Responder’s first outing

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser

Princess Royal Sailing Club had an opening with a difference when guest Bruce Manning of the Great Southern Development Commission officially launched Responder, the club's multi-purpose vessel, which will be used for Sailability and Fishability, as well as a general purpose boat for race days.

The powerful catamaran was financially sponsored by Lotteries WA, the Great Southern Development Commission, Great Southern Naturally, Pilbara Ports Authority and the WA Government.

A crowd gathered in the Sailability room where commodore Chris Oldham welcomed everyone and outlined what the club had achieved in the last sailing season and plans for this season.

Guests were invited out on John and Forrest Woodbury's Sailaway to observe the racing, with Responder in its first official outing.

The weather on Saturday turned nasty and, with winds touching 25 knots, not too many sailors ventured out in the howling black easterly.

Four yachts and their intrepid crews faced the starter in a no-points race, which is probably why a lot of others didn't compete. Two Flying Fifteens demonstrated just what capable little yachts they are as they splashed around the harbour course event.

Simon Lucas led from go to whoa with FForever Young and showed no mercy to Aileen Lucas, who didn't enjoy the conditions as much aboard Crazy.

Two division boats had a close encounter. The almost identical Farr 727s also displayed excellent sailing in the foul weather and Stephen Brown, getting back into competitive sailing, showed the way and held off a valiant Neil Worrell, who was having his second outing with Zuri.

Worrell was only 40 seconds behind the more experienced Brown at the finish and is going to have a good season.

On Saturday, division 1 will compete for the Jack Baxter trophy, division 2 for the Terry Bridge trophy and division 3 for the Paul Thompson trophy.

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