DURING the Easter weekend, Esperance Bay Yacht Club hosted the 2017 Cliffs National 125 State Championships (WA).
Competitors in 27 boats from around the state took part in a series of races sailed in Esperance Bay. There were an additional seven boats contesting a Jib and Main (JAM) event in which spinnakers are not used, bringing the total number of boats on the water to 34.
This was the largest State event for this dinghy sailing class in WA for many years.
The National 125 is a two-person 12.5 foot (3.8-metre) racing dinghy set up with a trapeze for the crew. This allows the crew to stand out sideways from the side of the fast-moving boat to counter the force of the wind providing exhilarating sailing and spectacular views of the colourful sails and varied spinnakers.
Generous local and state-wide sponsors supported this great event.
Around 20 boats travelled from Perth and around the state to compete in the regatta. Conditions varied enormously during the three race days, allowing the full range of skills to be demonstrated.
The series started on Good Friday with two races taking place in the steady south easterlies.
Saturday morning was calm and racing was delayed briefly until the brisk south westerly change blew in and provided a gusty breeze that was testing for the less experienced sailors.
Story continued inside on page 31.