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Rudder Shield 2017

The Jubilee Yacht Association of Victoria hosted the Rudder Shield at Ballaarat Yacht Club on Lake Wendouree on Saturday 6 May. The Rudder Shield is an annual contest for the 80 year old Jubilee Class One Design yacht between Brighton, Sorrento and Ballaarat Yacht Clubs; held in the traditional teams racing format. While the competition is keen, the event is primarily a great social day, bringing together the sailors of this iconic yacht.

This year in addition to the traditional competing clubs, invitations were extended to other clubs now sailing Jubilees and the club was pleased to welcome teams from Tingira Yacht Club, QLD and Albert Park Yacht Clubs.

The series was six short races of about 15 minutes duration. Competition was close with the eventual victor be the team from the Albert Park Yacht Club. More than 30 sailors competed including the class’s patriarchs John and Neil Cameron of Meredith who are 91 and 88 years respectfully and who have been sailing Jubilees since before 1952.

For simplicity the host club provides the boats fully rigged and the guests just bring themselves and sailing gear. A team Captain is elected for each club, boats are allocated and rotated through the teams to ensure some equity. Boat owners are not to skipper their own boat but they can crew.

An integral part of the Rudder Shield is the awarding of the Rusty Shackle Award to a skipper who has been deemed by their peers to have excelled themselves in error while sailing a Jubilee over the last 12 months. This year’s winner by unanimous acclamation was Willem Vaarzon Morel sailing Andiamo who left the marina under full sail while still moored to the jetty resulting in the yacht doing a sharp U-turn and mounting the jetty, congratulations Willem.

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