The Brilliance of Father+Son Sailing
Contributed by Sandy Anderson, published in AIDA eNewsletter October 2020
Where maximum weight to give a competitive edge is an asset, having a father and his young son as crew has advantages far in addition to the weight advantage. The sons love being with their dad and the dads take great care and responsibility for them whilst so enjoying sharing the dragon experience with their son.
I first sailed four-up with a father-and-son combination when John Low and his then 10-year-old son Ethan Prieto-Low joined my team . Ethan would listen to the boat handling and racing discussions between John Moncrieff and his dad and me, and gradually progressed under the guidance of his dad to do more on the boat. Ethan did the club, state and National Championships , racing on Sydney Harbour, Port Philip, Botany Bay and the Derwent and Swan Rivers. We won the position of top of the Australian Ranking List in 2011/12. He did the Melbourne World Championships with us in 2011 when he was 11.
As Ethan grew, eventually we could not lose enough weight to stay within the weight limit. He now very competitively helms his own dragon with his dad crewing, competing in the 2019 Fremantle Worlds, as well as in other classes, including match racing around the world.
The second father and son combination on my team was Stephan and Albert Eyssautier. I remember Albert happily perched on the transom at about 8 while we trained. He began racing with us when 10, culminating in the 2017 World Championships in Cascais when he was 11. Here we sailed in 20 to 30 knots in big seas with wild kite rides down wind, his father woohooing with exhilaration when the boat took off down the waves. Albert now races with his dad on their hobiecat.
Other helming fathers with their adult sons crewing are David and Jack Lynn on Relentless, Willy and Jock Packer on Scoundrel and Peter and Sam Gilmour on YRed. Historically, Bun Lynn won many races including Nationals with his sons Tony, Mark and Richard. In conclusion, may fathers and sons be encouraged to take that opportunity and race dragons together.
Dragon World Championships Cascais, Portugal 2017. Sandy Anderson (helm), John Moncrief, Albert and Stephan Eyssautier
Presentation of Australian Ranking List Winner 2011-12 to Sandy Anderson (helm), John Low, Ethan Prieto-Low, John Moncrieff
Prince Philip Cup 2011-12, Hobart. Sandy Anderson (helm), John Moncrieff, John Low, Ethan Prieto-Low
Willy Packer (helm) , son Jock Packer and Julian Harding winners ofthe 2020 Western Australian International Dragon State Championships .