The universe created the perfect day for us to hold the President’s Cup in Manly. The temperature was a perfect, balmy 20 degrees, and early in the morning, an 8 to 10 knot breeze from the West created a great race on Manly Cove. Unfortunately, the wind then dropped to absolute calm while the course was reset and the sailors socialised. Suddenly, a southerly gust was apparent, and the second race began, with lots of jostling for the perfect position, and constant changes of leader. It was all too short, the winner was recognised and the boats had one final task to perform. After a third race start, as the boats set off for home, each crew had to pluck one ribbon from 2 buoys set up slightly off the race course. This was carried out very efficiently by most crews, and the ribbons handed into the monitor waiting on the pontoon.

Today was not so much about racing, as about branches getting together for a wonderful fun day on the water. We were so amazed to see that crews had come from as far away as South Australia, Great Lakes, Belmont, Penrith, Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie,  as well as some of the Metropolitan Branches; Manly, Crystal Bay and Middle Harbour. It was great to see our Sailability NSW President with his lovely wife, Kellie, visiting to present the main prize of the day to Chantelle Agius, and all participants went away with a Participation Award, because that is what we are all about.

Slideshow of Getting the boats ready, Scott from Lake Macquarie, A raft of socialising boats while waiting for the wind and the boats at the start of one of the races

Incidentally, we did have some wonderful Race Winners and Place getters:
2.3: Winner, Mark and Chantelle Agius, and Runner Up, Scott Priestly from Lake Macquarie.
303: First Place: Gareth Bishop from Middle Harbour sailing with John Garbutt from Belmont.
Second Place: Vincent Bird, sailing with Oliver Williams, both from Manly.
Third Place: Ern Mitchell from Penrith, sailing with Yui Fujimoto from Japan.

The whole day was dependant on 6 303’s being brought over from Middle Harbour. Thank you so much, Middle Harbour, this was a big ask, and a great learning experience for both Middle Harbour Branch and Manly Branch. It opens up a whole realm of possibilities, now that we know that we can do it, and it will get easier with practice.

A huge thank you also goes to our Volunteer Team, and its little committees: The parking committee, the helpers over in the parking area, the pontoon team, the Registration Team, and definitely, best of all the catering team who deserve first prize. From 9.00 a.m., to 3.00 p.m., tea, coffee, water, soft drinks and cookies were available upstairs, with a magnificent sausage sizzle lunch provided after the racing. Best of all were the Brownies provided by our good friends from MYC, Barry and Bernadette.

I can’t leave this without a huge Thank You to Bruce and Pam, who put up with a great deal of equanimity and fortitude the adaptations, last minute modifications, and amount of time it takes to organise Sailability people into and out of boats, and still managed to put on 2 magnificent races and a Navigation Exercise for people who are prepared to travel long distances for the opportunity to participate in the type of Regattas that we all enjoy so much. Where would we be without you?