49th Victorian Sabre State Championships – 2024

06 March 2024

This major event, consisting of five races with one drop, was held at Black Rock YC on the weekend 24,25 February 2024, attracting a big fleet of 66 boats. Conditions varied from light to moderate southerly sea breezes on Saturday to a light and dying northerly on Sunday. Indeed 27 boats didn’t finish the last shortened race since they were more than 15 minutes behind the leader’s time.

Great credit to the race officials led by PRO Peter Milne in setting excellent courses and starting lines which led to only one general recall. This was assisted by a generous use of the U and black flags, a regular feature of the big Sabre fleet starts.

The 66 competitors came from 14 clubs including two sailors from Tassie and one from South Aust. Almost 25% were female, an increase on our normal roll up. 35 trophies were presented to the top 10 placings, six age divisions, top ladies, crew weight groups etc as seen here – Sabre 2024 Vic States – Results.

Now for the winners….

The series was convincingly won by Blairgowrie’s Hamish Cowell on seven points with one first, three seconds and a drop of 10th in the last race which was flukey. Hamish has built on his second placing in 2022. Second place this year on 11 points went to Blairgowrie youth Gus McIntyre, the winner last year and the current Sabre National champion. Following in third place was four times National champion, Alan Riley on 15 points. Overall results are seen here. (or from the Sailor app)

A continuing feature of our championship racing and indeed, the class culture, is the way that sailors help each other to compete and improve. For example, Paul Stamp from Elwood Sailing Club, with a medium size and growing fleet, organised transport to and from the regatta for six Sabres (including a loan to an interstate competitor) using two trailers and multi trips. Likewise, regular competitor Alister Danks of Blairgowrie ‘organised’ his three daughters to participate with multiple trailer trips. Fortuitously, Alister came in seventh, one place above Hannah in eighth. Likewise, Phillipa in 34 was ahead of Sally in 35. Members of the family obviously like to sail closely together.

Another feature is the way Sabre sailors are ready to travel to regattas. Tassie Stephen Bradford will this season compete in Sabre state championships in Tassie, Qld, NSW, Vic and SA. He leads by example.

Once again we are indebted to all the volunteers and officials at Black Rock, led by Sailing Manager Trevor Warner, who gave their time and efforts to make our regatta so enjoyable and successful.

Finally, as I mentioned at the trophy presentation, after some five years, I’m stepping down as Victorian Sabre President and will be ably followed by well known and experienced sailor, Murray O’Brien. It has been a pleasure to work well with our Vic committee, all volunteers, particularly with the wise counsel of our Secretary/Treasurer, Barry Eastgate. I’m very happy to see the Sabre fleet continuing to develop and to leave it in good hands.

Good sailing,

Bruce Abbott

Ex President Sabre Sailing Association of Victoria

Click Here for photos.