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Sabre Sailing Dinghy

Australia's most popular one design single handed class. The fun Single hander that is easy to sail but difficult to master.

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Overall Results

Results summary


1st  Wayne Bates 1610 "Outabaloo" - Irwin sail

2nd Alan Riley 1564 "The Sea Drift Social Club" - Hooper sail

3rd Michael Johnson 1694 "Bojdeh" - Hooper sail

4th Matt Westland 1697 "Zahir" - Walker sail

5th Barry Eastgate 1611 "Big Day Out - Irwin sail



1st Douglas Copson 1370 "Arm Chair Admiral"

2nd Rhys Witt 1408 "Footloose"

3rd Red Barrett 1314 "Blue Thunder"



1st Wayne Bates 1610 "Outabaloo"

2nd Michael Johnson 1694 "Bojdeh"

3rd Maree Early 1613 "Hello Buoys"



1st Maree Early 1613 "Hello Buoys"

2nd Natalie Farrell 1622 "Miss Appropriation"

3rd Sarah Naismith 1104 "Bottoms Up"



1st Alan Riley 1564 "The Seadrift Social Club"

2nd Matt Westland 1697 "Zahir"

3rd Chris Keil 1446 "About Time"


Grand Masters

1st Barry Eastgate 1611 "Big Day Out"

2nd Trevor Naismith 1655 "Power of One"

3rd John Dixon 1146 "Riposte"



1st George Fish 1443 "Precious Pumkin"

2nd Phillip Johnson 1644 "Shearwater"

3rd Albert Riley 1629 "Drumbeat"


Read Wayne Bates report

Story of the championship

Wayne Bates sailing Outabaloo won his 3rd title in 4 years and his 5th Australian championship overall...who knows how many he would have won by now if he hadn't been out of Sabres for over ten years.

Wayne is renowned for his heavy weather skills and this stood him in good stead.

Ten championship races and 2 invitation races were scheduled but due to high winds, only 8 races could be completed over four sailing days. There was a distinct lack of enthusiasm to sail the invitation races as it was blowing 30-35 knots with some sailors not even turning up at the club and instead visiting tourist venues such as the Port Arthur convict prison ruins.

The first day of championship racing was also cancelled and 3 races were scheduled for the next day. Race officials were keen to complete them and the first race averaged 30-40 knots NW with the 40 knots recorded on the start boat a few minutes after the start. The shifty high wind and relatively flat water made for very exciting sailing with a number of spills. The strong flow in the middle of the Derwent river meant that the eastern shore with less flow was favoured and it looked quite spectacular with 44 Sabres tacking in close proximity within 100 metres of the shore.

Wayne Bates won comfortably from dual past champion Michael Johnson and National President Chris Keil. There were bent masts , broken booms and vangs and assistance provided to a number of boats with retirements of a number fancied contenders.

Race 2 followed a similar pattern with the wind averaging 30 knots.

Wayne won again from defending champion Alan Riley and Barry Eastgate.

Race 3 was late in the day and the wind eased to about 5-20 knots. It paid to work the shifts rather than a shoreline out of the current. Maree Early used the shifts to advantage after moving to the lead with superior downwind speed. Unfortunately, a southerly change arrived for the start of the last upwind leg which turned it into a reach. This allowed Chris Keil to sail over Maree and as the wind died near the finish line, Albert Riley and Alan Riley also managed to sail past her.

1st Chris Keil, 2nd Albert Riley, 3rd Alan Riley

Race 4 (New Years Eve) was the only 'long' course of the series and was sailed in 8-12 knots S with a 30 degree SW shift on the last leg to the finish. This was the only race of the series where the upwind legs were favoured by the river flow and boats that started in clear air mid line to pin end that got to the middle of the river first benefitted most.

There was relief that we now constituted a series, albeit with no drops.

1st Alan Riley, 2nd Michael Johnson, 3rd Barry Eastgate

Officials planned 3 races for the day after New Years Eve but only 2 were completed.

There had been heavy rain on NYE and on NYD which resulted in the strongest river current of the series and for the non Tasmanians, the strongest tide/current anyone had sailed in.

Races 5 and 6 were sailed in a shifty 20-25 knot NW wind.

In race 5 Lindisfarne local Matt Westland who is new to Sabres led for most of the race only to be overhauled by Wayne Bates.

1st Wayne Bates, 2nd Matt Westland, 3rd Michael Johnson.

Alan Riley was 7th and with a DNF in race 1 meant the fight for 2nd and 3rd spots was hotting up.

Race 6 resulted in another win by Wayne.

1st Wayne Bates, 2nd Alan Riley, 3rd Michael Johnson

A third race was started and Wayne led this race from Barry Eastgate and Alan Riley with a big gap to the next bunch at the start of the run. The wind suddenly increased to 40 knots and the bottom mark started drifting towards pylons of the Tasman bridge. By the time Wayne reached the mark it was only about 80 metres from the bridge and despite trying to gybe ("Boony") he went in. He quickly righted and managed to get round the mark and headed off for the finish. In the meantime Barry arrived at the mark and had only about 30 metres of room left with a big backwash from the bridge. By the time a discretionary "nanny" was completed there was no room left with an official boat trying to get hold of the mark. Alan had flipped and needed assistance to get him away from the bridge and officials then abandoned the race.

Skippers were advised to drop their masts that night as the forecast was looking ominous. Sure enough the next day was one of the windiest recorded in Hobart with frequent gusts of 70 knots. A few brave souls led by Wayne Bates went to the top of Mt Wellington and experienced/suffered some of the highest winds ever recorded there.

In order to open the car door you had to push with both arms and legs. Fisty (Andrew Fist) only had shorts, sandals and a jumper but somehow managed to avoid hypothermia...probably due to the beer and Jim Beam consumed late each night/early morning during the week at the Wayne Bates Tapas Bar (alias Beltana Hotel).

Final day

A number of the Beltana crew were heavily afflicted by the "Beam virus" which struck the night before and this combined with the lightest conditions of the series did not make for good decision making.

Despite this, Wayne wrapped up the championship with a 2nd and 3rd.

Race 7

Maree Early showed some of her pre championship form to win comfortably from Wayne. Dean Francis from Adelaide showed a dash of light weather form to finish 3rd. Any one of about 10 boats could have filled the placings with about 200 metres to go. Michael Johnson dropped from 3rd to 8th in the last 80 metres after sailing around the outside of a big shift and failing to cover his nearest rival Alan Riley who reached down to the line on a gust from nowhere.

1st Maree Early, 2nd Wayne Bates, 3rd Dean Francis

Race 8 - 5 knots 360 degrees

This race should never have been started. The wind was swinging wildly before the start with occasional tantalising gusts of about 15 knots from the west making it difficult to set a course. Despite pleas from many sailors to abandon, officials started the race in about 5 knots which soon dropped to almost nothing. The 'windward' leg turned into a farce with boats running 10 metres from boats that were beating, or boats pointing in the same direction but on different tacks. A light southerly eventually kicked in and officials shortened the course to finish at the end of the second 'reach'.

1st Jeremy Fish, 2nd Maree Early, 3rd Wayne Bates

This meant that 2 races could now be dropped which did not effect the first 5 places but did effect positions of boats lower down who had DNFs.

Wayne more than deserved his win and paid tribute to his family, fellow competitors, drinking mates and in particular the Tasmanian sailors such as Andrew Bradshaw and Chris Keil and Lindisfarne SC for organising and hosting the series. Wayne also paid tribute to his inspiration and hero David Boon "Boony" (ex Australian Test cricketer) for the 'heart' to complete some of the 35-40 knot gybes. He noted that the fleet comprised a wide range of experience and ages and it is a credit to each competitor that they completed such a testing championship. The series was also a testament to the quality of the Sabre design.

Barry Eastgate

1611 Big Day Out

(It was a big series out)

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