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Victorian Sabres took part in two significant sailing regattas in November and early December 2017.

The first was the annual Black Rock Yacht Club Go for Gold coaching regatta with six races on the weekend of 25,26 November 2017. Our national champion and very experienced coach, Wayne Bates, followed the fleet providing on-water advice and great feedback in the bar afterwards. 17 Sabres from fleets around the bay took part, in what was often shifty, light wind. Steven Douglas steered his new Yachtworks boat, 2099 to win the series with four firsts. Susannah Gillam, 2039 who excelled in the conditions was runner up and Geoff Dresser, 2054 who is sailing fast in most conditions this year took out third prize. It was a great warm up for the Sail Melbourne International regatta to be held the following weekend.


A strong fleet of some 20 Sabres were entered for the next regatta. Sail Melbourne International is Australia’s premier Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta, held annually in the waters of Port Phillip. This year the regatta was hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club with some of the world’s best sailors from Australia and around the world attending. 360 competitors from ten countries raced with sailors coming from Australia, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, USA, Bermuda, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada. The stellar Melbourne line-up included the Australian Sailing Team and Australian Olympic medallists at Rio.

With Sabres competing the previous weekend in Go for Gold and to be packed in a container for the Nationals in Perth the following weekend, we opted to race on the two weekend days rather than including Friday that was also offered. Unfortunately, we struck a very unusual weather pattern with 20-25 knots and two to three metre seas that led to general agreement with the PRO, Mark Taylor, that sailing on Saturday and Sunday was cancelled. Many of us used the weekend to flood proof our homes in view of the dire weather warnings! The positive was that there was no last minute boat repairs required before stacking the container for Perth.

So far, apart from SMI, the season has been one of light winds which will mean a quick learning curve for the normal 15-20kts expected in Perth.

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