SAILORS have been hitting the Swan River in numbers not seen since the halcyon days of the America’s Cup.
With many European competitions cancelled or drastically reduced last year due to the impact of Covid-19, and locals keen to stay in the state’s protective bubble, the South of Perth Yacht Club picked the perfect moment to launch its inaugural Goolugatup Sailing Carnival earlier this month.
“These sorts of numbers have not been seen in any sailing competition in Perth since the 1980s,” SOPYC rear commodore Stephen Grover said gleefully about the 170 competitors – including four of Australia’s 2021 Olympic sailing team.
The 10-day event started with the state championships for the 29er skiff class, with the optimists also vying for state representation later in the carnival.
The 29ers title was taken out by the under 17 world champion team of Axel Fleet and Kieran Bucktin, while Jacques Audet and Arrik Fisk led the cherubs and Brien Hennessy and Dan Moore topped the javelins.
“It’s great to see that we have such a high calibre of sailors participating in this competition,” Mr Grover said; he could have been referring to teenager Aaron Teo who was so commanding in taking out the optimist class that spectators were wondering if an up-and-coming international competitor was emerging.
For more information and results visit the Goolugatup Sailing Carnival Facebook page.
by MADELEINE RICK