Big winds and heavy seas on Cockburn Sound gave Dunsborough’s junior fleet of Minnow sailors plenty to think about at the class national championships last week.
Eight juniors from the district were among the fleet of 41 Minnows that came from three states and seven yacht clubs to race in the challenging conditions.
The regatta, Australia’s 39th National Championships hosted by The Cruising Yacht Club of WA, comes ahead of Dunsborough Bay Yacht Club hosting the state titles for this enduring beginners class later this year.
Junior yachtsmen and women of the future competed in two classes for the series that ultimately saw Edward Warner, of Victoria, take the national title
Best-placed of the DBYC open fleet was Floyd Donnan, in 20th position. Club members Josh Teasdale and Jes Tilley (pictured) were 23rd and 25th respectively.
In the novice fleet, locals ranked impressively; there were Prairy Hill (3) Karri McDowall (4) Gabriel Ottone (5) Jethro Hanson (8) and Jarvis Davies (9).
“They were seriously windy conditions all week,” DBYC juniors coach Dean Cowan said.
“The kids were completely exhausted by the final day’s sailing.”
Cowan said DBYC sailors improved as the regatta progressed “learning heaps.”
Several of the DBYC juniors backed up the day after the regatta’s conclusion on Saturday, January 13, to sail on the dam at Knotting Hill Vineyard Metricup, a much-loved annual “away” regatta for the club that saw three minnows, three Splash-class dinghies and seven GP 14s sail in tricky, light conditions over a series of sprint-style races.
“This is one of the highlights of our calendar,” said club Commodore Graeme Missen.
“Not only is the sailing fun, and competitive, but the spirit of co-operation, making it all happen off-site, is what a community-based club is all about.”