Australia with the excitement and buzz around the VX-One being maintained. This is critical as most new boats have a honeymoon period and then become old hat. We have had our 2016 Australian Championships few weeks ago and they were a great success. We were hoping to have 12-15 boats but because of the location in Geelong which is southern part of Australia we fell short and had o10 registered to race and only 9 showed up. Never the less it had a great impact on the sailing community and the exposure to the class was immense.
The Nationals were held in conjunction with the Geelong City of Sails regatta which is an even that is over 100 years old and attracts 1000s of sailors and 100s of boats. We were given the prime location for birthing the boats in front of the club so anyone sailing or visiting had to walk past them.
We received many positive comments about our numbers, look of the boat and growth of the class. We are confident that this will translate into boat sales over the next few years. The buzz about the nationals is still persisting on social media.
The VX was featured on the cover page of the Geelong regatta page. The Australian Association has a good regatta program with regattas in all states except for Western Australia. Most of the growth has come from Queensland who have 8-9 boats up there. Unfortunately this has been at the expense of NSW who went from 5 boats to 2 boats as they were sold to Queensland. There is more interest in NSW and we can see this number growing again. There are 9 boats in Queensland, 2 in NSW, 2 in ACT, 2 in Victoria and 1 in WA. I believe there is another container load coming in in the next few months.
Although these are not huge numbers it is a steady growth that is coming from the grass roots. This is very healthy for a small market like Australia. I have found when there has been meteoric growth it is also followed by sudden crash. We held our Annual General Meeting in Geelong and are in a healthy state. Most importantly all of the VX sailors are very enthusiastic and see a bright future for the class in Australia. This month brings in the close of the sailing season for most states.
In summary the VX-One sailing season has been a very successful one with state titles being held in the ACT, NSW, Queensland and a National title in Victoria. The class has made its presence felt across Australia with boats attending many major regattas.
The next event on the VX-One calendar is the Mid-Winter National Title which are being held in Queensland in June.
The UK boats are starting to emerge again after the winter – there are now 7 boats berthed at Ullswater YC in the picturesque Lake District. Racing is yet to start in earnest but we’ve done a number of boat shows – Paris, Dusseldorf and the London dinghy show. This has led to requests for demo sails which we have started already.
There are now VX Ones sailing in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and the UK with strong enquiries from Switzerland. We have boats available for charter for;
Europeans, Brest, May 5-8
Scottish Series in Tarbert, May 27-30
VX One UK Nationals, September 10 -12
Marcus Eagan’s Cajun Underwriting dominated the standings at the VX ONE Midwinter Championship to claim the title with 18 points. No races occurred on Sunday due to high winds at host Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Florida, after seven races were completed Friday and Saturday. Brendan Healy’s Jenny XII placed second with 33 points, and Christopher Alexander’s Isabelita Con Queso rounded out the top three with 39 points. Eagan is also the current VX One North American Champion. Sailing with brother Andrew, Cajun Underwriting won four races and finished with a line of 1,1,2,1,1,7,5. The other race winners were Healy, Alexander and Sam Padnos’ TWD.
The top five:
1. Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting, 18 points
2. Brendan Healy, Jenny XII, 33 points
3. Christopher Alexander, Isabelita Con Queso, 39 points
4. Dustin Brennan, Marks-O-Lot Hero, 45 points
5. Jeff Eiber, This Side Down, 50 points
Twenty-five VX Ones competed in this event. Photos are available on the VX One Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found by clicking here
The third and final day of the 45th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival delivered the fleet with a light easterly of 8-12 knots throughout the morning, becoming a little lighter towards the end of racing. New to the Spring Regatta this year was the VX One fleet. Tim Pitts (USA), fleet chairman, who took third overall in class racing on Cruzan Rhode, said, “It was absolutely perfect, we enjoyed everything from the weather, to the conditions, the hospitality here was just great. We had 11 boats sailing all weekend in premium conditions. Jeff Eiber on This Side Down (USA) sailed extremely well and deserves every bit of his win. The courses were perfect, the race committee listened to all our input and it’s probably the best-managed racing we’ve had and we’ll be back next year.” This Side Down, VX One fleet overall winner and recipient of the first VX One Caribbean Cup, was the family team, Keven and Jeff Eiber with their 22-year old son Emery. “Certainly sailing together as a family this week has been the highlight. It is such a challenge every time (LOL!), but the highlight is that we did it!” For complete event details, visit http://www.bvispringregatta.