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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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The trip up for us Victorians went well even though we left the day after New Year’s Eve. It may have jus been coincidence but a large number of us all decided to stay in Goulborne and then proceed on to Toukley the next day. The only complaint or comment was how poor the roads are in Sydney as we bounced our boats along. 

After a quiet night catching up with old friends. It was pleasing to see the boats who had traveled from Queensland and South Australia making this with the exception of the Tasmainians a true National Title with not only representation from all Mainland states but a strong representation from each state.

The first heat started in a nice 20 knot breeze and strengthened to 25 knots during the race. Murray Smith established an early lead and held on to it to finish from John Gratton and Sean Hackett. I suspect this may be a first for a Sabre Nationals with the first Victorian being Damien Pound in 6th. A special mention must go to Krystal Weir who was running second and only dropped back when she holed her boat in unfortunate circumstances. She still finished well up even with her front tank full of water. She certainly showed that it is technique not size that counts.

Heat 2 was the first of our back to back trap “short” courses. The wind was a nice 10 – 15 knots and we saw Damien Pound coming out to win from Phillip Johnson and Rohan Nosworthy three completely new top 3 finishers.

Heat 3 - We lined up a short time later and the wind had started to build. By the time we were on the second beat we were all hanging on and working as hard as we could. The wind had shifted and coming down the last “reach” which had turned into a square run became suicide alley with many capsizes. Only half the fleet finished and although the squall had only lasted a few minutes it did its damage, not so much to the boats but the bodies trying to sail them. Murray Smith won this heat from Phillip Johnson and Damien Pound.

Heat 4, a new day and some sore and tired sailors after there buffeting in the two previous days. A nice 15 – 20 knots all day and in heat 4 Murray Smith won followed by Damien Pound and John Atkins. Now into heat 5. The start was if nothing a talking point with boats unable to cross it on starboard tack and fair bit of havoc and carnage on the pin end. In the end it was won by Simon Balmer followed by Damien Pound and Rohan Nosworthy. A problem with this day is that someone with good contacts upstairs organized it so that the wind died on the last work of both races.

We turned up on Thursday to our one scheduled morning race and even the heavy weather sailors were prepared to sail a light race to rest their bodies.

Heat 6 was delayed by half an hour so that the race committee could be sure that it would not continue to build. We started again in another 15 – 20 knot breeze, but this time a much more unstable breeze. Rohan Nosworthy won from Murray Smith and Damien Pound who managed to finish with a broken boom vang. We all had a large amount of water and weed being blown into our boats but how Fiona, Natalie and Carly managed to get fish into their boats I will never know. Also who grounded on the start line, capsized and literally ran after his boat. Suggestions are that his boat had better be renamed Thunderbirds are go.

The last day and as we rig we look forwards to a nice 10 – 15 knot breeze (I have difficulty believing I put 10 – 15 knot and nice in the same sentence). As we lined up for the start of

Heat 7 the breeze filled to 15 – 20 knots and by the end of the race was 20 –25 knots. After a general recall we started to beat south on this “short course race”. We did eventually find the windward mark which the race committee had layed somewhere close to Melbourne. After running back downhill waving to Sydney as we passed we continued on. To our surprise no one was able to complete the two laps and a work of this course in the time limit with the lead boat Sean Hackett missing out by less than 10 minutes. The wind over lunch filled in and the afternoon consisted of watching the impulses bottle as their race was blown out and we decided that 30 – 40 knots was not worth the effort.

On the social side we must thank Fiona McCulloch for bring up an excellent trolley dolly in Michael Johnson. I had some doubts about his abilities as he seemed to help Fiona and Natalie much more than me so it was no loss when he became an excellent rescue boat assistant and sailor of boats when their owners became too tired to continue after capsizing. His help was most appreciated although I am not too sure Fiona’s mind was totally on sailing.

I wish here to stop all rumours and state that Damien and Louise are nothing more than friends. It is just a coincidence that they both sail white boats with varnished decks, have the only 2 Yacht Shop stainless steel dollies in the fleet, have matching Mckay Trailers, both drive Black BMW’s, have adjacent rooms at the Motel, travelled up and back in convoy and more often than not train together. They are not an item – they have both assured me so stop jumping to unjustified conclusions.

Some questions are still to be answered:

  • What was one of our young female skippers referring to when she said “It is all right as long as I get my daily fix” (I can assure all this was not drug related)? 
  • Why did all males (or all those that were not geriatrics) volunteer to judge the bruises competition and who would have won the most embarrassing bruise?
  • How strong did the wind blow? 
  • What will Shane do now he has all this free time? What is our National Measurers secret in that he is so fast that he beat not only all the other Grand Masters, but all the other Masters as well.? 
  • How many if any escaped without a capsize and who has the record for the longest gap between capsizes? 
  • How many others are going to copy Sean’s method of launching and retrieving his boat.
  • How do Catherine Masters, Timothy and Andrea McMillian and Adrian Kamer keep their innocent image?
  • Why do the Victorian Gormet Club always find the Faulty Towers Restaurants?
  • Will the “Odd Couple” travel away together again.
  • Which father is in trouble for not photographing his own daughter?
  • How loud were those birds at 6 am?

Stephen Early 1437

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