middot warning cancel success information linkedin google twitter facebook whatsapp user-stroke rss yacht-silhouette library user ship tel email print share lock spyglass arrow--down arrow--up arrow--left arrow--right coins city yacht warranty pin

Parade signals world race

4 December 2011 - The paradox could not be ignored - a parade of historic vessels meandering down the Swan River as a symbolic launch to one of the most intense international sailing competitions of the decade.

But, somehow, it seemed appropriate.

The four-hour Parade of Sail was the centrepiece of yesterday's elaborate opening ceremony for the 2011 World Sailing Championships, in which about 1100 competitors from 78 countries will spend the next 16 days fighting for world titles and Olympic qualification.

Seven vessels, each representing a local yacht or sailing club, carried the official championship flag for a leg of the journey. They also carried a part of WA's sailing heritage.

It began with Royal Perth Yacht Club's 100-year-old gaff-rigged yacht Mercedes, followed by a 14-foot skiff skippered by multi-Australian champion Brad Devine. The 14-foot skiff is the senior class at the Perth Dinghy Sailing Club, the only yacht club in the City of Perth.

From there it went to the 18ft skiff owned by Mounts Bay Sailing Club's former commodore Scott Glasskin. The 18ft skiff was prominent around Perth in the 1920s, but is beginning to make a return to local waters.

The flag was then transferred to the Hobie 16, crewed by Nedlands Yacht Club's world champion pair Natalie and Jasmine Hill, before being passed to Claremont Yacht Club's 22ft Flamingo, the smallest yacht to win the Cape Naturaliste and return race, in 1957. Then it was a restored 55-year-old Dragon-class yacht from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and the restored 9m Acrospire from Fremantle Sailing Club.

The flag was taken around to Bathers Beach, where Australian 2008 Olympic champion Elise Rechichi was taking it up to the Round House to be hoisted as the sun set over the Indian Ocean.