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Unseasonably cold weather finally broke this afternoon in Perth with the re-appearance of the sun and a light sea breeze strengthened a little to around 10 knots - in the gusts. Thirteen Sabres faced the starter, the visiting Sabres (mostly) starting on starboard and (mostly) local MYC sailors starting on port tack. Some serious wind shifts were immediately apparent, but visitors Tony Carr and David Meehan read them best to take a narrow lead at the top mark from Gavin Davies, Pete Johnston and Chris Holyday.

These five boats enjoyed some close racing around the whole first lap, however Tony and Dave gave up their narrow lead when they headed to St Anne's Mark instead of returning to Club buoy to begin the windward and return legs. They quickly realised their mistake but Gavin, Chris and Pete took over the lead. All five boats were still neck and neck on the work back to the top mark and the run back to Club mark with the lead changing depending on who read the wind shifts best.

At the top Mark for the last time, Chris took a narrow lead in C3 from Gavin in Dark Horse with Tony Carr in A Salt Weapon right on their transoms.

C3 held on to its narrow lead on the long final circuit to Aerodrome and Maylands marks and return to St Annes for the final time - two long reaches over that part of our upriver course at Maylands are very testing for visiting sailors, so Chris being the local sailor, held a comfortable break on the run to the finish line - with Tony, Gavin and Pete fighting it out right to the end.

Final top 5 placings were:

1. 2042 C3 - Chris Holyday/MYC
2. 1897 A Salt Weapon - Tony Carr/PDSC
3. 1889 Dark Horse - Gavin Davies/PDSC
4. 1930 On Fire - Pete Johnston/EFYC
5. 1671 Where's Wal - Bruce Lee/MYC

MYC was pleased to host the Sabres, our largest fleet today, and thanks are extended to WA Sabres and those visitors who made the day so enjoyable with friendly racing and fun sailing the hallmark of these wonderful boats.

Chris Holyday

Overall Results after Heat 4

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11 Sabres fronted the starter in a light NE wind blowing around 5 knots. The course was set as Olympic course close to shore.

Julie Olsen lead to the first mark to her surprise...and kept the lead for the majority of the race until a windshift late in the race. Heaven forbid Scott (her husband) sailed past followed by Dave Meehan (her brother) and then Peter Johnston who put in a good performance getting 3rd position. They carried these positions to the finish with Julie coming in 4th. Good to see Tony Stephens from Mandurah Offshore Sailing Club sailing in the series a new Sabre sailor to the fleet. Of course we have to have a hard luck story...it's Gavin Davies who went close to shore and encountered in his words " a reef jutting out from the shore". Well done to all the sailors who raced and thank you to Safety Bay Yacht Club for hosting us.

Next up is Mounts Bay Sailing Club Saturday and then Maylands Yacht Club on the Sunday.

SBYC Heat 2 Results

1st 2059 Scott Olsen
2nd 2023 Dave Meehan
1930 Peter Johnston
2060 Julie Meehan
2080 Ed Bannerman
1876 Simon Walker
2058 Graham Hill
1889 Gavin Davies 
2043 Carl Girolamo
10th 2033 Tony Stephens
11th 2097 Brendon Green


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EFYC Opening Day on 24 September, for the Sabre fleet was the first leg of a series involving all 6 fleets in which Sabres are sailed.

The weather conditions were unpredictable, given the approach of a frontal system, with the forecast changing on a daily basis. The day began with high cloud and light wind from the North West. The wind steadily died, to a flat calm, with huge black clouds amassing to the west. The 10 Sabre sailors on the shore watched as the keelboats drifted around the river. Then, the wind filled in from the South East and the keelboats got underway. Then the heavens opened and the rain hissed over the water, filling the Sabres waiting to start. Suddenly, the wind shifted back to the NW, but the Race crew went ahead with the start, downwind. The course was set between Castle Hill buoy and Mt. Lyall buoy, which gave a beat whichever way the wind blew.

About 6 Sabres came to the first mark close together, but good manners and attention to the rules prevailed and the fleet set off for a beat to Lyall, in an increasing, but shifty wind. Fortunately the rain stopped and the sun came out. Places changed, but Scott Olsen, sailing his wife's new wooden boat took the lead, with the following group changing as some got good shifts. Stacey Arnold (EFYC) and Ed Bannerman (Mounts Bay)  followed closely. Those three maintained their lead, followed by Graham Hill, Dave Quin and Peter Johnston. The wind continued to vary from light to 13 knots and while the 3 leaders kept their positions, Peter Johnston and Graham Hill exchanged positions. Approaching the finish, Scott Olsen forgot that the course had been changed and headed for Castle Hill, while the 2nd and 3rd skippers headed for the finish. Scott, however, was able to harden up and reach for the finish and secured 1st place 10 seconds ahead of Ed Bannerman, who was 5 seconds ahead of Stacey Arnold. Peter Johnston and Graham Hill were neck and neck toward the finish, until Peter got a gust to put him ahead and finish 3 seconds ahead in 4th place. Dave Quin finished 30 seconds later, just ahead of Gavin Davies.

The conditions for the first race of the Opening Day Series for Sabres were challenging for all contestants and it was to the credit of the RO Helen Suriano that she started the fleet when the wind shifted so radically.

Given the weather forecast, it was great to see that half of the fleet were visitors from Perth Dinghy Club, Mounts Bay SC and Fremantle SC.

Peter Johnson

Heat 1 Results:
1.    2060     Scott Olsen                FSC
2.    2080     Ed Bannerman           MBSC
3.   1956      Stacey Arnold            EFYC
4.   1930      Peter Johnston          EFYC
5.    2058     Graham Hill               EFYC
6.    2014     Dave Quin                 EFYC
7.   1889      Gavin Davies            PDSC
8.   1876      Simon Walker           EFYC
9.   2097      Brendon Green         MBSC
10.1818       Paul Cornwell           MYC

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