Corsair (dinghy)

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Current Specifications
Crew 3
Type Monohull
Construction Fiberglass
LOH 16 feet (4.9 m)
Hull weight 136 kilograms (300 lb)
Designer Alan Payne

The Corsair is a class of sixteen foot three handed sailing dinghy. The boat was designed by Australian designer Alan Payne who is famous for designing Sir Frank Packers challenge yacht Gretel II.

The Boat

The boat is built in fiberglass and is an incredibly heavy boat with minimum race weight being 136 kg and many boats frequently exceeding that. The sail area for the weight is small leading to the boat acting similar to a small keelboat in feel. The overhanded crew and no leaning out devices adds to this effect. This also makes the boat ideal for sail training as its strength and stability allow inexperienced sailors to jump in with more knowledgeable instructors; the boat is capable of taking up to 6 people and sometimes more in training situations. The class is also preferred by elder yachties as less physical strength or balance is required to race these boats with a "mind over matter" approach to sailing; there are still regular competitors with ages past 70.

As a race boat the low speeds of the class lead to close tactical racing in the wide range of conditions the boat is capable of being sailed in. Past national championships have been recorded as taking place in conditions which would be deemed out of the question in today's liability filled environment, the Corsair is one of only two classes rated by Yachting Victoria (the Australian handicapping authority) to race in conditions over 30 knots (the other being the Lightweight Sharpie). The class holds many class events such as the various Corsair State Championships, Corsair National Championship and the National Corsair Youth Championship. Though numbers have dwindled in recent years a core group of sailors still continue to vie for these titles.

National Title

The Corsair Class Association of Australia runs an annual National Championship regatta over the Christmas-New Year period that has been run since 1970. This event currently encompasses three separate National Championship crowns: The most significant is the Open National Championship which determines the best Corsair Sailor in the country. In concurrence to this is run a National Cadet Championship for the Australian Navy Cadets who currently use the Corsair as their official training class. This championship has been run since the 1981 regatta. Since 1988 there has also been run a National Youth Championship for competitors under the age of 21.

The championship is a fairly laid back event for most sailors however, with a schedule that includes many social and family events. This is reflected in the giving out of the "Family Trophy" for the highest placed family crew and the "Bottoms up" award for the crew with the most capsizes.

National Champion Boat Skipper State Crew 2nd place boat 3rd place boat
2004/5 Succession Dave Thomas NSW Watt Fun - George Watt Sunset - Kevin Cook
2005/6 Ferocious Aaron Hunt QLD Watt Fun - George Watt Odin - Lee Randall
2006/7 Ferocious Aaron Hunt QLD Succession - Dave Thomas Power of Three - Brady Lowe
2007/8 Watt Fun George Watt NSW Ferocious - Aaron Hunt Decidious - Kathy Burke

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