WA

15 June 2016

WA ERIC FISHER A Class Trophy

15jun

Eric Fisher was a member of the Perth Radio Sailing Club since the mid-1970s. He was a competitive skipper, winning numerous State Championships in both the A Class and Ten Rater classes. Eric was also a fantastic clubman. He constantly helped others, whether it be by assisting with building or repairing boats, advice on setting up boats or doing things for the club. At the age of 91 years, Eric sadly passed away this year. His company at the lake will be greatly missed.

Last year, the club inaugurated the Eric Fisher A Class Trophy. This year, it was held on Saturday June 11 at Jackadder Lake. From this day forwards it will be known as the Eric Fisher Memorial A Class Regatta.

 

There were 10 A Class turn up to race. Len White was sailing a boat which Eric built – the Hi-Ho design. Len has done a fantastic job restoring the boat, and it was fitting that the boat competed. It was a pity that Ian Sherriff’s mast split whilst rigging up, and so he was unable to participate.

The wind was from the north, which is fairly unusual for Jackadder Lake. The course was set, and racing commenced on time. Early in the day, the Venom of Rob Mews was showing some good speed, and Rob was sailing well. The Swords of Jeff Green, Glenn Dawson and Denton Roberts were finding the conditions to their liking as well.

Hub Bell managed a race win with his A1 design – a boat which likes a bit of breeze to really compete. Also sailing well were the Venoms of Roger Paul and Ray Bassett, who joined the A Class fleet after purchasing Allan Beer’s Venom. Richard Fielder kindly loaned his Venom to Rob, and competed with his A1 boat.

The races were three laps of a windward leeward course. The wind was reasonably consistent as far as Jackadder Lake is concerned. There were shifts, but not the massive shifts which can occur when the wind is in the west. Fairly early in the regatta, Glenn Dawson started to sail to a few heat wins, and if he wasn’t in the lead, he was near the front. Other skippers managed heat wins, including Jeff Green, Hub Bell and Roger Paul.

Consistency, reducing mistakes and getting reasonable starts is the key to getting a good result in the A Class. It is very hard to make up ground if you don’t get off the start line in good shape. The boats travel with such equal speed, that the racing can be very close. Positioning your boat to make the best line around buoys is critical. Many races were won and lost by a matter of centimetres.

The skippers would like to thank Lloyd Coles and Bob Paton for offering to Officiate for the regatta. They kept the racing moving at a good pace and ensured we all followed the rules. As is in keeping with the A Class, there was no trouble with people following the rules. The racing was conducted in a gentlemanly fashion – something that Eric would have appreciated.

First on the day went to Glenn, followed by Jeff and Roger finished in third position. After sailing, we all sat down and had a quiet drink to remember Eric. This is something that the club certainly does well, and it builds great friendships and a sense of club camaraderie.

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