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Ten Sabres representing four clubs - EFYC, SBSC, PDSC AND MYC, faced the starter at Maylands Opening Day, the largest fleet of the day - and got away in a gusty south westerly that ranged from 15 to 18 knots. The starter got the fleet away on time, after most of the the Mirror fleet had missed their start and were still on the beach. Half the Sabre fleet missed the fact that one Mirror had actually started on time - and before they realised it was 'blue peter' drop time, with one minute to go for our fleet, they were still far from the line.

Lesson 1 - stay close to the line before the starts.
Ed Bannerman and Craig Nyland quickly moved up to the leading bunch of 4 'on time' starters - Pete Coop, Paul Giadresco, Tony Carr and Chris Holyday. These 6 boats then had a handy break on the rest of the field. Pete Coop sailed a faultless race to never be headed at any mark, although the chasers were right up with him at times. The gusts were swinging between south west and west, ideal sailing for the Maylands flat waters giving a good beat to windward and some very fast reaching past the clubhouse for the spectator gallery up in the club rooms.

Lesson 2 - Sail more to leeward on the runs and reaches in a sea breeze at Maylands to get more wind.

All sailors enjoyed the flat water fast sailing, with some close upwind crossings on port and starboard due to the swinging breeze. Pete Johnston made up a lot of ground in the final upwind legs by keeping in the right wind slots and almost got past Chris Holyday. The top 6 or 7 boats would have finished within 2 minutes of each other - great close racing!

Lesson 3 - The leeward shore may not always be the fastest upwind at Maylands, lifts are there to leeward for sure, but occasionally good lifts can be found to the right - but not too close to the shore! You normally lay windward rounding marks on port tack at Maylands in a sea breeze so you keep the breeze longer before rounding.

Happy to share some of the secrets of sailing at Maylands in a sou'wester.

We look forward to the final heat of the Opening Day Series next Saturday at PDSC.

Chris Holyday
C3 (2042)


Provisional Overall Results after Heat 4

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The morning started out with terrible conditions but with the forecast of a steady 15 knot breeze 12 boats arrived for the afternoon race. By the time the official opening was done the promised conditions arrived.

The starboard rounding course was a 4 lap triangle-sausage-triangle- triangle with short legs and a downwind finish. The steady breeze made for quick upwind sailing with fast reaches riding the light swell.

Scott Olsen quickly got into the lead and showed his usual fast form finishing with half a leg in front of his nearest rival. Close racing was had amongst the rest of the fleet with positions changing regularly. Only a few seconds separated 2nd, 3rd and 4th place with the rest of the fleet following close behind. 

Final places were- Scott Olsen 1st, Tony Carr 2nd and Ed Bannerman 3rd.

A great day sailing was had by all and Safety Bay Yacht club is eagerly looking forward to the Sabre fleet returning soon for the first state championship heats in November.

Craig Nylund

Current Opening Day Series Overall Results 


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Photo courtesy of HK Photography

A record fleet of 19 Sabre dinghies came to the starting line at the first Opening Day of the 2016/17 East Fremantle Yacht Club season on the Swan River.

The large fleet was in part due to the rapid growth in popularity of these 3.7 metre singlehanded dinghies, with fleets in 5 metropolitan sailing clubs and one in the country. Of the 19, seven were visitors, from Perth Dinghy Club, Maylands YC, Safety Bay YC, Fremantle SC and one all the way from Walpole.

Another reason for the numbers (representing around a third of all Sabres in WA) was that it was the first heat in the "Opening Day" Series of races, to be sailed at the 5 metro clubs over the following weeks.

There was a gusty south westerly at the start, in front of the Club, with the course taking the competitors on a close and shifty reach to the first mark, Mt Lyall Buoy. Current State and ex-National Champion, Scott Olsen (FSC) took an early lead, as the fleet returned past the Club, up river to Blackwall Reach Buoy.

Scott maintained his lead, followed by David Meehan (SBYC) and Tony Carr (PDSC), although a sudden capsize slowed him Current EFYC Champion Pete Coop hit a slack spot on the run and dropped 4 or 5 places.

Scott maintained his lead to the finish, finishing 2 minutes 30 seconds ahead of David Meehan, while Pete Coop made a strong recovery to finish in 3rd place, only 17 seconds behind him. They were followed by Tony Carr, Graham Hill (EFYC) and Stacey Arnold (EFYC). In the middle of the fleet, there were numerous place changes, showing how close and competitive the racing is in these exciting dinghies, which make up the largest Centreboard fleet at East Fremantle.

Peter Johnson

Full Results


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