As I write this, the dust of the destruction of the World Trade Centre has barely settled on the ground.
Undoubtedly the worst example of terrorism in the modern era has just been committed and we as a race have proven once again that of all the creatures on this planet, we are the only ones capable of committing genuine horrors against our own kind. No other creature on Earth harms its own kind the way that we do.
I have no intention of turning this column into a political statement, but I cannot bear to think that we will now have to live our lives looking over our shoulders in fear of the unexpected. I just hope and trust that the perpetrators of this obscene act are rounded up and dealt with as swiftly as possible.
On the boating front, during August, I was fortunate enough to once again be able to attend the Hahn Premium Hamilton Island Race Week. This was the 18th running of the event, and drew a fleet of more than 180 yachts to compete in the seven-day regatta.
The weather was absolutely perfect; in fact a little bit too perfect, as light winds made for some frustrating and trying racing. For me, the stand outs were once again the Sydney 38 and Farr 40 One Design fleets. Tight match racing was the order of the day, as these fast and nimble boats cut their way through the big fleet of IMS yachts. If it wasn't for the fact that the Farr 40s started five minutes behind the main fleet, I'm sure that a few of them would have given a number of the much bigger boats a hurry up around the course.
As it was, even with the five-minute delay, the Farr 40s were consistently finishing mid-fleet over the same course. And for those of you living on or around Sydney Harbour, the silence you are hearing is probably because as you read this we will be approximately two weeks into the ďall waters' ban for jet skis on Sydney Harbour that com-menced on 1 October.
As annoying as some jet ski operators can be, it is a sad day when an Australian State Government can unilaterally and effectively take away the right to participate in a legitimate pastime and recreational activity. When you think about it, to deny the massive number of legitimate PWC users access to the waterways of Sydney Harbour just because of the actions of a reckless few is just being shear bloody minded, and in my opinion, un-Australian!
More stringent policing of the rules would have gone a long way in solving the bulk of the problems associated with PWC usage on the Harbour. But I am sure that we haven't heard the last from the Marine Industry on the matter. Also in this issue we test the new Mariner 430 express cruiser, we talk with marathon swimmer Tammy van Wisse about her swim down the Murray River, Warren Steptoe goes for a bike ride on Cape York, there is a test of the new Sealine T47 and we visit the cruising grounds of New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf.
Enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety is our top priority.