Minnow Association Newsletter - March 2022

Hope you’re all enjoying a fantastic summer of sailing! In this newsletter we have a report from the 2022 Minnow states regatta, a report from the 2022 AGM, information on upcoming regattas and on upcoming coaching and training events, and congratulations to former Minnow national champion Gemma Burns, plus information about buying and selling boats and parts, a call-out for reps at each of the clubs in Victoria where the blue sail is on the water, and a reminder about 2022 membership renewals.

There are plenty of photos from the states scatted through the newsletter - make sure you read right to the end to find them all!

Report from 2022 Minnow States

On the last weekend in February Williamstown Sailing Club hosted the 2022 Minnow Victoria state championship regatta. After much hard work in the run-up to the event there was a real buzz around the club all weekend as the deck filled with blue sails and the club house swarmed with participants from all around the bay and lots of wonderful volunteers from WSC.

27 sailors took part across 2 fleets (Open & Novice) from 7 different Clubs - Altona, Albert Park, Beaumaris, Blairgowrie, McCrae, Rhyll and Williamstown.

On Saturday the wind was a fresh easterly. The Open fleet managed 4 races in the waters off Sandridge Beach, with increasing wind causing several sailors to retire in the later races. The Novice fleet raced in the clear-way outside the Club, and managed 6 races across the day.

On Sunday the wind was disappointing - almost non-existent (at one point reading 1 knot!) with glassy sea. After a postponement the Open fleet launched in an attempt to complete further races, but the weather would not co-operate and racing was abandoned at 1.30pm. The Novice fleet managed to complete 1 more race on the Sunday - the slowest race in the world on the shortest course in the world!

All the young sailor seemed to enjoy themselves - there were many happy smiles - although some sailors who were used to off-the-beach sailing found the launching ramps at Williamstown an interesting challenge.

The results were very close, with 2nd place in the Junior Fleet and 3rd place in the Novice Fleet tied on points and needing a count back to break the tie. Congratulations to all our 2022 trophy winners:

  • Open Fleet champion 2022 - Will James from Blairgowrie in Minnow #1228 'Mako'

  • Open Fleet 2nd place - Will Hailes from Blairgowrie in Minnow #1207 'Green Eggs & Ham'

  • Open Fleet 3rd place - Alby Moorhouse from Blairgowrie in Minnow #1212 'Albatross II'

  • First Female - Abby Young from Blairgowrie in Minnow #1205 'Sam I Am'

  • Junior Fleet champion 2022 - Lucas Hailes from Blairgowrie in Minnow #1189 'Nauti Buoy'

  • Junior Fleet 2nd place - Samantha Kemp from Beaumaris in Minnow #988 'Sparkle'

  • Junior Fleet 3rd place - Emily Hailes from Blairgowrie in Minnow #1210 'Calypso'

  • Novice Fleet champion 2022 - Theresa Morton from Williamstown in Minnow #1237 'Spindrift'

  • Novice Fleet 2nd place - Angus Gilby from McCrae in Minnow #190 'The Titanic'

  • Novice Fleet 3rd place - Samuel Dines from Williamstown in Minnow #1062 'Blue Devil'

  • First Novice Female - Theresa Morton from Williamstown in Minnow #1237 'Spindrift'

  • Most Improved Award (Open Fleet) - Samantha Kemp from Beaumaris in Minnow #988 'Sparkle'

  • Encouragement Award (Novice Fleet) - Kassia Jack from Williamstown in Minnow #592 'B3ast'

  • President's Award - Gidget Gibson from Blairgowrie in Minnow #1032 'Miss Smarty'

Full results are available online.

We were lucky enough to have photographers Cas Bukor and Robyn Singleton give up their time to take some amazing photographs for us over the weekend at our state regatta - check out the gallery.

Thanks again to all our sponsors: Ronstan, Dinghy Shop, Hailes Lawyers, Coastal Living and Sport Phillip Marine.

Photos from the states

Report from 2022 AGM

The 2022 Annual General Meeting of the Minnow Sailing Association (Victoria) Inc. was held on Tuesday 8th March on Zoom.

A copy of the financial report for 2021 can be found on the Minnow website

Richard Backwell was re-elected as President.

The newly elected Committee is made up of: Sean O’Brien, Alex Morton, Garrath James, Scott Hailes, Wesley Moore, Victoria Ingram, Donovan Bailey and Eleanor Jack.


2022 national championships - Darwin Sailing Club

Entries are now open for the 2022 national championships regatta at Darwin Sailing Club - 2-8 July. Notice of Race, regatta entry and other details can all be found on the regatta website.

The Victorian MSA will be organising a container to get boats to the Northern Territory - details to follow, and contact Scott Hailes for more information.

For anyone looking for a reason to travel north in July (other than just escaping the Melbourne winter!), DSC have provided some video inspiration:

2023 national championships - Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

After the Northern Territory, it’s Victoria’s turn next to run the national championships. Planning is already underway for the regatta to be hosted by Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, so make sure you save the dates: Sat 7th to Fri 13th January 2023

2023 state championships - Parkdale Yacht Club

Next year’s state championships will be held at Parkdale Yacht Club - make sure you put the dates in your diary: Sat 25th & Sun 27th February 2023

More photos from the states

Coaching and training events

Unfortunately the Minnow Assocaition coaching day at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on Saturday 9th April has had to be cancelled - apologies.

Get Moving in a Minnow (April) course @ Williamstown Sailing Club

Get Moving in a Minnow provides an opportunity for junior sailors to further develop their confidence and sailing and racing skills in the Minnow junior class - its a great transition for kids moving on from Tackers, or a confidence builder for novice fleet sailors.

Tue 19th to Thu 21st Jan, 9am-4pm daily - bookings open 1st January

Book via the WSC website

WinterSail 2022 @ Albert Park Yacht Club

For families who don’t want to travel to Darwin for the nationals, WinterSail is a great youth coaching event run by Albert Park Yacht Club. There were 7 Minnows on the water last year - lets make Minnows the biggest fleet next year!

Dates for 2022 aren’t released yet - expected to be Fri 8th to Sun 10th July

Check the APYC website for updates

Congratulations to former Minnow national champion Gemma Burns

Gemma Burns won the Minnow national champship regatta in 2011. Now she’s been recognised again by the NSW Governments ‘Her Sport Her Way’ Awards, which recognises a woman for her outstanding achievements during 2021, as a coach, official, administrator, leader and her commitment to furthering opportunities for women and girls to participate.

Gemma is now an Australian Sailing Club Services Officer for NSW/ACT, the only female qualified instructor and coach in all four disciplines of sailing in the state and the youngest Keelboat Senior Instructor in Australia! Gemma was recognised for her work in developing the SheSails networking group.

Find out more about Gemma’s achievements, and the other worthy award winners here.

The Association also a supply of spare parts for sale - centreboards, rudders, boat covers, mast plugs, trolleys etc - click here to learn more

Sailing club representatives

There are at least 11 sailing clubs round Victoria with active Minnow sailors, based on entries from the 2020, 2021 and 2022 state championship regattas, and another 6 clubs that entered boats in the previous 4 years. Are you willing to be a contact for your sailing club? Please get in contact with the association

Current Minnow representatives are:

  • Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron - Richard Backwell

  • Williamstown Sailing Club - Alex & Ruth Morton

  • McCrae Yacht Cllub - Murray O’Brien

  • Beaumaris Yacht Club - Peter Kemp

  • Ballarat Yacht Club - Michelle Styles

  • Rhyll Yacht Club - Wesley Moore

  • Altona Yacht Club - Gail Lines

Other clubs where we’d like Minnow representatives are: Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club, Rye Yacht Club, Mount Martha Yacht Club, Portland Yacht Club, Albert Park Yacht Club

2022 membership renewals

2022 memberships are now available - $25 / child or $40 for a family

Class membership is required for entry to state and national championship regattas, and class coaching events - separate event fees will apply

Click here to renew your membership

More photos from the states