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Melbourne: A World Championship? Hopefully…

3 May 2019 Peter Coleman

Melbourne skyline

"Melbourne skyline"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,


So you have read the stop press, you are probably wondering what this has to do with the Melbourne Etchells Fleet? So glad you asked.

In a recent report about Matt Allen and team losing their mast, Matt was quoted as commenting about being on a boat that lost its mast in the 1985 Admiral’s Cup. That boat was Lou Abrahams’, Challenge, and the for’ard hand referred to in the article was Wayne, The Rat, Dixon. Read below.....

“Last time this happened to me was in 1985 during the Admiral’s Cup. We were on the Solent with wind against tide, with two slabs in, and the number four up. We asked the bowman to go and tighten the leech line on the headsail, and then the rig gave way. He yelled out immediately that it must have been too much. We motored off to Southampton where we had another rig, and continued on in the cup”, said Allen, as he took it all in his stride...

Wayne was one of the originals in Etchells in Australia, and sadly he passed away three and a bit years ago. Wayne sailed everything, and everyone seemed to know him wherever he went in the world. A truly amazing man, and one of Australia’s greatest yachtsmen form Admiral’s Cups, Kenwood Cups, 35 plus years in Etchells, winning a Sydney to Hobart, 505 Nationals, the list is endless...

This leads us into the 2018-19 season, which is only two months away from finishing, and the season aggregate trophy is the Wayne Dixon Season Aggregate Trophy. The top three are only separated by a few points with just six races to go, so it can go to any of them. (Editor’s Note: There is also one of the RIBs at RBYC called, The Rattler, named in memoriam to this much loved sailor.)

Melbourne Fleet had nine boats go to he fabulous Brisbane Worlds, with two boats getting in the top five overall. A great effort for all the Melbourne fleet competitors, and we all agree it was an incredibly well organised and run regatta, and one that we can all learn from.

The Melbourne fleet has the privilege of hosting the 2020 Australian Championship from 7th to 12th January 7-12, 2020, and in early March of the same year, the Victorian Championship. Get in early as the fleet is growing down here. Hope to see you all here.

Peter Coleman
Melbourne Fleet Captain


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