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Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron hosted the 2016 Sabre class Victorian state championships on 27 and 28 February with 82 boats taking part including 23 from BYS. Competitors came from all mainland states to take part in the championships, and the event was won by Adelaide sailor  Ben Knoop. Racing took place over five races in shifty light breezes that tested Race Officer Phil Beattie as much as it did competitors - and resulted in the top sailors displaying some really great sailing. Start lines were not for the faint hearted with an out-going tide relentlessly pushing boats over the line, causing interesting situations including use of the U and the black flags The old adage that ‘we never normally get this sort of weather’ was repeated frequently over the weekend.

The top 10 places were shared around club participants, including second place to Murray O’Brien from McCrae, five boats from the strong Black Rock Yacht Club headed by Nick Mouat’s new boat in third place and the top woman competitor, Barbara Lees from BYS in 8th place overall. Barbara only bought a Sabre a few months ago - having not sailed in the previous 10 years!

An innovation was the use of a drone to film racing on Saturday afternoon. This was supported by a professional drone crew from company DR1. Blairgowrie’s Russell Bates provided his boat to be the moving base for the operations and his Sabre experience allowed him to be an excellent filming director. Russell also took his usual excellent sailing photos which can be viewed and purchased on the website www.russellbatesphotography.com.au. The drone footage can be seen on the Sabre website as well as on our Facebook page.

Sabre have been sailed at BYS for almost 4 decades now - and continue to be the club’s strongest adult dinghy class with some 30 boats having raced this year. The new club house and facilities were ideal for the regatta and the racing was well conducted by Phil Beattie and his big team of volunteers on the water and to Chris Wilson who headed up the on-water jury and protest committee.

Many of our 80 participants came almost ‘out of the woodwork’ from many of the 25 clubs sailing Sabres in Victoria.

The state championships have provided an excellent and enthusiastic starting point for Victorian Sabres hosting of the nationals at Black Rock Yacht Club 28 December 2016 to 3 January 2017. Will we once again reach the 130 starters that competed at Blairgowrie Nationals some four years ago? Time will tell.

Sabre 2016 Victorian State Championships at Blairgowrie 4

Sabre 2016 Victorian State Championships at Blairgowrie 3

Sabre 2016 Victorian State Championships at Blairgowrie 2

Sabre 2016 Victorian State Championships at Blairgowrie 1


14 Sabre sailors took part in coaching at Black Rock as part of the sponsored lead up to the Nationals.  Conditions were very tough with a gusty 20 to 25 knot northerly making for some very good heavy weather practice practice and some good capsize practice too.  It was not just the macho males taking part, the light weight girls went out too including Wendy, Susannah, Michelle, Jarka, Barbara and Simone.  All survived under Gary and Tim’s careful supervision and coaching. Two Sabre beginners joined us but the weather was not for them so they went out in the RIBs with the coaches.

The next two coaching sessions are the 14th May and the 28th May.  Hopefully the wind will be a bit more kind to us. Let Harold know if you want to join the group on medd@tpg.com.au

Victorian States held at Blairgowie 27/28th Feb

For results, please click here

Numbers are looking good with more than 70 boats expected.  If you would like to join in the fun click on the link  below to enter.


Here is the link to the Notice of Race:
The 2017 Victorian state championships will be hosted by the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on the weekend of February 27 & 28. 

It’s been about 10 years since we were last at Blairgowrie for the states, and this year we will get to enjoy the club’s brand new clubhouse which opened just 2 months ago. The new clubhouse has a much larger deck, and has a full kitchen which sees meals be served to members and their guests 4 days a week. Coupled with the normally flat seas and the picturesque coastline that arcs from Sorrento to Arthurs Seat and beyond - its been a long time favourite visiting spot for the Sabres since the early days of the class. 

The racing will be our now familiar 2 day format with a race on Saturday morning, 2 on Saturday afternoon and 2 on the Sunday in the late morning. We will be putting on a catered bbq and buffet dinner on the Saturday night in the new clubhouse for everyone who’d like to unwind after the Saturday racing and to experience the new clubhouse. (You’ll need to book this at the time of entering the series)

Blairgowrie of course was the host of the most recent nationals where we had the amazing 130 entries - the biggest ever Sabre event. We’re hoping that this will be a really really big fleet as well - our target is at least 100 boats ! 

For many this will be your big sailing event for the season - so we look forward to getting your entries in ! (And one more thing - if you haven’t had any new foils or sails measured as yet - you need to do so before the championships !)

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