The John Seeber Memorial Sabre Teams Race Trophy + Coffee Cruise – 7th April 2018

This Saturday 7th April will be the 19th running of the Sabre Teams Race. In fact the trophies full name is: The John Seeber Memorial Sabre Teams Race Trophy and is conducted annually at the Mordialloc Sailing Club (MSC).

Additionally, the Coffee Cruise will also been happening – Rigged and ready to go @ 10:00am.

John was an avid sailor who during his many years in Sabres campaigned for the Sabre Teams Race to be conducted at MSC. He considered it an advantage to both Mordialloc and the Sabre association as a whole to ensure the focus of Sabre sailing was not just with the strongest clubs but was spread around the bay and the country.

His enthusiasm and drive resulted in a Saturday every year being set aside at Mordialloc to compete for this trophy where 30+ boats would attend. It was John’s efforts alone that ensured the event would remain on the Sabre calendar.

John passed away on 10th August 2005 after a battle with Pancreatic Cancer. He was diagnosed in mid-2004 and given 6 months to live as he later found out but managed to see out more than 12 months.


John joined Mordialloc in the early to mid 60s and sailed HW Sharpies. I first met John in the late 60’s, sailing Rainbows and he was always a very easy going gentleman without a cross word for anyone.

He sailed his own TS 16 in the mid 70s and later built a steel keel boat in his backyard. This period also encompassed Endeavours and Top Hats at Hastings up to the early 90s.

John re-joined Mordialloc Sailing Club (MSC) in the mid-90s sailing the Sabre.

He was on the Sabre executive for five years and the MSC Sailing Committee for many years as a Sabre Rep.

John was very generous with not only his time but a story as told by his close friend Phil Johnson.

On one particular occasion John loaned a spinnaker and ratchet block to Phil for a race and at the end of the day he told Phil that he could keep them.

He was never a particularly well man but never let on that anything was ever less than good. Not many people knew that he had a triple by-pass and had almost died on a couple of occasions due to heart / health problems.

An intelligent man, John was a Mechanical Engineer graduating from Swinburne. He built 2 or 3 Rainbows, an OK Dinghy, the keel boat mentioned above and a Hartley T.S. 16 – one clever dude in today’s speak.

His recent love of his last 10 years was his paintings of which at least one can be seen around the Club today. Others have been donated and sold at MSC auction nights etc.

He was the Sabre club champion and Perpetual trophy winner in 2000/01 and won a couple of Club Aggregate trophies. As a highlight in his Sabre, John won the Australian Veterans Title in 1999 against some very good opposition.


With Black Rock Yacht Club (BRYC) winning all but one of these events between 2000 and 2013, Mordialloc and the Sabre association agreed to change the format to re-invigorate the concept by selecting ‘even teams’ of four members with similar experience. This gave the opportunity for all those attending, to be on the winning team.

This format was first introduced in 2014 with a good mix of experienced and less experienced sailors on the winning team.

In 2018, the first two members of each selected team will sail around a slightly longer course for the first lap only. This will allow the third and fourth members of the team to potentially lead the fleet for at least a good part of the race, if not to the finish line.

With all boats in unfamiliar positions, it should be an interesting sail let alone the potential activity at the finish line.

This new format will be beneficial to all whilst still sailing for the team’s trophy and a photo entry in the Sabre team’s race album.

With the more serious sailing of the Australian Championships and Victorian Titles now completed, this event is a friendly regatta bringing together individual clubs from both the suburbs and country to reacquaint sabre sailors and provide a venue for the enjoyment of the their sport.


Good luck to all for this afternoon’s racing.



Peter White