Ablett sails away with Ballarat sharpie classic

BERTIE BATTLE: Skipper Dave Mackenzie, Sara Porter and Rob Radwell on "Fig Jam" on Lake Wendouree. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric
BERTIE BATTLE: Skipper Dave Mackenzie, Sara Porter and Rob Radwell on "Fig Jam" on Lake Wendouree. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Much-travelled skipper Marc Ablett has taken the annual Ballarat Bertie Sharpie Trophy back to Melbourne.

He sailed “Psycho Therapy” to his first victory in the annual Ballarat Yacht Club classic on Lake Wendouree on Saturday.

Ablett is originally from Canberra and spent a couple of years sailing sharpies in Adelaide before moving to Melbourne late last year.

With a crew of Jake Nichols and Leah McPherson, Ablett finished third in the opening race and then took out the next two as three boats from Melbourne joined five from Ballarat in wind varying from six to 12 knots.

“Rage Factor” (*Peter Stutchberry, Rohan Allan, Jason Willis) finished second, while “Kanga Crusher” (Andrew Dellaca, Neville Bilney, Jason Heggart) was third.

The event provided valuable experience for emerging Ballarat sailors, including Ben Lodge and Jonah Wise with Brian Canny on “Footloose”; Sarah Porter with Rob Radwell on “Fig Jam”; Eliza Craig and Jo Luciani with Max Nichols on “Kandy”; and Colin Bailey with Peter Coburn on “Long Black”.

"Colormegone" skipped by John Brewer

"Colormegone" skipped by John Brewer

The Ballarat Bertie Sharpie Trophy fleet with spinnakers in place making the most of the wind on Lake Wendouree.

The Ballarat Bertie Sharpie Trophy fleet with spinnakers in place making the most of the wind on Lake Wendouree.