WSC Stories – 12 August 2021
Year 09, Sydney Boys High School
Sydney has always been synonymous with sailing due to the stunning beauty of Port Jackson and the various nooks and crannies in and around it. Since I had not taken up any specific activity prior to joining Sydney Boys High School, I opted to join a unique sport not many schools had offered – sailing. The notion of gliding across the water, truly enjoying all that the harbour had to offer was appealing, even though I had never participated in the sport before. Since most schools with a sailing program utilised Rose Bay, the WSC was where we were based.
Sailing is a thrilling experience – being untethered from the earth, yet still bound by gravity. Having the power to manipulate the elements to your advantage, whether it be through fair winds and following seas or billowing gusts and plunging breakers, is truly a brilliant feeling. I love the ability to be where
mighty vessels once were, ranging from the penal ships of 1788 to the heavy cruisers in the second world war. Having the Opera House’s elegant curves and the ever-present Harbour Bridge looming over our waters is a sight most are not able see from such angles. Rose Bay itself has history still preserved in its seaplanes – a small reminder of the Qantas Empire Airways’ first international airport that once covered the bay. The diversity of watercraft really makes the Bay feel wholesome and alive.
Matthew Wearn’s astonishing performance in the Men’s Laser races was an achievement which gave me inspiration for my own racing. His confidence at every mark, as well as his dauntless, calculated tacks and gybes helped to improve my understanding of race tactics. The graphics provided highlighted the various lays and paths of the dinghies, as well as their relative position to the next mark, showing the stag
gering progress and fierce competition.
One Thursday afternoon, when I was sailing below Shark Island with my cohort, my crew and I witnessed a once in a lifetime spectacle. We had unfortunately capsized and as we recovered, the Spanish SailGP F50 sc
reamed passed us, as it rounded the island. I will never forget the sound I had heard as the foils raising the catamaran above the water whistled in the wind as though it were a hot knife through butter.