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Kevin and Ross Wilson won the first Bertie

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This is why they are called Sharpies, they certainly look good when the sailors hang out.

The Ballarat Bertie Sharpies sailing trophy Ballarat Yacht Club

By Quinton Wilkinson

KEVIN and Ross Wilson won the first Bertie in the 1976/77 season sailing Pussyfoot. The Bertie was sailed every year in until the drought in the early 2000s and dried the lake up. Today was a great resurgence of the Sharpie sailing skiff a slim 20 ft with huge sail area three man crews and also a trapeze and fantastic sailing especially when the winds are up and the spinnakers are set. Ballarat loves the sharpies and Dave Youldena Ballarat member has probably sailed every Bertie except 1 or 2 which is a great effort. Saturday saw the arrival of 10 light weight sharpies five from Ballarat and a further 5 from Victoria with names such as Foot Loose, Rage Factor, Physco Therapy and Screaming Eagle to name a few. The best number to sail the Bertie Trophy since the commencement of sailing after the Dough. It was a great event sailed on the Saturday as it also was a club race day with all classes racing as well so we had a total of 25 yachts sailing. The wind was light and gusty coming from the SSE and swinging to the SSW at 8 to 10 knots and gusting up to 15 which at times caused a few of the sharpies to capsize but all quickly righted and continued sailing. Some say if you can sail Lake Wendouree with its shifts and untimed gusts, you can sail anyway.

Racing commenced at 2pm with two races consisting of two triangles and 2 windward returns for each race for the Sharpies and 3 races for the Ballarat Club boats. Great close racing was experienced excellent sights of these skiffs in full flight under spinnaker rigs was a site to behold. The results were as follows. Ballarat Bertie Overall Championships 1st Breakaway Peter Coburn. 2nd Kanga Crusher Neville Bilney. 3rd Flash as a Rat 4th Rage Factor 5th Fig Jam. 6th Old Lonely and Forgotten.7thPhysco Therepy.8th Furnace of Affection. 9Th Foot loose Brian Caney. 10th Screaming Eagle.