The Pelican sailing dinghy is the premier training dinghy for junior sailors in Western Australia.
The Pelican is 2.9 metres in length, constructed of either wood or fibreglass, with either aluminium or wooden spars. The gaff-rig sail configuration, combining mainsail and spinnaker, gives young sailors a boat that is easy to handle, whilst at the same time teaching the fundamentals of sailing.
Who sails Pelicans?
The Pelican can be sailed by junior sailors from 8 to 16 although the latter age group may be restricted by physical size rather than age. We presently have a a fairly even distribution of girls and boys in the State fleet, with both mixed and single gender crews. Our sailors often go to sail other types of dinghy or into larger keel boats and multi-hulls, in both recreational and international racing fleets.
The Pelican Class
The Pelican Sailing Association
The Pelican Sailing Association ('PSA') is the governing body for the Pelican dinghy.
The objectives of the Association are to:
Encourage sailing and racing of the Pelican sailing dinghy,
Govern and control the ongoing development of the Pelican-class,
Oversee and organise Pelican-class championship events.
The PSA also nominates sailors for Yachting Western Australia ('YWA') training courses. Yacht clubs affiliated to the PSA collect an annual registration fee per boat ($20/ boat, 2016).
The Management Committee of the PSA is elected each year at the AGM, normally held during the State Championships. The committee consists of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Measurer and Registrar. In addition each affiliated club is entitled to appoint two or more delegates who may attend and vote at committee meetings.
Every Pelican must be officially measured and may not sail in an Association event unless the boat is registered and has the Association identification number engraved on the boat (normally carved on the inside of the transom). Each boat must also be measured and the sails signed by the Association Measurer or his assistants. Additionally, all Pelicans must have the Class logo (the flying Pelican) on their mainsail for all events run under Association rules. Each boat may also carry club identification letters on the clew of the mainsail.
Any change in ownership of a Pelican should be notified to the Registrar as soon as possible to ensure that accurate records are maintained.
The highlight of the PSA racing calendar is the State Championships. Each year the Championships are sailed at a different location. The event normally consists of eight races for both consistency and handicap trophies, as well as a team's competition. In addition the top ten finishers overall in the Championship receive a PSA medallion. The event gives Pelican sailors the opportunity to race against a different group of sailors at a different venue as well as being an enjoyable social event for both competitors and their parents.
At all times the safety of sailors is of primary concern to all Yacht Clubs. All junior sailors must be proficient swimmers and no junior sailor will be allowed onto the water if they are not wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy vest which conforms to approved safety standards (Australian Standard Code no AS1512 for lifejackets). In addition lifejackets and buoyancy vests must be of an appropriate size for the individual wearing them.
All coaches have completed training courses for instructors organised by Yachting Australia. Your local club will also have official rescue and support boats on the water for racing and training programs.