by MOFSC Media
Mandurah Easter Regatta 2013. Blue skies, on-water coaching and leaping dolphins brought broad smiles to the faces of the local and visiting competitors in the eighth Annual Mandurah Easter Regatta. 188 sailors, ranging from six to seventy six years old, sailing 143 dinghies in 18 classes on three courses, plus their parents and families and over 50 race management volunteers, made the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club a busy place over the weekend.
Cutting it fine – the 29er and 49erFX fleets hit the line.
Concentration required – Laser 4.7 sailors negotiate a light patch.
MOFSC Rear Commodore Tony Stephen explained, 'What makes our regatta unique is the active coaching during races. Usually, outside assistance whilst racing is forbidden, but by waiving that rule, competitors leave the regatta with better skills than they arrived with – and not only the kids.'
Change of scene – popular Fremantle Sailing Club Head Coach Arthur Brett took the opportunity to do some sailing himself in the challenging single-handed-with-trapeze-and-spinnaker Musto Skiff.
Rear Commodore Stephen also acknowledged the long term support of the City of Mandurah in staging the regatta. 'The City recognises that we have a major event that draws many visitors to Mandurah each year. It is always a delight to have Mayor Paddi Creevey officially open the regatta.'
Young Dunsborough Minnow sailor Dean Cowan was awarded the Spirit of the Regatta award for unselfishly swimming out to help two of his fellow competitors negotiate their yachts back to the beach.
Mandurah sparkled – 49erFX 3 “FIGJAM” (Lauren Dawson & Chelsea Hall) and Musto Skiff AUS245 (Mark Whittington) won their fleets, while sailing legend Gordon Lucas and young local crewman Josh Henshaw (Fireball 14782 “Second Wind”) were pipped into second place by Jon Emonson and Barry McCartin on “Low Rider”.
Promising Mandurah Optimist sailor Chelsea Bradford also had a challenging regatta, recording some impressive results before being rushed off the course and straight to hospital with suspected appendicitis on the final day.
Outside assistance encouraged - Mandurah coach Ashley Jones helps the Optimist fleet hone its skills whilst racing.
Competitors welcomed the advice of top level coaches, including 2000 470 Olympic Gold Medallist Belinda Stowell and 2008 49er World Champion Ben Austin, who flew in from Sydney for the regatta.
Fast learners – Monique de Vries and Danielle Carr listen intently to the advice of visiting skiff coach and 2008 49er World Champion Ben Austin on how to improve their FX skills.
The event will be back for its ninth running next Easter.
Mandurah Easter Regatta website