Maylands Yacht Club – Opening Day, Sunday 11th October
A balmy easterly breeze greeted up to 11 Sabres gathered at Maylands last Sunday, 11thOctober for the Club’s Opening Day. Ten Sabres finally faced the starter’s signal in the largest fleet of the day. Three Maylands Sabres were joined by two visitors from EFYC and five from PDSC. The sailors facing the start were:
From EFYC: Pete Coop and Peter Johnston
From PDSC: Clayton Erwin, Ray Martin, Rob Depiazzi, Bob Tailor and Tony Carr
From MYC: Chris Holyday, Bruce Lee and Steve Rose
Following the flag raising ceremony, the easterly breeze was fading and a sea breeze was expected. Maylands, being the furthest upriver sailing club in Perth, often only sees the sea breeze arrive around start time on easterly breeze days ‚Äì or perhaps not at all, which almost proved to be the case, as a gentle 10 knot sea breeze finally wafted across the course late in the race, just after the shortened course flag went up!
Six boats were able to get the jump on the rest of the fleet, with the easterly breeze becoming very patchy all the way up the first beat. Pete Coop and Rob Depiazzi rounded the top mark first, closely followed by Clayton Erwin, Ray Martin, Chris Holyday and Peter Johnston. This group bunched up on the reach to Maylands mark and back downwind to the bottom of the course at St Annes. The lead changed a few times upwind for the second time, but Chris Holyday, being a local thought he could predict the swinging breeze towards the south. Heading east, he switched to the unfavourable right hand side of the river ‚Äì hoping for a wind shift which never eventuated. Another gust from the east/north east saw him stranded in lower pressure and facing a a header ‚Äì local knowledge doesn’t always pay, especially in an easterly breeze!
This left the remaining five leading boats unchallenged in a dying breeze. Once the course was shortened at the Club mark, it was all over with Pete Coop leading Clayton Erwin and Ray Martin home for the podium places. Ray was a stand out in the light winds in his older timber boat, proving that a good skipper does not need the latest glass boat designs to do very well in the Sabre class.
Skippers who stayed behind for a beer enjoyed a free afternoon supper upstairs and many tales of what went wrong for them out on the course. Tales of sailing in to holes, not noticing the shortened course flag and sailing the rest of the full course (no names but it was another MYC member!) and finally the coveted Mug of the Day going to our other Maylands skipper, Bruce Lee. It seems he decided to give the race away in the dying breeze as he passed the club house upwind, and just as he was pulling his boat up the beach, in came the sea breeze ‚Äì a case of bad timing which certainly brought the locals undone all day.
Thanks to all visiting skippers, and now there is one more Opening Day to come next Saturday at PDSC. Please come along and make the Sabres the biggest fleet turnout again.
Chris Holyday, Estoile 1671.
Bruce Lee wins Mug of the Day presented by Commodore Les Mack