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 !