Wild One’s swell beginning to new season

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Murray Deere's Wild One won division one.
Camera IconMurray Deere's Wild One won division one. Credit: Des Beeck

The 112th Princess Royal Sailing Club season officially began in front of a large gathering at the club- house last Saturday.

Albany MP Peter Watson opened the 2020-21 season to the energetic skippers and crews after the long COVID-19 lay-off.

After speeches and celebratory champagne, the sailing began.

Four fleets sailed shortened harbour course races and it didn’t take long to brush off the winter cobwebs. Vipers were first away with a fleet of four, and Murray Howson dominated both heats.

In heat one Howson, skippering Chinese Moccasin, was first and fastest in a dashing display.

Michael Cameron in Bite Me wasn’t far behind in second place, with Steve Dines in Fang gaining third.

Bruce Mattinson had his first sail with Alice after a long absence and will only get better with a few races under his belt.

In heat two, Howson was too good and scored another first and fastest.

Dines put Fang into second place with Cameron third with Bite Me.

There were three starters in division one and Murray Deere after a sluggish start with Wild One surged to the lead where he stayed to the finish taking a first and fastest.

Geoff Oliver in his smaller Excitabull did well to stay in touch to gain second place.

Harold Keay was doing well until the last leg when Shagabull had a disastrous spinnaker hoist and a jammed halyard that forced retirement.

In division two Steven Lee meant serious business when he blitzed the field to score a runaway first and fastest in an outstanding display with Flasheart.

Steve Brown in Mary Maitland couldn't make any inroads on Flasheart and was second after a close tussle while Neil Worrell's Zuri took third place.

Three Flying Fifteens faced the starter and Simon Lucas had FForeverYoung out in front from the start and bolted away from the other two to win handsomely and record the fastest time.

Ailen Lucas had to be content with a second placing. Wayne North finished strongly with Frequent Flyer to take third.

Chris Oldham and Mark Paynter had a match race with the club's Sailability Hansa 303s. Oldham had too much sailing experience for Paynter to win easily.

On Saturday morning club juniors were out in force with more than a dozen yachts gracing the harbour.

They included lasers, mirrors and optimists, and these youngsters showed the future of the club is looking good.

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