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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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Arthur Brett , a member of both Black Rock and Frankston Yacht Clubs, sailing “The Bearded Clam” (Sabre no. 1552) to convincingly win the Sabre National Championship series run by the Black Rock Yacht Club over the 1998-99 Christmas break. With a fleet of 54 entrants and after nine races with 2 races dropped, Arthur managed a very credible total points score of only 14 (one of his drops was a DSQ for an OCS in race 2 in which he was 1st over the line). He also won the Invitation Race, which was run before the “back to back” first heat.

Arthur who was World Sailboard Champion in 1988 was making a comeback to sailing after many years absence due to a back injury. He trained every morning before work for 4 months in the lead up to the Nationals.

Arthur’s win in the series was the result of an uncanny ability to recover from a mediocre fleet position at the weather mark by using his incredible downwind speed to close up on fleet leaders or to gain first place generally before reaching the gybe mark. Arthur also displayed good speed to windward and once in clear air on the upwind legs, was seldom headed.

Weather was ideal in so far as it ranged from 5 – 8 knots in the early races up to 10 – 15 knots as the series progressed. 

Second in the series was Murray Smith from Port Pirie Yacht Club in SA, sailing his immaculate new boat “Bits” that was built in only 3 weeks and launched one week before the National Titles. Murray, formerly from Perth previously sailed 505’s and Solings, including a European campaign and is an ex sailmaker with the North loft in Melbourne.

Sabre stalwart, John Gratton from Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club in Adelaide sailing “Odds N’Ends” repeated his 3rd placing of last year and was always nipping at the heals of both Arthur Brett and Murray Smith, especially in the lighter winds of the earlier heats.

Junior Champion was 15 year old Simon Balmer sailing “XTC”. Simon achieved a very credible 7th place overall and managed one heat win as well as one second, and one third in other heats.

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