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2023/24 Sabre Australians National Championship at McCrae Yacht Club

by Bruce Abbott 15 Jan 04:23 PST 28 December 2023 - 3 January 2024
The fleet reaching during the 2023/24 Sabre Australian Nationals at McCrae Yacht Club © Russell Bates

The 45th Sabre Nationals were held at McCrae Yacht Club 28 December to 3 January 2024, attracting a fleet of 67 boats coming from all Australian states.

The winds ranged from 20 plus knots through to one day when racing was abandoned due to light, variable wind direction conditions and an impending electrical storm. Under the direction of PRO Alistair Watson, seven races were successfully completed, allowing one drop from the planned 10 race series.

Starts were strongly contested resulting in the U flag then black flag regularly seen. The three-minute starting sequence enabled starts to be pushed along between general recalls. Mainly due to wind variability or broken gear, many boats carried one or more high scores which they would have preferred to have dropped. The exception was the overall winner, youth Gus McIntyre of Blairgowrie YS, who clearly shone out on 11 points with a string of first and seconds and a drop of fourth. At the regatta conclusion, Gus was heading to Adelaide to sail in the Laser Nationals.

Second place went to Olympian and World Champion sailor, Krystal Weir of McCrae YC on 18 points followed by Hamish Cowell and 'Grand Master' Alister Danks, both from Blairgowrie and both on 28 points. Then followed last year's runner up, Western Australian Tony Carr. A list of prize winners can be seen here.

Racing was good natured but intense with almost all indiscretions resulting in competitors taking the reduced 360 degrees penalty rather than taking it to the protest room. The black flag, wind variation and the one big wind day did spread scores through the fleet. There was also a wide variety of sailor experience with many taking part in large starts for the first time. Daunting but educational.

As usual, the fleet exhibited a broad range of ages, from 14 to over 70 years, 20 percent were females and good sailing capability was evident in the spread of results coming from each state. The feeling of friendly competition was evident as sailors were ready to share ideas and lend to those who experienced gear failures. There was evident support from east coast sailors to travel to Perth for the 2024/5 Nationals and also to attend State Championship regattas, with the Victorian event coming up at Black Rock YC on 24,25 February 2024.

As usual, after the prize-giving, sailors, officials and volunteers took advantage of a great meal and a bar tab to re sail the races and enjoy the company. A highlight of the evening was McCrae Sabre sailor Dee Mason who auctioned two rudder blades, a Sabre boat cover and Sabre sail, all provided by our generous sponsors. Dee's great humour and expertise resulted in spirited bidding and a great fund raiser for the Vic Sabre Association.

Thanks to Frecheville Heaney, Formula Sailcraft, Hooper Sails, North Sails, Quantum Sails, Sly Boat Building, and Yacht Works for sponsoring the event and to all the volunteers from McCrae YC for making us welcome and putting on a very enjoyable event for the 67 competitors from around Australia.

Photos by Russell Bates Photography. A wide range of Russell's photos from the first day of racing can be found at

Overall Results:

PosSail NoSkipperClubCatR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
12205Gus McIntyreBYSYTH1‑42213211
21861Krystal WeirMcCYCSNR22157‑9118
32110Hamish CowellBYSSNR3126142‑3028
42227Alister DanksBYSGMAS10383(BFD)1328
52133Tony CarrPDSCVET1775628‑18.545
62156Chris PritchardPRSCGMAS‑169151234447
72141Chris BoonLINDSNR‑196349111548
81918Ethan O'BrienBYSSNR2219757‑2451
92160Michael ArnoldWSCSNR11‑1910985851
102199Matt WestlandLINDVET613(UFD)8613652
112171Bruce AbbottBrycGVET1527141010‑281288
121854Samantha BattyBYSSNR41128‑3513231695
132070John PetschelBYSVET1414251816‑301097
141897Jamie StrangerPDSCGMAS52020(DNF)122418.599.5
152224Stephen BradfordLSCGMAS1230714(BFD)1028101
161846Peter LeaderBSYCGVET1331192815(BFD)11117
172151Jonas NilssonPDSCGMAS953332(BFD)2714120
181900William ManningSBSCGMAS25171120(BFD)3813124
192067Oliver ZieleznaMcCYCYTH781317(BFD)16DNC129
202219Richard BinghamLINDVET35371211(BFD)1225132
212185Randal GarnhamBRYCVET2741(DNF)16111426.5135.5
222035Jacqui LawsonBYSSNR372618211919‑39140
231885Mark BloomMaroochMAS45344(DNF)171733150
242050Andrew GrahamBYSVET2615302431‑3526.5152.5
251769Harry SchlagerBRYCYTH363524152921‑38160
261751Andrew BradshawLINDMAS2138212327‑4331161
272186Stephen CowellBYSGMAS2921342220‑3937163
281830Liam BattyBYSSNR24‑442631144129165
292103Peter WhiteMSCVET30402325(BFD)2522165
302214Andrew DickinsonMSCGMAS343216291837‑41166
312166Martin KudnigBYSVET282836342222(DNC)170
322063Graham MasonMcCYCGVET231639‑41243634172
332178Barry EastgateMMYCGVET810(DNF)DNCBFD207181
342203Colin WhiteMSCVET(DNC)DNC1719DNE65183
352209Lane BauerPDSCGMAS2023(DNF)DNC231836188
361848Miguel AlemaoBSYCGMAS41492926(BFD)2623194
371946Shaun McKennaBYSGMAS32‑453237443321199
381740Lucy TownsonIHYCGMAS313627334032‑47199
392206Jarka KluthBRYCGMAS5422(DNF)DNC21299203
402003Oliver MeddANUSNR4350(UFD)13353135207
411917Fiona MartinSBSCVET425242402615(BFD)217
421411Robert LottBENDMAS‑51463130284043218
431828Dee MasonMcCYCGMAS4039383839‑4232226
441895Kirsten Binns SmithBYSGMAS5224(DNC)DNC304517236
451889Martin GrantESCGMAS4642222737(DNF)DNC242
461988Sam KudnigBYSYTH471845444346‑53243
472220Gerard MagnerBYSVET3829(DNF)DNC254445249
482114John HuttonMSCVET50‑554039335440256
492142Sue SmithTSCVET4448(DNC)DNC365120267
502136Peter NeilBYSGMAS53253536(DNC)DNC52269
511809Simon KudnigBYSGMAS‑56514143384750270
521882Duncan MccollSBSCGMAS4859(DNF)42345642281
531592Grzegorz DziemidowiczESCSNR595846(DNF)424851304
541760James FordyceBYSGMAS3954(DNC)DNC3253DNC314
551643Jessica VizeMcCYCSNR584344(DNF)DNE5249314
562188John DixonMSCGVET60(DNF)43DNCBFD3444317
572073Ross LloydESCGVET334737(DNF)DNEBFDDNC321
582097Mark HughesBYSVET1833(UFD)DNFBFDDNCDNC323
592116Andy MorganAYCYTH4956(DNC)DNC475054324
601886Valeria LemaESCGMAS5753(DNC)DNC455548326
612038Keith BaylissSBSCVET5557(DNF)DNC465746329
621624Steph McLennanCANBSNR6160(DNC)DNC485855350
632211Troy BakerESCMAS(DNC)DNCDNCDNC4149DNC362
641632Peter AtkinsonMMYCVET(DNF)61DNCDNC4959DNC373

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