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2022 AUS O'pen Skiff Championships at Mannering Park Amateur Sailing Club

by Bevan McKavanagh 21 Jan 13:41 PST 17-18 January 2022

This year's AUS O'pen Skiff titles took place at Mannering Park Amateur Sailing Club, a superb location backed up by an even better group of club members that made it happen.

Located on the Southwestern side of Lake Macquarie, it's 1.5hrs drive north of Sydney and includes a camping and caravan park right next door with a large grassy rigging area on the water's edge.

After last year's cancellation of the Western Australian National titles thanks to Covid, the vibe was positive and lots of sailors were keen to get back into some competitive racing. Unfortunately, Omicron had other ideas, keeping the WA and several other interstate sailors away. Nonetheless, we had a solid fleet of 59 boats, across Green, Silver and Gold Fleets from NSW, VIC, QLD and South Australia.

Day one started with the invitation race, the entire fleet sails this race, all starting at the same time. The sailors complete the race, come ashore and make their final decision on which fleet they wish to sail in the following point scoring races. The Gold Fleet is made up of the most experienced sailors. Silver Fleet is made up of those that may not have competed in a National Titles before but have done some racing. Green Fleet are the youngest sailors who may have only just finished learn to sail programmes.

The aim of the five day regatta was 14 point score races and two of our ever popular adventure races where we team the most experienced sailors with the younger and least experienced sailors. This all went off well with a 2-up and 3-up race close to shore, thoroughly enjoyed by all, especially the younger inexperienced sailors.

We were lucky to have a wide range of conditions over the four days, starting out with light North Easterlies in the 5-8 knot range and windier South Easterlies up to 20 knots at times.

The Gold fleet (30 boats) managed 14 races allowing them three drops and as expected, Breanne Wadley from Tinaroo SC in North QLD dominated the fleet winning 13 races. Breanne was followed by another couple of O'pen Skiff veterans, Billy Horden (VIC) and Nicholas Ebourne (South Australia). Fourth place was up and coming Corrado Dorrington (VIC).

In the Silver Fleet (29 boats) they managed 14 races on a smaller course with Manly's Jamie Gill taking first place (welcome to Gold Fleet Jamie!!).

On behalf of the AUS O'pen Skiff Association we'd like to say a very special thank you to Mannering Park Amateur Sailing Club for hosting us this year. It's a totally volunteer run club and they did an amazing job in every way. In addition, a big thanks to Mick Forbes (Principal Race Office), Damien Boldyrew, David Talis and Santo Sanders (on water umpires).

Full results available here...

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