Female sailors excel at NSW Sabot Championship

The Sabot class continues to develop the sailing skills for our sport’s future and is extremely proud that the junior training class is continuing to be a chosen class for female sailors, with girls representing 44 per cent of the 39 sailors participating in the NSW Sabot Championship.

Sabot sailors took on the busy waters of Sydney Harbour over the weekend (February 12-13) for Round 1 of the NSW Championship, which was hosted by Lane Cove 12’ Sailing Skiff Club (LC12’SSC).  Sabot sailors and their families enjoyed the hospitality of LC12’SSC and the brilliant new rigging area of the recently constructed deck and boatshed. This new area is an amazing space and a true reflection of the hard work, club spirit and dedication the members of the club share, allowing them to achieve great things for the benefit of the sailing and wider community.

Fleet sailing upwind.
Sabot fleet racing: spark sails red (Meg Ellis) and orange (Zach Tait). Pic – Sam Gong

Sabot sailors participating in Round 1 represented nine different clubs across NSW, which highlights how clubs recognise that sabots are an ideal junior sailing class.  It was particularly pleasing to see first time competitors representing Teralba Amateur Sailing Club (Meg Ellis) and Northbridge Sailing Club (Zachary Tait, who was also the youngest sailor on the water at just seven-years-old).  Both Meg and Zach were running Spark sails, along with Flynn Beck (Drummoyne Sailing Club).  Spark sails are a slightly smaller sail, ideal for smaller kids or those new into the class.  Spark sails have proven to be a great progressive class initiative to encourage participation of younger sailors who prefer to sail one-up.

Female sabot sailor Keisha Day, representing Belmont 16s, was a strong performer in Round 1, currently sitting half a point off the lead. LC12’SSC sailors Caitlin Gong and Millie Cullinane are also sailing well, currently placed 13th and 14th respectively.  Keisha, Caitlin and Millie are all doing lots of sailing, with all three girls also steering a Flying 11, and will all be backing up next weekend at Belmont for the Flying 11 NSW Championship – GO GIRLS.   

Keisha Day (7122, Holy Guacamole), Leo Pirret (7052, Easy Tiger) and Aidan Nosworthy (7079, Red Herring). Pic – Sam Gong

Girl power continues with Lane Cove sailor Lily Mercer, sailing with brother Harry Mercer (aged nine), currently leading the Sabot 2-Up division, ahead by three points of fellow sailors Luke Mercer and Mary Lou Doolan (both aged 10). 

It was extremely pleasing to see the significant improvement of many sabot sailors skill level in comparison to their performance in last year’s NSW Championship. The high levels of improvement are the result of lots of practice and club and parent support.  This improvement is very positive for the class, reflecting the kids’ sailing commitment, despite the covid disruptions sport has endured over the past 12 months.  The most impressive improvement was from Aidan Nosworthy, representing Port Macquarie Sailing Club.  Aidan is currently placed fourth and finished 26th last year, when he competed using a Spark sail. 

Additional names to watch for in the future include Drummoyne Sailing Club sailors Joshua Green (currently placed 10th, finished 33rd in 2020/21), Sarah Doolan (currently placed 16th, finished 36th in 2020/21) and Alex Clark (currently placed 19th, finished 40th in 2020/21). Outstanding improvements in performance from LC12’SSC include Max Nicholson (currently placed ninth, finished 28th in 2020/21), Lucas Wood (currently placed 11th, finished 23rd in 2020/21) and Vaucluse Amateur 12’Sailing Club sailor Hugo Minnett (currently placed 12th, finished 42nd in 2020/21).

Round 2 of the NSW Sabot Championship will be hosted by Teralba Amateur Sailing Club on 19 and 20 March.  Marshall Day will need to continue to sail well in Round 2 to hang onto his half point lead over sister Keisha Day (currently on six points), and third place holder Charlie Nosworthy (currently on 9.5 points).

For the full results, see: http://www.sailingresults.com.au/ScoreItV2/Public/Templates/Default/index.php?event_id=1115

The March round will be the perfect leadup regatta to the National Championship, to be held at Teralba from April 9-12, 2022.  The Lake Macquarie City Council Sabot National Championship and Paul Stivano Sabot Week is sure to be a great event, with many sabot sailors travelling to compete.  Competitors will include sailors from Townville, North Queensland and a container filled with 12 sabots is coming from Tasmania. The vast distances these families are travelling to compete in April confirms that sabot sailing is serious fun.  Charter boats are available for the event.

See the Notice of Race for details on how to be part of the action: http://sabot.com.au/australian-sabot-news/

By Holly Norris/Northern NSW Sabot Sailing Association

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