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BYS Minnow sailors celebrate Darwin success!

43rd Minnow Nationals Report

A few weeks ago we packed 10 BYS Minnows into a shipping container bound for the Darwin Sailing Club.

Thanks to John Plumridge for the use of the Maw Civil yard in Rosebud to pack and thanks to Northline for shipping.

In the weeks after the container was picked up three of our young sailors were out injured. Or so we thought.

The seven families all made their way to Darwin on different days and different times. There was even an eighth family, with the Warners making an appearance at the Regatta.

On my arrival I noticed that things were a bit different to 2019. It was overcast, a bit on the cool side, and it had been raining in the dry season. It was also windy.

The next day we were set to crack open the container to start unpacking. But the locals warned us that it was Territory Day and that during the evening it would rain down fireworks. We took their advice and left the boats where they were.

Territory Day is in a word, bonkers! It is a day where every Territorian has the right to buy fireworks and let them off wherever they like. A few visiting minnow sailors also got in on the act! Thankfully, no one was hurt. Although a fire in the scrub near the club was a bit close.

The next day was measurement. We quickly unpacked in the morning, including Andrew Kudnig’s boat, he was recuperating from a procedure but was keen. Again, it was on the cool side, and it was windy. The wind was coming from a southerly direction.

A practice sail was put off to the next morning. When three of our fleet hit the water, the breeze was fresh and again from a southerly direction. This year Sam Backwell stepped up to be the coach. He re familiarized himself with the tide and the wind direction and had the kids do a few drills to shake out the cobwebs.

In the afternoon the invitation race was run and won by Will Hailes. The next day competition was to start.

Andrew Kudnig was the only BYS sailor in the novice division. He sat out the invitation race and heat 1. After that he had a solid regatta and always had a smile on his face.

On Monday the Open fleet kids hit the water. They were followed out by the coach boat, the Hailes RIB and a tinny that Alby’s grandfather owned. The breeze was up and again from a southerly direction.

There were 4 races scheduled each day. Honours on the first day went to Will Hailes. He did not have it all his own way but found a way to win 4 from 4.

The Will Hailes show continued on day 2. This time it was three bullets and a second. As the breeze faded the last race of the day local sailor Tiger Batenburg took the win.

Wednesday morning came around with a lot of activity in the boat park from the Moorhouses. Alby had had enough of spectating, his hand felt strong enough to sail his boat.

He finished the day with a 1 2 1 2 score line. Will Hailes and Abbey Young made him work for it.

Thursday was the lay day, the sailors and parents had earned a well-deserved rest.

The last day of the regatta saw the final two races sailed. Again, Alby stole the show with two wins. Fred O’Brien did enough to maintain his second overall with two fourths.

The fleet headed ashore. The Victorian’s wasted no time in unrigging, washing boats and packing them for transport back home.

After presentation the kids and some parents got into the karaoke.

Invitation Race – Will Hailes
First overall – Will Hailes
Second Overall – Fred O’Brien
Third Overall and First Female – Abbey Young

First Junior- Emily Hailes
Third Junior – Hugh Backwell

Special thanks to Ronstan for their ongoing support.

I am sure everyone who attended had a great time! A regatta is Darwin really should be on your bucket list.

Next up it is Nationals at BYS 7 – 13 January 2022.

Richard Backwell
MSA President



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