Heat 1 – EFYC Opening Day Series 2017

24 September 2017

EFYC Opening Day on 24 September, for the Sabre fleet was the first leg of a series involving all 6 fleets in which Sabres are sailed.

The weather conditions were unpredictable, given the approach of a frontal system, with the forecast changing on a daily basis. The day began with high cloud and light wind from the North West. The wind steadily died, to a flat calm, with huge black clouds amassing to the west. The 10 Sabre sailors on the shore watched as the keelboats drifted around the river. Then, the wind filled in from the South East and the keelboats got underway. Then the heavens opened and the rain hissed over the water, filling the Sabres waiting to start. Suddenly, the wind shifted back to the NW, but the Race crew went ahead with the start, downwind. The course was set between Castle Hill buoy and Mt. Lyall buoy, which gave a beat whichever way the wind blew.

About 6 Sabres came to the first mark close together, but good manners and attention to the rules prevailed and the fleet set off for a beat to Lyall, in an increasing, but shifty wind. Fortunately the rain stopped and the sun came out. Places changed, but Scott Olsen, sailing his wife’s new wooden boat took the lead, with the following group changing as some got good shifts. Stacey Arnold (EFYC) and Ed Bannerman (Mounts Bay)  followed closely. Those three maintained their lead, followed by Graham Hill, Dave Quin and Peter Johnston. The wind continued to vary from light to 13 knots and while the 3 leaders kept their positions, Peter Johnston and Graham Hill exchanged positions. Approaching the finish, Scott Olsen forgot that the course had been changed and headed for Castle Hill, while the 2nd and 3rd skippers headed for the finish. Scott, however, was able to harden up and reach for the finish and secured 1st place 10 seconds ahead of Ed Bannerman, who was 5 seconds ahead of Stacey Arnold. Peter Johnston and Graham Hill were neck and neck toward the finish, until Peter got a gust to put him ahead and finish 3 seconds ahead in 4th place. Dave Quin finished 30 seconds later, just ahead of Gavin Davies.

The conditions for the first race of the Opening Day Series for Sabres were challenging for all contestants and it was to the credit of the RO Helen Suriano that she started the fleet when the wind shifted so radically.

Given the weather forecast, it was great to see that half of the fleet were visitors from Perth Dinghy Club, Mounts Bay SC and Fremantle SC.

Peter Johnson

Heat 1 Results:
1.    2060     Scott Olsen                FSC
2.    2080     Ed Bannerman           MBSC
3.   1956      Stacey Arnold            EFYC
4.   1930      Peter Johnston          EFYC
5.    2058     Graham Hill               EFYC
6.    2014     Dave Quin                 EFYC
7.   1889      Gavin Davies            PDSC
8.   1876      Simon Walker           EFYC
9.   2097      Brendon Green         MBSC
10.1818       Paul Cornwell           MYC

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