Please select your home edition
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 TOP

Sabre WA State Championships Heats 1 & 2 at Maylands Yacht Club

by Chris Holyday 3 Dec 2020 04:00 PST 29 November 2020
Sabre WA State Championships Heats 1 & 2 © David Ponton

Maylands Yacht Club is located almost 5 kilometres upriver from Perth city, and some 24 kilometres upriver from Fremantle Harbour. It is Perth's most easterly yacht club and, on occasions in summer, might not see the cooling Fremantle Doctor (south-westerly sea breeze) force back the prevailing summer easterlies.

Sunday 29th November was not one of those days - when 21 Sabres enjoyed the sprawling lawns and easy flat launching into the still waters of the Swan River. Our first hosting of the Sabre State Titles Heats, it was a rather wintry-like grey and overcast day with a gusty seabreeze from the south/south west and only 22 degrees that greeted the sailors just before Heat one. Fortunately the wind settled down soon after the start.

Heat One

Our club is still subject to the rise and falling tides of Fremantle, usually up to one metre, being part of the greater Swan River estuarine system. Parts of the shoreline are heavily treed, and some tall buildings such as St John of God Hospital (the old St Annes Hospital), do create eddys and wind sheers to test out the unwary sailor. In addition, the tide eddys and flows around a large bend in the river at a wide lake-like main section where we race. A number of our visitors had sailed with us previously and knew what to expect - and where NOT to sail, particularly upwind where one side of the shoreline should be avoided - I think they all now know where that area is located. And we all faced the same challenge of squeezing around the windward mark (Bunbury Bridge, a mark that we have dated back as far as 1905 when an earlier East Perth Yacht Club used to exist close by). The wind generally backs to give a starboard lift at that mark, but it is fluky - whereas coming in to the mark on port tack can usually provide a more reliable breeze sweeping under Windan Bridge - if you can avoid the starboard tack boats filing in. Add to the mix a quite strong current at that narrow point, and it can be a daunting rounding! After that, the downwind square run can also lead to boats passing you to leeward - again, if you have sailed too high into calmer waters.

I had the pleasure of picking up one of those starboard lifts very early on the first leg upwind in Heat One. I had a bad start, so port tacked half way across river immediately after, until I felt a strong header to swing across on starboard to gladly see the windward mark way off ahead in line with my forestay. The leaders were working their way up the leeward shore (as they normally should, but was just lucky enough to hold that lift and drop in close behind Scot Olsen three quarters of the way up that leg. I could Scott keeping his boat dead flat and as lifts came in from starboard, he was almost imperceptibly lifting the boat's nose slowly higher with minimum rudder movement and maintaining maximum speed. Very smooth indeed! It was an unusual feeling for me to glance back over my shoulder to see most of the fleet behind us! That feeling did not last long as Tony Carr in Zero Tolerance and Andy Rose in Lost Horizon were further to windward of both of us with Bill Gillham not far behind them in Avenger. I held on to that starboard tack too long, copped a bigger header coming into Bunbury Bridge mark on port and found myself in the second group of three chasing Sabres behind these four leaders. Those four boats had a great tussle all race and I was pleased to scrap it out with The Rooster (Carl Girolamo), Aero (Richard Martin) and Fly In Fly Out (Lane Bauer) for the next four places after the leading group.

Tony Carr (Zero Tolerance) had a well-deserved win in Heat one with Scott Olsen close behind. I was very happy with a sixth place in Heat one - my best ever in a State or National series in Perth where Scott Olsen of Fremantle Sailing Club and a cache of Perth Dinghy Club sailors have traditionally taken out all top 10 places!

Heat Two

My memories of this race are clouded by a disappointing start where I was sitting behind the front group again! NOTE TO SELF - A bit more aggression to take on the front line next time...

The wind was dropping the further this race went as a good front had passed through the course area just before Heat one. We enjoy flat water sailing at all times at Maylands - the only waves to speak of coming from passing power boats! This leads to close racing on our tight courses and this race was no exception. Scott Olsen and Tony Carr again took out first and second places - this time the order was reversed and Scott prevailed. It was great to see 'the two Martins' - Richard and Ray (not related I believe) fill third and fourth spots respectively. Ray has sailed for MYC in the past in both Lasers and Sabres and knows our waters very well. He is always up there in light winds.

Maylands Yacht Club was proud to host the first two WA State Titles heats and we look forward to travelling down river to the wider waters of Matilda Bay and the Perth Dinghy Sailing Club for the next heats in the New Year - even if it means sailing in their short and sharp choppy waters! Just kidding - but we do like our flat water sailing at Maylands!

Footnote: For those in New South Wales it is similar to sailing at Connells Point Sailing Club versus sailing at Georges River Sailing Club in a black nor'easter!

The Sabre Sailing Association would also like to thank our sponsor - Boating Hardware.

Sabre WA State Championships Results after Heat 2 - photo © David Ponton

Related Articles

Sabre class sticks with current sail design
Unanimously agreed there is insufficient support for change from current sailors Sabre, the well known Australian one design single handed dinghy, continues to grow its fleet as evidenced by the recent 62 Victorian State Championship entries. Posted on 29 Jun
What's their secret?
We speak to the classes which are seeing a boom in attendance The sailing landscape is changing just as fast as life in general. While some classes have struggled with this, others have embraced it and are seeing huge growth as a result. Posted on 28 Jun
Lindisfarne Sailing Club's 30 Boat Challenge
Commodore John Mills has put out a call to all Tasmanian Sabre owners to join in Lindisfarne Sailing Club Commodore John Mills has put out a call to all Tasmanian Sabre owners to join the 30 Boat Challenge this Sunday at the Lindisfarne Sailing Club. Posted on 26 Mar
Sabre WA State Championship
Down to the final race at Perth Dinghy Sailing Club The State Championship was held at Maylands Yacht Club for two Heats and PDSC held four Heats. A good sized fleet of 25 lined up for the final two Heats Saturday 6th March 2021 at PDSC sailing in Matilda Bay. Posted on 16 Mar
2021 Victorian Sabre State Championships
60 boats on the startline at McCrae Yacht Club With 82 entries ready to race in mid-February, due to the sudden Victorian Covid lockdown, the series was postponed to the 6,7 March 2021 Labour Day long weekend. Posted on 10 Mar
Tamar Marine Blockbuster Weekend Regatta overall
Conditions were perfect for the Race Officer and the sailors The 21st anniversary of the Tamar Marine Blockbuster Weekend saw over 70 off-the-beach boats from five classes race over the two days, with three new Tasmanian champions crowned at the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club in northern Tasmania. Posted on 28 Feb
Tamar Marine Blockbuster Weekend Regatta day 1
The regatta has attracted a record number of entries The 21st anniversary of the Tamar Marine Blockbuster Weekend has got off to a flying start at the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club on the Tamar River in northern Tasmania. Posted on 27 Feb
Vic Sabre State Champs locked down but not out
Entries have now been reopened for rescheduled event on 6-7 March On Friday, 80 Sabres from many of the 30 clubs sailing Sabres in Victoria were starting to assemble for the 46th Sabre State Titles 13,14 February at McCrae Yacht Club. Posted on 22 Feb
Sabre WA State Championship Heats 3 & 4 at PDSC
Racing held in in Matilda Bay On Saturday 6th February with weather unpredictable due to a low off the coast and winds predicted to be around 15-20 knots Easterly, Perth Dinghy Sailing Club held Heats 3 & 4 of the State Championship in Matilda Bay. Posted on 11 Feb
Bridge over troubled waters
How Melbourne Sabre sailors are riding the second wave In a series of on again, off again COVID-19 restrictions since March, Melbourne Sabre sailors have found themselves stranded high and dry. Undeterred by the storm, the fleet has 're-written' the sailing instructions; rigging up new strategies Posted on 22 Sep 2020
Selden 2020 - FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 BOTTOM