MPASC recently hosted the 2022 O’pen Skiff National Championships on the 14-18th January on the southern shores of Lake Macquarie NSW.

The regatta was a great success, and as a small club we were proud to be selected to host this year’s event. The regatta attracted 59 entries, spread over three divisions, with the Gold Fleet sailors competing for the title, the Silver Fleet division for the up and coming juniors that are still honing their racing skills, complete with 2 on water coaches assisting while they race. The Green Fleet division caters to the younger juniors, new to sailing, and involves a mix of coaching, fun & games. Unfortunately, the “Curse of Covid” held down our overall numbers this year, with over a dozen sailors from W.A, along with several sailors from other states forced to pull out.

The weather and breeze was near perfect for the regatta, with the “O’pen Skiffies” sailing 14 races over the 4 days, plus some adventure races thrown into the mix just for fun and to break up the racing schedule. Adventure races are a lot of fun and usually involve mixing experienced sailors with those not so experienced in teams of 2 -3 in what could be described as organised chaos but helps them get to know sailors from other clubs and build friendships for future regattas.

Breanne Wadley

The 2022 O’pen Skiff National Champion was Breanne Wadley from Tinaroo Sailing Club in North Queensland. Breanne has numerous National/State titles to her name, including an Under 13 World Title. Her family/siblings have been involved with the O’pen Skiff class for many years and Breanne has set the bar high for what can be achieved in this class, but she has finally outgrown the O’pen Skiff, to move on to bigger and better things. After the final race, she stayed on water and kindly sailed/coached the last Silver Fleet sailor to the finish, before coming ashore to a standing ovation from the O’pen Skiff crowd.

At MPASC we are big advocates of the O’pen Skiff class and have been using them in our junior program for approx. 10 years with great success. They are robust, easy to rig, easy to right when capsized, with 3 rig sizes, and caters to juniors of different weight, skills and to different wind strengths. We often see them out in 25 knots, having a blast, while the big kids in our F18 Cat division stay on shore and watch. (they will probably want to kill me for saying that lol )

O’pen Skiff Association Director, Bevan McKavanagh, loves MPASC as a regatta venue and has been attending and helping with our annual Dolphin Chaser Regatta for the last 6 years, that attracts around 60 entries. He loves staying at the waterfront Tourist Park right next door with the other competitors and their families. Our sailing courses are usually right in front of the club house, which is great for spectators and we have a large, grassed rigging area that extends around the lake’s foreshore, allowing plenty of rigging space for large fleets. Unlike the congested Sydney Harbour weekend racing scene (where I grew up sailing  as a junior) we enjoy a traffic free sailing area, with this part of Lake Macquarie all to ourselves, allowing us to race unfettered by other boats/fleets at all times (sailing heaven!).

We welcome visitors and new members with open arms, and if any touring sailors are in the area, please come on down and check out one of the most relaxed and friendly clubs on the sailing circuit. Canteen is open on Saturdays for “refreshments” as required.

James LeLaen
Dinghy Vice Commodore