Local sailor Matt Draper was crowned State Champion at the recent Impulse State Titles, hosted by Newhaven Yacht Squadron in conjunction with Rhyll Yacht Club after a three day regatta help over the long weekend in March. Matt took full advantage of the ideal conditions, which saw locals also filing second place (Ben Johnson from Rhyll) and third place (Toby Leppin from South Gippsland) with another local, Brad Legg from Rhyll, taking out the Junior Championship.
Thirty-two dinghies from Victoria and South Australia competed at the regatta, with competitors challenged at times by the strong tidal flow and shallow water at low tide. Many sailors revelled in the conditions in Dickies Bight off San Remo as the wind increased over the three days, providing close results in several categories.
Matt Draper, from Cape Woolamai, has been sailing since he was seven, winning his first Newhaven Yacht Squadron Dinghy Championship with his grandfather Neil Lacco in 2001 when he was eight. Matt’s great grandfather, Ken Lacco Snr, a local boat builder, was the inaugural Rear Commodore at Newhaven in 1962. Matt sailed various classes of dinghy before settling on the Impulse class five years ago, and he has gone from strength to strength, placing 7th at the National Titles last December. Newhaven has had a previous Impulse State Title holder, Natasha Van Rennes, who won in 2014.
A large team of volunteers from Rhyll Yacht Club and Newhaven Yacht Squadron, supporterd by Cowes Yacht Club, ensured everything ran smoothly, both on and off the water.
Paul Farrell, from the Victoria Impulse Sailing Association, thanked Newhaven and Rhyll and said “It has been a terrific series. Feedback from all members has been very positive and the event was enjoyed by all.”