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A bumper crop of 74 entries and competitive raced over 2 days under testing conditions that witnessed breeze from every direction on the compass (except perhaps vertically up).The 43rd Sabre State Titles once again demonstrated that the Sabre is a sailing class with wide State and National appeal, suitable to the waters of Port Philip and a boat fit for all ages.  

Numbers were up slightly on the equally successful 2016 States titles at Somers Yacht Club in 2017 and this was in no small part attributable to the pleasing increase in numbers of female skippers (15 at last count) and the increasing numbers of youth sailors coming through the class. The greater influx of these groups is certainly putting on a squeeze at the top end of the fleet. Sabre’s flexibility was evidenced in the top 10 placings, with a mixture of female and male sailors of all ages from youth to veterans.

Congratulations to all participants and in particular to Gary McLennan, the overall winner who has just returned to Sabre sailing after a broken arm, to Murray O’Brien who was also in second place at the recent Sabre nationals in Perth, to returning champions Wayne Bates in third place and Chris Dance in fourth and to Megan Delange in fifth. Megan was also the winner of the well contested female group.

 The top 5 and top 10 results came from a wide variety of Vic clubs, illustrating the widespread strength of the class. It was not easy to be consistent in the often changing conditions and each boat had a bad race which they were able to drop from the five race series.

 The inclusive nature of the Sabre fraternity recognises that it is not always about the front of the fleet. While every fleet has its champion, there is no champion without a fleet, a credo of the class. Prizes are allocated on range of outcomes covering age groups, weight categories, novelty prizes such as Mr and Mrs ‘Mid Fleet’ and of course the Top 10 placegetters. Prize results are seen here. Overall placings are seen here.

The Sabres camaraderie and culture was firmly on display with all competitors providing their finest and most spirited efforts on the race course. Sailors are then first to offer a hand to pull boats up the beach or buy each other a well-earned refreshment, to get racing started all over again back at the bar. This camaraderie is a hallmark of the class; an inclusive spirit and a variety of programmes for class and personal improvement.       

Many thanks must go to Safety Beach Sailing Club and its volunteers for putting an industry ‘best-practice’ display of organisational talent. Again, many thanks to the Victorian Sabre Committee (otherwise known as volunteers anonymous of Victoria) who tirelessly and seemingly invisibly roll out these events like clockwork. Special mention must be made of the efforts of class stalwart, Secretary/Treasurer Barry Eastgate and SBSC regular Bill Manning in their hard work to make it all happen.  

This article would not be complete without ensuring that we clarify the events that lead to the unfortunate exclusion of two sailors from the official entry list of the regatta.

As an Association there are clear and written protocols of the requirements that determine eligibility to compete in a Victorian State Championship. These are contained within the NOR and include a fully measured and certified Class A boat (including spars, sail and foils), being a financial member of the Victorian Sabre Association, holding minimum Public Liability Insurance provisions of $5 million and lastly entering the regatta prior to the stated deadlines in the NOR.

In the interest of the class promotion and ensuring enjoyment for all, the Committee’s approach was one of fairness and flexibility for every competitor to demonstrate or provide relevant documentation. Unfortunately at this regatta this was not able to be achieved by all sailors and the Committee was left with no option but to exclude them from eligibility to receive prizes or recognition of place. This is a regrettable but ultimately unavoidable outcome for all concerned. No one on the Committee wants to disqualify any sailor at the event, nor do we want to be placed in a position of enforcing these requirements while at the same time sailing our own regattas. Being forced to make such decisions puts all involved in an invidious position and one we would have much rather avoided.

We do say a strong welcome to those sailors involved and we certainly hope to see you sailing Sabres soon.

Overall, it was again a very successful championship event with great social interaction and sailing under testing conditions. Well done and congratulations to the winners and all participants.

Yours in Sailing

Russell Rooney – Victorian President 

Sabre States R1 

"Gimme the beat boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and Drift Away"

Sabre States Women

"May the force be with you. Sabres attracting plenty of female sailors to the class". See here for a more extensive report on the 'Sabrettes' action.


As advised to Sabre sailors by email of 17 December 2017, the NOR has been published and entries are open for the 2018 States. Another great show with strong competition right through the big fleet.

Enter now while it’s still on your mind - and you can order a shirt that fits!

Click here for NOR

Click here to enter

Congratulations to Black Rock’s Tim Van der Veen on winning the Victorian Sabre Championship at Somers Yacht Club on Westernport in a 60 boat fleet. Tim dropped a second placing to finish with an unbeatable four firsts. BRYC’s Gary McLennan was second on countback from Murray O'Brien of McCrae Yacht Club who was third overall.

It was a windy weekend of sailing with all five heats held in the 15 to 22 knot range. Taking after her father, Kiera Bates performed well in the heavy conditions to win the Ladies division. Ethan O’Brien won the well contested youth division.

Thank you to all the officials and crew at Somers Yacht Club for putting on a fantastic regatta!

Click here for full results


Sabre States

Find the start boat

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Off we go

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Susannah Gillam gets wise counsel from Steve Douglas

2013 Sabre State Titles will be held at Black Rock Yacht Club from the 9th to 11th of March 2013.

Vic Sabre 2013 - Notice of Race

Vic Sabre 2013 - Competitor Declaration

Vic Sabre 2013 - Sailing Instructions

Vic Sabre 2013 - Regatta Poster

Our preference is for Entries to be made using the TryBooking online facility

Vic Sabre 2013 - Entry Form

Vic Sabre 2013 - Entries to Date

Vic Sabre 2013 - Results



Cars – Please observe parking signs.  You will be booked if you park illegally or do not have a valid parking ticket in designated areas including the lower and upper car parks.  Coins required for ticket vending machines - $12 per day.
Free Parking – Is available on Beach Road or in the side streets off Beach Road. Beach Road is a no parking zone from 6am to 10am Saturday and Sunday.
Cars with Trailers – Can only be parked in the upper or lower car parks within the designated areas and with a valid parking ticket. 
Trailers - Unattached trailers must not be left in car spaces.


Boats on beach trolleys only are permitted in the BRYC yard area.  Road Trailers are not permitted due to space limitations. Overnight on Saturday and Sunday nights, boats may be left either inside the yard or in the spaces directly outside the club yard will not be locked, however we have not had problems with security of boats in the past.


The area in front of the Club may be used for boat rigging, however it is important to maintain the “keep clear” area free for emergency vehicles and access to other businesses and the lifesaving club.
KEEP THE CENTRE STRIP CLEAR – No boats or trailers to be left unattended at any time.


The canteen will be open each day before and during racing.
The Club Bar will be open after racing each day.



Photos by Chris Furey

The Victorian Championships were held at Sandringham YC for the first time and this gave plenty of opportunities for sailors to explore the facilities of Victoria’s largest club, its near new clubhouse and its spacious grounds and boat park.

64 sailors entered the series – not a bad result after having had almost 100 Victorians take part in a week of nationals just 6 weeks earlier. Entrants were treated with steady 20knot breezes right through the weekend, with the Saturday adding quite sizable wave conditions as well. With a bit more east in the wind on the Sunday, the waves became better formed and provided delightful reaching conditions. Sabre sailing at its glorious best !

The organisers retained the recent formula of conducting the series over a single weekend which saw 3 races on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Doubtless this saw many a tired sailor by Sunday night.

The top end of the fleet saw competition at a virtual ‘nationals’ level with participation by top Adelaide sailors Mark Soulsby and Craig McPhee together with last year’s winner Gary McLennan, (who missed the nationals) and highly competitive Tim Van der Veen and boat builder Jim Scott. Current national champion Chris Dance and Jim Scott were both sailing new boats from the new Formula Sailcraft mould and we suddenly had a ‘boat-builders derby’ on our hand. For good measure, Brett Young of YMS was around over the weekend so this added further flavour to the contest; reminiscent of the ‘Holden vs Ford' battles at Bathurst, Brett Young had flyers out after the final race congratulating the winners and noting that YMS boats finished in the top 6 places, Jim had promptly responded on his website noting the impressive debut of his boats !

Read more: Victorian States 2012 - Sabre Sailing at its Glorious Best!

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