by Sue Neales
Strong breezes of more than 20 knots for the senior fleet of 52 boats competing in the 49th Sabot National championships - this afternoon off Brighton.
Sabot nationals: race 1, fun at the first marker
There were plenty of spills and thrills at buoy markers – and more than a few penalty turns taken – as young local Victorian teenagers Daniel Quinlan and Josh Galland sailed brilliantly in 'Tiger Bite' and 'Whisper' to take out first and second place respectively in the inaugural race of the 10-race series on their home waters.
In a nail biting finish in the flying first race, Tasmanian Sam King sailing 'Red Herring' crossed the line in third place just 10 seconds behind Josh Galland, with South Queenslander David McKay sailing Back in Black just two seconds later in fourth place.
Just 29 seconds separated the first four young sailors, with a two minute gap back to the rest of the fleet.
Sabot nationals: Start of race 1,
As winds peaked at 24 knots amidst choppy seas, a few capsizes and multiple retirements, it was an exhilarating ride amidst big chop and large surf on the downwind for the older and stronger competitors who could withstand the conditions.
In another tight finish, the second senior Nationals fleet race of the series was won by Finn Gilbert from southern NSW in 'Predator.'
Victorian Josh Galland crossed the line in second place again, with fellow Victorian Daniel Galland in third.
After the two races, Daniel Quinlan holds overnight leadership of the Sabot Nationals placings, with a first and a third under his belt, with Josh Galland in Whisper close behind with two seconds.
2012 Sabot nationals: Second in both race 1 and 2: Victorian Josh galland in Whisper
Both the Two-up Sabot National races today (Sunday) were won by young Southern Queensland team of Carlton Smith and Will Bridge sailing in 'Swordfish.'
North Queensland pair of Daniel Moran and Maya Turnbull sailing in 'Not Another Menace' came second and third in the first two races, giving them overall second placing on the league ladder.
By the second two-up race, there were just five boats left in the original 14-strong two-up fleet, with the youngsters in the two-handed division generally finding the blowy and rough conditions more difficult than the older solo sailors in the senior Nationals fleet.
2012 Sabot nationals: plenty of splash
2012 Sabot Nationals: Plenty of surf
2012 Sabot week: Tasmanian winner Frantic