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20160422Sabre Sailing National
 29th December 2017 - 4th January 2018
We look forward to welcoming you to Perth once again. 
If you missed out in 2013/2014 now is your chance to not miss out again on a great regatta!

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Prize: ISP Sabre Hull valued at $8,000
 Permit # LS210704317 Permit Holder: CBaker
Prize Winner is Matthew Depiazzi, Gosnells WA 
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We have arranged some great quality regatta merchandise through 4Branding.
All entries received prior to 23rd November will receive

Short Sleeve or Long Sleeve Polo, Sport Cap, Beach Towel, Drink Bottle, Shoe/Gear Bag
$125.00 value in merchandise included in your entry fee. 


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Accommodation Booking Information 
Click here to view accomodation booking information flyer.

St Georges College Booking Form

Perth Dinghy Sailing Club
Perth Dinghy Sailing Club (PDSC) is the perfect location for the Nationals. The club has hosted numerous state, national and world championship events since its inception in 1903. PDSC also hosted the successful 2013/2014 Sabre Nationals. Those from Black Rock VIC will also recognise the name of Andrew "Willo" Wilson who will be Commodore of PDSC in 17/18. 

Why come to the Nationals at Perth Dinghy Sailing Club
  • Great race management by experienced team
  • Family Atmosphere club
  • Perfect location - Very close to the city, on the way to the beaches & Fremantle, up the road from Kings Park Botanic Garden
  • Plenty of reasonable priced accomodation located across the road.  
  • Safe sailing area - racing will be held in Matilda Bay on the Swan River
  • Grassed rigging areas and close container storage area.
  • Easy beach launching access
  • Plenty of free parking
  • Spectators can watch the racing - close to shore/bay racing
  • Get a group together and organise to transport your Sabres in a container. 
  • Great social events planned
  • Put your bike in the container with your boat and go for rides around the extensive cycleways around the river, or ride into the city.
  • Book your flights now, the earlier you book the better the price.
  • Make a holiday of it and stay a few extra days prior to or after the regatta and visit the South West of WA or many of Perth's other attractions.

You may have heard there is construction going on at the Perth Dinghy Sailing Club.
Yes there is currently construction going on in the University of WA Car Park, behind the yacht club. This is Forrest Hall and when finished will be additional university accomodation. Please note however PDSC is still operating as normal and plenty of parking is available on club grounds. There is also still plenty of space for shipping container storage. Contruction will not affect this event and parking will not be a problem.

Tourist Information
Visit Perth City for information on City of Perth's attractions and things to do
Western Australia Tourism 
Experience Perth

 Should you require assistance or additional information, please contact us via sabreswa1@iprimus.com.au 
or contsct Brian Jones M: 0438 516 324

Alll media or sponsorship enquiries  to Chelsea Baker chelsea.jones123@gmail.com M: 0423 164 886

To view more photos from 2013/14 Perth Nationals click here

Sabre Nationals Web



While some one hundred or so yachts came sweeping up the River Derwent at the finish of the Sydney Hobart and Launceston to Hobart races in late December, a swarm of smaller sailing boats were often seen dashing back and forth across the river.
A fleet of 35 Sabres, a single-handed adult dinghy, was contesting the Australian championship on the river, conducted ably by the Derwent Sailing Squadron.
Despite other commitments, including the Launceston to Hobart and the King of the Derwent, the DSS race management conducted 10 races for the Sabres without any incidents.
The weather was kind except for first day when a strong southerly front caused some havoc with the fleet.
In the end it came down to the last race on Sunday to decide the overall winner with a duel between South Australians Craig McPhee and Mark Soulsby, the defending champion.
McPhee, with four firsts earlier in the series, went into the final race with a three point lead and a second place in the final race was sufficient to give him a two point winning margin and his first national title in the Sabre class.
Soulsby, well-known as a former champion Sharpie and 505 sailor, made a spirited bid to retain his title, winning the last two races.
McPhee finished with a net 14 points after two discards, Soulsby 16 points while third overall was another South Australian, David Arnold on 20 points.
Victorians filled the next two placings overall, Jim Scott on 23 points and Murray Shaw on 41 points followed by the first Tasmanian competitor, Jeremy Fish from Lindisfarne Sailing Club on 53 points.
Matt Westland, also from Lindisfarne placed 9th and Matt Pearce 11th.
Lauren Keil was top placed female sailor, finishing 20th overall while her father, Chris Keil was 15th in standings. Junior champion was Joshua Eggins who placed 17th overall.
Peter Campbell
4 January 2016
For a full breakdown of results Click Here

The national series was a great success and all those who sailed it enjoyed themselves and the series greatly. Below are a number of reports which might indicate the spirit of the series as well as letting you know some of what has happened. 

The 97/98 Bachelor Series oops, I mean National Titles

We all travelled from far and wide to Largs Bay for the 97/98 series. It seems that sailors will do anything to go fast so most of us took the hint from the two favourites (Barry and Nick) and came without our wives or girlfriends. I have been to a number of nationals with the Sabres and have never seen so many attending (or being allowed to attend) by themselves. Barry should be proud of the strong influence he has over the fleet - for surely it must be his influence and the fact that we all want to go fast (or at least that is what I tell my wife Meryl). There were a couple of visitors who broke ranks but all claimed extenuating circumstances. Dick Wilkins travelled from Queensland and claimed he needed a second driver (although Shane Navin made it from Sydney by himself). Phil Johnson our National Measurer, was a traitor to the cause and brought new wife Anne and then claimed he was still on his honeymoon. There may be something in this as he seemed distracted and could not find the marks. Jim Holyroyd also brought Lynne but claimed she was there to look after son Matthew. The rest of us all travelled by ourselves and of course were well behaved throughout the series - at least I had no reports of inappropriate behaviour from our more seasoned competitors. 

Most of the visitors and quite a few of the locals brought their boats to the club on measurement day and immediately the controversy started. A number of people started polishing their boats (I must admit I was also guilty). This is not mentioned in the class rules and they state that anything not in the rules is not allowed so I wonder whether we broke the rules and should have been banned. There was considerable discussion as to whether the fleet should be broken up into polished and an unpolished boat divisions. I was glad these suggestions were not taken further as I would have ended up in a large group of the fast boats. I think this was just another example of Barry leading us astray. We figured that if he and Nick thought it was fast then we had all better do it. You know how hero worship goes. When considering divisions next year, I suggest we follow the lead of the Mirror class and have a Cruiser weight division. Then again I might be the only competitor.

Late on the first day a few of us even went out for a short training run - I felt it was a bit keen but if Barry and Nick were going then maybe it could help me (I should have realised that nothing would help me…well maybe a…). Worried looks were on the faces of the leading contenders as word got out that John Dick was coming across as a late entry.

John did in fact pack his boat and actually left at 4am, drove 200 metres and decided it was crazy rushing at the last minute and returned home to bed - much to wife Gaynor’s surprise. Oh well, there is always Black Rock next year John. The welcoming evening was a quiet night giving us a chance to meet up with old friends. I was happy to see so many ex Gwenies but to tell the truth after so many years have difficulty remembering the boats and sailors - but it did bring back many good memories.

The next day was invitation race day and the first item on the agenda was our official briefing. After going through the usual typos in the sailing instructions - one of these days I will attend a regatta that does not post amendments to the sailing instructions - we then had a concerned pregnant Faye Mckenzie ask for sign on sheets. This created considerable discussion with a voice on high calling down to the masses “Are you for real”. We left the briefing agreeing to disagree on this point as the club had an excellent safety record. At this stage the one question on everyone’s lips was “John Dick - where are you”. Off to the invitation race we went and disaster struck - our hero Barry won it. We all knew he might as well pack up then and there as he could never win the title after such bad luck. 

The series is a little bit of a blur to me as I was busy down the back of the fleet trying to embarrass a few people by beating them. So I don’t know what happened up the front but do know that the lead placing’s in the races changed many times in most heats and that the racing was close and clean and that somehow Nick and Barry managed to win all the races between them. ( They were using identical Hooper Q cut sails if anyone is interested ). 

While the racing was clean I do think National Measurer, Phil Johnson should be taken to task on a few things. First was the way that Phil let a number of boats infringe the measurement rules. The first case has already been mentioned - allowing sailors to cut and polish the bottoms of their boats. However there were two more serious breaches of the rules that he also chose to ignore. The first is that Sabres are supposed to be a single handed boat yet he allowed Faye McKenzie to sail two up or at least 1 ½ up. Not content with this he then ignored a flagrant breach of the Sabre rules on tiller extensions. In the first of back to back heats Peter Young broke his Tiller extension. He borrowed some rope and used this as a tiller extension in the next heat. This must have been cheating as it was his best heat - finishing second. Unfortunately for Peter he went and bought a new Tiller extension the next day and never went as well again. I must ask why Phil never checked the length of the rope to make sure it was not longer than 1m. Surely flexible tiller extensions are illegal. Jokes aside Peter, it was terrific seamanship. For a National Measurer Phil you need to have a good hard look at yourself. If you keep this up you will get a reputation for being too considerate - harmony in the class is something we cannot afford.

One should also comment on the fact that Phil is a nice person despite the fact that he will do anything to win - except wear glasses to find marks. He loaned Peter Reid a boat for the series and then even repaired the holes in the hull after Peter had enough bad results not to be a threat for the title. On boat preparation one must mention the Holyroyds. Jim was concerned that Matt had not replaced a badly corroded shroud but wanted him to take responsibility for his own boat. Unfortunately the next day Jim broke his own mast step, putting the mast through the deck. Nothing plenty of epoxy and tape would not fix and he was out racing the next day. 

New Years Eve was the next big event - the club was left deserted and we scattered. A few of us oldies went to a Greek Restaurant on the recommendation of someone who shall remain nameless. Well to say that service could be improved is an understatement. They should employ Basil Faulty to show them how to improve their service. It did however fill in the night. To give an indication of how slow the service was it took us over 25 minutes to pay them the bill. The big Yank waiter was also no help and just tried (and failed) to crack jokes. 

The younger brigade went to Glenelg for the night. Nick! what was the deal you made with the barmaid and how do we know it wasn’t completed. Also Nick I thought you had been drinking long enough to know when to stop so that you could get home and not have to call your girlfriend’s father. It was not fair on Barry - you should know as you get older you need your beauty sleep. As for our younger sailors I have promised not to say anything that might embarrass them. While I think of it congratulations to Marcus and Jacinta in winning their titles and Matt Wilson and Amy Alsop on being runners up. 

Well this article is getting too long and I need to draw it to a close (while someone will still talk to me). Before I go I must comment on a few other things that happened at these titles. It is good to see our National Champion is as careless as any other kid - leaving his sails and foils on the lawn in front of the club all night. Fortunately someone put them away. 

Largs Bay had a long pull to the beach and the return back to the club always felt longer - even when the tide had come in. It was nice to have someone help you through the soft sand as you slowed down. For those that did not get a thank you - thank you. Secondly the tidal fall was large and we would not have survived without the trolley dolly dads who pulled our trolleys up after we had left and made sure that they did not drift away - thank you all.

We must thank all those who attended the titles for the first time and particular the kids who will learn and improve as time goes by - unfortunately for many of us older sailors. It was particularly good to see the boys from Ballarat. It has been a while since we have had boats from that region. I am sure they will get better with practice. I must remind you kids that “Old Age and Treachery will beat Youth and Skill”.

Enough of the serious stuff. You must wonder about the safety of where we sail when they clear the beach for sharks shortly after we had pulled our boats up. And why are the Eastgate women such bad luck for their menfolk sailing? Does this worry our National Champion? Did Marcus have glandular fever and did any one else catch it. 

All joking aside the sailing was fair and fun and Nick deserves to be National Champion. His thankyou speech was excellent when he thanked his parents, his girlfriend - Jacqui, and finally Barry, his training partner and friend. He is only the third sailor to win 2 titles.

But Barry can I finish by giving you some advice. You made several major mistakes that cost you this title. Firstly you travelled with Nick and shared accommodation with him. You made getting to Largs too easy for him. Then you went and picked him up at 4 am New Years Day - This was just a tactic to make certain you did not get enough sleep. You also went in as a witness for him in the Protest knowing that if he lost you would be National Champion. Like Phil, if you keep this up the class reputation for comprising of considerate sailors who look after each other will unfortunately grow. We can’t let that happen (but I fear I am too late). Finally - never win the Invitation race it is just too much bad luck for even you to carry.

In conclusion I must apologise to those I have not mentioned. This report would have run to the length of a book and I would be left without anyone to talk to. More importantly the rest of you must be too nice and too innocent to have a go at - or no one gave me the dirt on you.

Stephen Early
Never Say Never 

From LargsBay to Largs Bay

It had been a year of change for us as a family. A move interstate meant; new school, a new house, new jobs and a new lifestyle. But one thing did not change, HIS sailing. The cat moved to N.S.W. with the carriers but this precious possession could not be trusted to this unknown quantity, we towed it up. A sailing club was quickly found and he began sailing four weeks earlier than his Victorian compatriots. N.S.W. was looking promising!

And then the discussions started about the Nationals. Work commitments and the wish to save my holidays until later in the year meant that I couldn’t go. I had an EXCUSE! So a phone call was made to the hotel-motel in L.B. and a bed was had. This accommodation was soon occupied during the titles by other honorary bachelors.

After Christmas with a boat in tow, Shane began the trip to L.B.. Phone calls along the way ensured that he was safe and alone. The kids had gone back to Victoria with Pa, to be picked up on the return trip by Shane. Meanwhile I was “home alone”. The positives about being by yourself either at home or on a sailing trip?

* You do not have to cook, or you can cook what you want. “Peter was a great cook. He does a fabulous Malaysian meal AND he is very domesticated, cuts up the vegies as well.”

* The house work is minimal. Well you do not have to clean up after three other people. “I did the washing Jen. Well I stamped on it in the shower and then layed it on a towel to dry. They commented on my domesticity”

* The closest I got to the ocean was a lilo in the pool and Ian Kiernan’s book “Coming Clean”, an excellent read. Another pit stop crew went one step better - They spent their time in Bali satisfied with daily phone calls to get the feel for L.B..

* Shane had a wonderful time sailing especially with the last race, fourth across the line, the best so far. Barry and Nick tied on points but on a count back and after winning a protest, Nick won the championships.

* While I spent my time “home alone”- “There were heaps of ladies, eight in all and Faye was four months pregnant” This was said with great and due admiration. But my thoughts went back to the 1990 - 91 series at Lake Boga, our first nationals, when Kelsie learnt to walk on the shores of L.B., water just metres away from our caravan. The pit stop crew were hard at work that year keeping one toddler safe.

A new wave of pit crews was evident this year with mums and dads helping their teenagers with beach cradles, trailers, drinks, meals and all the other incidentals that crop up when one is sailing seriously in a National Titles. They also assisted the honorary bachelors as “trolley dollies”. It was a great venue. The club sponsored it well. Next year we will be at Black Rock.

“Carn the Vics!”

Well he is home now and after ten days sailing he is now cleaning and fixing his pride and joy, that “bloody green boat”.


Arthur Brett , a member of both Black Rock and Frankston Yacht Clubs, sailing “The Bearded Clam” (Sabre no. 1552) to convincingly win the Sabre National Championship series run by the Black Rock Yacht Club over the 1998-99 Christmas break. With a fleet of 54 entrants and after nine races with 2 races dropped, Arthur managed a very credible total points score of only 14 (one of his drops was a DSQ for an OCS in race 2 in which he was 1st over the line). He also won the Invitation Race, which was run before the “back to back” first heat.

Arthur who was World Sailboard Champion in 1988 was making a comeback to sailing after many years absence due to a back injury. He trained every morning before work for 4 months in the lead up to the Nationals.

Arthur’s win in the series was the result of an uncanny ability to recover from a mediocre fleet position at the weather mark by using his incredible downwind speed to close up on fleet leaders or to gain first place generally before reaching the gybe mark. Arthur also displayed good speed to windward and once in clear air on the upwind legs, was seldom headed.

Weather was ideal in so far as it ranged from 5 – 8 knots in the early races up to 10 – 15 knots as the series progressed. 

Second in the series was Murray Smith from Port Pirie Yacht Club in SA, sailing his immaculate new boat “Bits” that was built in only 3 weeks and launched one week before the National Titles. Murray, formerly from Perth previously sailed 505’s and Solings, including a European campaign and is an ex sailmaker with the North loft in Melbourne.

Sabre stalwart, John Gratton from Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club in Adelaide sailing “Odds N’Ends” repeated his 3rd placing of last year and was always nipping at the heals of both Arthur Brett and Murray Smith, especially in the lighter winds of the earlier heats.

Junior Champion was 15 year old Simon Balmer sailing “XTC”. Simon achieved a very credible 7th place overall and managed one heat win as well as one second, and one third in other heats.

Click here for the final Results

The trip up for us Victorians went well even though we left the day after New Year’s Eve. It may have jus been coincidence but a large number of us all decided to stay in Goulborne and then proceed on to Toukley the next day. The only complaint or comment was how poor the roads are in Sydney as we bounced our boats along. 

After a quiet night catching up with old friends. It was pleasing to see the boats who had traveled from Queensland and South Australia making this with the exception of the Tasmainians a true National Title with not only representation from all Mainland states but a strong representation from each state.

The first heat started in a nice 20 knot breeze and strengthened to 25 knots during the race. Murray Smith established an early lead and held on to it to finish from John Gratton and Sean Hackett. I suspect this may be a first for a Sabre Nationals with the first Victorian being Damien Pound in 6th. A special mention must go to Krystal Weir who was running second and only dropped back when she holed her boat in unfortunate circumstances. She still finished well up even with her front tank full of water. She certainly showed that it is technique not size that counts.

Heat 2 was the first of our back to back trap “short” courses. The wind was a nice 10 – 15 knots and we saw Damien Pound coming out to win from Phillip Johnson and Rohan Nosworthy three completely new top 3 finishers.

Heat 3 - We lined up a short time later and the wind had started to build. By the time we were on the second beat we were all hanging on and working as hard as we could. The wind had shifted and coming down the last “reach” which had turned into a square run became suicide alley with many capsizes. Only half the fleet finished and although the squall had only lasted a few minutes it did its damage, not so much to the boats but the bodies trying to sail them. Murray Smith won this heat from Phillip Johnson and Damien Pound.

Heat 4, a new day and some sore and tired sailors after there buffeting in the two previous days. A nice 15 – 20 knots all day and in heat 4 Murray Smith won followed by Damien Pound and John Atkins. Now into heat 5. The start was if nothing a talking point with boats unable to cross it on starboard tack and fair bit of havoc and carnage on the pin end. In the end it was won by Simon Balmer followed by Damien Pound and Rohan Nosworthy. A problem with this day is that someone with good contacts upstairs organized it so that the wind died on the last work of both races.

We turned up on Thursday to our one scheduled morning race and even the heavy weather sailors were prepared to sail a light race to rest their bodies.

Heat 6 was delayed by half an hour so that the race committee could be sure that it would not continue to build. We started again in another 15 – 20 knot breeze, but this time a much more unstable breeze. Rohan Nosworthy won from Murray Smith and Damien Pound who managed to finish with a broken boom vang. We all had a large amount of water and weed being blown into our boats but how Fiona, Natalie and Carly managed to get fish into their boats I will never know. Also who grounded on the start line, capsized and literally ran after his boat. Suggestions are that his boat had better be renamed Thunderbirds are go.

The last day and as we rig we look forwards to a nice 10 – 15 knot breeze (I have difficulty believing I put 10 – 15 knot and nice in the same sentence). As we lined up for the start of

Heat 7 the breeze filled to 15 – 20 knots and by the end of the race was 20 –25 knots. After a general recall we started to beat south on this “short course race”. We did eventually find the windward mark which the race committee had layed somewhere close to Melbourne. After running back downhill waving to Sydney as we passed we continued on. To our surprise no one was able to complete the two laps and a work of this course in the time limit with the lead boat Sean Hackett missing out by less than 10 minutes. The wind over lunch filled in and the afternoon consisted of watching the impulses bottle as their race was blown out and we decided that 30 – 40 knots was not worth the effort.

On the social side we must thank Fiona McCulloch for bring up an excellent trolley dolly in Michael Johnson. I had some doubts about his abilities as he seemed to help Fiona and Natalie much more than me so it was no loss when he became an excellent rescue boat assistant and sailor of boats when their owners became too tired to continue after capsizing. His help was most appreciated although I am not too sure Fiona’s mind was totally on sailing.

I wish here to stop all rumours and state that Damien and Louise are nothing more than friends. It is just a coincidence that they both sail white boats with varnished decks, have the only 2 Yacht Shop stainless steel dollies in the fleet, have matching Mckay Trailers, both drive Black BMW’s, have adjacent rooms at the Motel, travelled up and back in convoy and more often than not train together. They are not an item – they have both assured me so stop jumping to unjustified conclusions.

Some questions are still to be answered:

  • What was one of our young female skippers referring to when she said “It is all right as long as I get my daily fix” (I can assure all this was not drug related)? 
  • Why did all males (or all those that were not geriatrics) volunteer to judge the bruises competition and who would have won the most embarrassing bruise?
  • How strong did the wind blow? 
  • What will Shane do now he has all this free time? What is our National Measurers secret in that he is so fast that he beat not only all the other Grand Masters, but all the other Masters as well.? 
  • How many if any escaped without a capsize and who has the record for the longest gap between capsizes? 
  • How many others are going to copy Sean’s method of launching and retrieving his boat.
  • How do Catherine Masters, Timothy and Andrea McMillian and Adrian Kamer keep their innocent image?
  • Why do the Victorian Gormet Club always find the Faulty Towers Restaurants?
  • Will the “Odd Couple” travel away together again.
  • Which father is in trouble for not photographing his own daughter?
  • How loud were those birds at 6 am?

Stephen Early 1437

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