While 126 entries (5 didn't make it to/couldn't find the start) was an acceptable result for the Metropolitan Championships hosted by Western Sydney and the world's largest Laser club, DBSC, there could have been even more.
A commodore from a prominent eastern suburbs club, who will remain nameless, said:
"If the regatta was not on Mardi Gras weekend, we would have had double the number of the radial sailors entries. Apparently, sailing was impossible for some this weekend because of a clash with waxing appointments....I don't understand that because the guys know it is against the spirit of sailing to wax Laser hulls "
In any event, 126 entries is incredible compared to 90 odd in the NSW Open State Titles and 131 in the NSW Masters States. And there is no doubt DBSC has international appeal with the following countries, and their national champions, represented: Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Ireland, Finland, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, China, Singapore, Finland, Macedonia, etc. Aussies from as far away Queensland, Victoria and the French enclave of Vaucluse attended the regatta too.
Full rigs results were dominated by foreigners - Singapore 1st, China 2nd and Finland 3rd. But the talking point was the general recalls. The two races completed on Sunday required 8 starts. Flagmaster Clare was at risk of RSI. DBSC was well represented in the list of BFDs and OCSs.
Radials winner was DBSC junior, Grasshopper 2.0. Their starts were somewhat more restrained, albeit not without issues.
The 4.7 sailors were the most polite around the club and on the water. For many of these youngsters, sailing on our busy harbour in a decent breezes would have been a new challenge, so well done to all those that competed. The 4.7 winner came from one of Australia's largest inland cities, Albury-Wodonga.
Full regatta results can be found on the NSW laser association website here
Winning the award for most tolerant harbour user was the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Your humble correspondent picked up one of its buoys for a 30 minute jaunt around the harbour before the mistake was picked up by The Wise Master. On return and apology to their committee boat, we were waved away with a wave, smile and a "don't worry about it." Classy response.
Our most valued community partner was Double Bay Public School, who allowed us to use its carpark. A total of $470 was raised via the $10 parking fees paid by sailors and has been handed to the DBPS in appreciation of its help in making the regatta a success. We are told Mrs Garling, the Principal, was "DELIGHTED" and promised she would be putting the funds towards something special. Good karma to all.
At the club house, victuals were superbly handled by the team led by the club's own culinary superstar, Paul Adam. For almost 36 hours it seemed that Paul, Andrea, Shirley and Deb were in the kitchen. Deb in particular displayed an adeptness on the BBQ that might have the regular DBSC grillmeister, PC, looking for a new job!
With so many members generously volunteering, it might be unfair to nominate a volunteer of the regatta, but it is Richard George. RG sailed on Saturday and when asked to help clean up on Sunday morning, he arrived before dawn. He cleaned all the bathrooms and changerooms, swept the floors and then hosed down the floors, and had finished before the first of the other volunteers arrived. Then he went home as he wasn't sailing on the Sunday. Cleaning toilets is often unheralded and unthanked work: a special thanks to RG!
It was a fantastic weekend, possibly the biggest fleet that DBSC has ever hosted, and it went off smoothly due to the help of our members.
If anyone has some "on water shots" please send them on and we'll get them published.