Crews get set for the new season

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Some of the mixed dinghy fleet at their start. The Lasers were too quick for them.
Camera IconSome of the mixed dinghy fleet at their start. The Lasers were too quick for them. Credit: Des Beeck

Princess Royal Sailing Club’s official opening of the 2018-2019 season will take place on Saturday on the lower deck at 12.30pm, with racing to begin at 2.30pm.

PRSC is one of the oldest sporting clubs in Albany and began its wonderful history in 1909.

Sailing was conducted on the town side of the harbour before the move to Little Grove 50 years later.

Last Saturday, 15 yachts faced the starter for harbour course events.

Many boats are yet to get back in the water as skippers have to finish preparing their craft and organising crews. There should be many more on the water for opening day.

The weather on Saturday saw a steady but light westerly which gradually changed both speed and direction. Sudden gusts caused a few capsizes among the dinghy fleet but no major upsets.

The mixed dinghy fleet is huge and bound to get bigger and for the first time in decades, the junior members will be sailing in the afternoons with the big boys.

There weren’t any official results for this fleet as they will have to sail in at least three races to sort out handicaps.

Then it will be serious competition. Division 1 only had two starters and Harold Keay in Shagabull and Mitchell Spaanderman in Crunchtime were eager to go.

Spaanderman, who was several minutes ahead of Shagabull, suffered a dreadful Chinese jibe under spinnaker and lost time getting the out-of-control kite back onto the boat. Keay cruised by and went on to win easily. Crunchtime retired exhausted but will be back.

Division 2 had three to compete and Stephen Lee in Flasheart skipped away immediately to establish a handy lead and went on his merry way to a handsome victory. Second place went to Josh Hughes, skippering his newly acquired Joker on its first outing.

Hughes put in a great effort and he and Joker will be a force to be reckoned with. Third was Gary Eaton, who had Farr Star showing some of its potential.

As mentioned earlier the mixed fleet competed with Lasers dominating.

There were also Mirrors, 125s and GP 14s, so anyone with a sailing dinghy can join in during Saturday morning training or sail in the afternoon as well.

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