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2021 Victorian Sabre Championships at McCrae Yacht Club

by Bruce Abbott 10 Mar 01:29 PST 6-7 March 2021
Starting line - 2021 46th Victorian Sabre State Championships © Russell Bates

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. Following the change of date, 60 boats from many of the Victorian clubs that sail Sabres faced the starting line.

Sabres are particularly grateful to the Tasars who were scheduled to hold their State Championships on this weekend at McCrae YC and allowed Sabres to share their weekend and location. We are also very grateful to our sponsor, Ronstan, who gave vouchers to the main prize winners.

Three races were held on Saturday in an excellent sailing 12-18 kts shifting SW breeze. The strong tide pushing the fleet over the line caused the U and black flags to come out to curb most of the enthusiasm. The following day saw the final two races held in a 5- 8 kts swinging N-NE breeze which split and spread the fleet.

Overall winner, including the senior or under 40 years group, was Simon Merritt of McCrae YC with two firsts, a second and two thirds in a borrowed boat. Simon learnt his sailing at McCrae via Minows and Lasers, having won numerous championships. He gained second placing in the Laser radial state champs in light weather at Sorrento the previous weekend and said that this, together with some local knowledge, helped him in the conditions on Sunday. Simon is impressed with the initial 80 entries, "you guys must be doing something right" and with the wide range of crew weight, age and gender who were competitive. "It's a very forgiving boat."

McCrae's Alan Riley came in second and Murray O'Brien, one point higher in third place. Alan was 2020 State and is National champion and Murray runner up respectively. Both have held past titles and are very willing to help those who are seeking to improve their skills. "They are first on and last off the water and a great role model for the club." McCrae YC breeds champion sailors.

Not to be outdone, the big contingent from Blairgowrie included a strong youth team this year. Each of Hamish Cowell (16), Angus McIntyre (14) and Sam Backwell (16) won a heat, and they ended up 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. This despite Sam and Hamish having overdone the start in race three, receiving the U flag penalty and needing to drop this race. They've all come through Blairgowrie's Junior sailing program sailing Minnows. Sam has been sailing Sabres permanently for the past 12 months, after having won both state and national Minnow championships. Hamish won the Open Laser 4.7 state championships and Angus won the junior division. Both borrowed their Dads' Sabres for McCrae, which meant that their fathers, Andy and Steve, could only watch the racing from a RIB!

In seventh place came Michelle de Blaquiere, also winner of the well contested Ladies division. Michelle leads the fleet in at nearby Mt Martha YC.

The weekend concluded at the presentation of 45 trophies, including awards for age, weight and fleet divisions.

All competitors enjoyed the close, big fleet racing and were very complementary to the club and its volunteers and officials, particularly PRO Alistair Watson who got the fleet away for the scheduled five races with one drop, in difficult conditions.

The numbers, enthusiasm, close racing and overall success of this regatta underpins the growth of the Sabre class in Victoria and Australia, with demand for new and good second hand boats currently pushing supply

Overall Results:

PosSail NoSkipperClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
12049Simon MerrittMcCYC1‑31237
22094Alan RileyMcCYC4235‑814
32152Murray O'BrienMcCYC2454‑1715
41781Hamish CowellBYS71(UFD)31324
51881Angus McIntyreBYS14‑1841524
61950Sam BackwellBYS88(UFD)13130
72088Michelle de BlaquiereMMYC10686‑1230
81895Geoff SmithBYS57910‑2631
91929Craig CobbinBRYC31117(OCS)233
101866Alex BoltonBYS16569‑2136
112002Alister DanksBYS‑17122121440
122065Bruce AbbottBRYC69725‑3047
131729Matt McCarthyBYS11‑201614647
142055Randal GarnhamBRYC1310‑2118748
151978Barry EastgateMMYC2116‑228449
161830Liam BattyBYS921127(DNF)49
171740Lucy TownsonRGYC15132411‑3163
181903Colin WhiteMSC20141516(DNF)65
192050Andrew GrahamBYS‑28281027974
201900William ManningSBSC2423‑34151981
212100Wynsen VlagsmaBRYC312213‑361682
221653Faye McKenzieASC22‑2519212082
231845Matthew O'BrienBYS191723‑322988
242063Graham MasonMcCYC29‑3426291094
252090Simon PluimBYS27‑3211312594
261946Jarka KluthBRYC18292030‑3797
271826Rick PotterSBSC26‑3933172298
282054Geoff DresserBRYC33153620(DNF)104
292073Ross LloydESC1231(DNF)3824105
302134Steven DouglasBRYC(BFD)26181942105
311611Sean O'BrienBYS25‑36292628108
321749Paul SmartBYS342714(DNF)36111
332118Richard DovisonSBSC‑4119313527112
342129Andrew JonesMMYC324625(DNF)11114
351917Fiona MartinSBSC23403023‑41116
362120Hayden LlewellynBYS3842‑452418122
371831Ian GouldMMYC(BFD)33483415130
381662Oliver ZieleznaMcCYC30243839‑46131
392159John ErikssonMSC‑4943422232139
401752Gerard MagnerBYS46‑50433333.5155.5
412114John HuttonMSC‑4544402845157
4255Kenneth WilliamsonBRYC364739(DNF)35157
431512Rod CameronCYC434837(DNF)40168
441743Drew MattingleySBSC(BFD)UFD413733.5174.5
451873Sandra NielsenAYC513749(DNF)38175
461867Paul StampESC473532(DNF)DNF177
471730Marcus FakhryBRYC503827(DNF)DNF178
481961Paul GodfreeBRYC4830(DNF)DNF43184
491927Phillip JohnsonAPYC39(DNS)DNSDNF23188
502083John DixonAPYC405335(DNF)DNF191
511186Hamish McCollSBSC355147(DNF)DNF196
521834Cameron DunwoodyMcCYC375444(DNF)DNF198
531808Katrina MackieSBSC444546(DNF)DNF198
542003Harold MeddBRYC(DNF)5228DNFDNF206
551435Peter ChipperfieldSBSC5349(DNF)DNF44209
5690Peter AtkinsonMMYC5456(DNF)DNF39212
571626Troy BakerESC5241(DNF)DNFDNF219
581769Luis MataBRYC4255(DNF)DNFDNF223
591451John McDonaldESC55(DNF)DNSDNCDNF244
601327David CarusoMMYC(BFD)DSQDNFDNFDNF252
612027Peter CassMcCYC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC252
622103Peter WhiteMSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC252

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