Welcome to the
Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia
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The Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia (SSAA) is widely
recognised as the peak body for this dimension of yachting in
Australia. We provide an empowering, competitive, educational and
social forum for sailors, uniquely enabling them to sail shorthanded in
a community of other like-minded individuals. In doing so, we provide
sailors with the opportunity to grow and achieve their personal goals
in shorthanded sailing. Within the SSAA, member's goals are diverse and
include serious racing aspirations, shorthanded cruising and building
seamanship skills. Other members are interested in purely social
aspects of the association, or in contributing to the continued
development and acceptance of all forms of shorthanded sailing in
Australia and internationally
To Develop, Promote and Expand
the Sport of Shorthanded Sailing in Australia.
The objectives of the SSAA are:
- To promote and develop shorthanded sailing in the wider yachting
- To foster friendship, partnerships and alliances within families
and between like-minded individuals.
- To advance the seamanship of members and other interested
- To advance best practices in 'safety and survival at sea'.
- To encourage the exchange of information on seamanship, safety
issues, yacht equipment and boat handling experiences and techniques.
- To provide opportunity for the wider use of sailing craft, mono
or multi-hull, that can be sailed with one or two crew.
- To develop self-reliance and resourcefulness, useful in all of
- To promote and develop the sport at a regional level throughout
Representative activities include:
- Conducting annual regional and national events
- Selecting an 'Open Champion', in divisions by length & type
as determined by the committee at the time.
- Working with other sailing organisations at
- Coordinating a racing program to incorporate three levels of
participation-----Open, Corinthian and Entry level.
- Arranging informative and social gatherings to advance and
promote the sport.
RACING OR CRUISING
We are not only
focused on racing. Many members move from cruising mode to ultimate
racing machines and vice versa, as experience, confidence and interests
change with time. The SSAA conducts a variety of races offering
yachtsmen the chance to add a new dimension to their sailing program.
These include a regular calendar of races during the year, from March
to October, which are generally planned to complement other yacht club
These races have proven to be an ideal training ground for those whose
horizons stretch beyond the Tasman, who have plans to sail the world
short-handed or to soar with the albatross, solo, through the Southern
- A series of daytime races, single and double-handed, off
- Occasional Day/Night double-handed races, starting from
- Double-handed Pittwater to Port Stephens race.
- Double handed Two Islands race - Sydney - Bird Island - Flinders
Islet - Sydney
The SSAA welcomes all types of yachts,
presently 21'-60', and their crew. Typically, the racing fleet includes
purpose built single and two-handed craft, production cruiser-racers,
multi-hulls and cruising type vessels. Yachts race in divisions by
length and/or under a unique handicap system based on key yacht
parameters. Basic eligibility requirements for SSAA participation
- The crew of the yacht be limited to one, two or three persons.
- The vessel have a maximum length of 60 feet, either mono or
- Vessels may be equipped with water ballast, canting keel/s and
- Only the force of wind on sails and the manpower of the crew can
power the vessel.
- Powered handling devices cannot be used, regardless of the
source of power, other than
- Electrical/hydraulic or wind powered self steering systems
- Hydraulically operated mast jacks, stays, vangs
- Pumps to fill, transfer and exhaust water ballast.
The thrill and challenge of single handed sailing first caught the
imagination of a group of yachtsmen in Australia during the late
1970's. At that time, short-handed racing was not offered by sailing
clubs in Australia and the idea of forming an association for yachtsmen
interested in shorthanded racing was born.
The first BOC around the world race in 1982/3 was an inspirational
catalyst for the creation of the SSAA. Adventurous yachtsmen here in
Australia founded the SSAA in 1983. In these early years shorthanded
racing was considered 'cavalier' by mainstream yacht clubs and,
accordingly, the SSAA created its own rules and regulations, which were
more stringent than those for fully crewed racing.
In recent years shorthanded sailing has gained dramatically in
popularity and acceptance internationally. Here in Australia, the SSAA
is no longer a 'fringe' element outside the mainstream yachting
The SSAA has fostered innovative design and kept pace with the
rapidly accelerating rate of change. It has also forged alliances and
partnerships both here and abroad. This has added an increasingly
international dimension to our races and member programs.
The SSAA is now affiliated with the Yachting Association of NSW /
Yachting Australia, having obtained 'club' status early in
2002. Affiliation means a closer relationship now exists between the
SSAA and mainstream yachting allowing a wider forum for the interests
of shorthanded sailors. Club affiliation also enables SSAA members to
race their yachts with other affiliated clubs and to acquire YA
silver membership thereby meeting Rule 46 of the YA Racing Rules of
Sailing (refer www.yachting.org.au)
Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, the first man to win a solo, non-stop around
the world yacht race, is Patron of the S.S.A.A. Other prominent members
past and present include:
- David Adams - winner, class 2, BOC race 1994-95
- Alby Burgin, Kanga Birtles and Tony Mowbray - significant and
extensive achievements in shorthanded sailing.
- Kay Cottee - first woman to sail solo non-stop around the world
- Vinny Lauwers - first paraplegic to complete solo non-stop
- Don McIntyre - SSAA founding member, renowned sailor and
- Jon Sanders - for his triple circum-navigation, solo, non-stop
Should you wish to discover how to obtain greater use and enjoyment
from your yacht, to learn more about short-handed sailing, or to crew
with others, please contact us. Applications for membership are
welcome, and you are invited to participate in our sailing program
(membership is only necessary for our Cat 1 races). Click here to access a
membership application form.
HOW TO CONTACT THE SSAA
The Shorthanded Sailing Association
P.O. Box 7033
McMahons Point NSW 2060
(Phone numbers of committee members on the web site)
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When short-handing, you win when you achieve your goals