TAREE sailor Troy Lewis will be aiming for a state title three-peat when he defends his sabre championship on the Manning River this weekend.
A fleet of between 15 and 22 is expected to contest the event, with sailing to start on Saturday at 1pm.
"We have registrations from Canberra to Big River, which is near Yamba,'' Lewis said.
"We were hoping there'd be a couple from interstate, but that hasn't eventuated at this stage.''
It'll be a busy program, with four races scheduled on Saturday and three on Sunday.
"The races will be around 30 to 35 minutes,'' Lewis explained.
"They aren't real long races and once everyone finishes, we go again.''
Canberra's Geoff Comfort is expected to be Lewis's main rival.
"But if conditions are light it's anyone's,'' Lewis said.
"I'm hoping for stronger conditions and they're thinking it's going to be a 12 knot nor-easter, which is decent.''
Lewis said local knowledge could play a part in the early races.
"But most decent sailors pick it up pretty quickly,'' he added.
Up to six Manning boats could be involved. Richard Dodds and Stuart Ferguson have been in good recent form according to Lewis, with Dodds winning a heat at the state last year. Veterans Bob Nupier and Warren Ruprecht can never be discounted.
However, Lewis thinks he's a reasonable shot.
"I've been sailing pretty well in club racing so far this year,'' he said.
"I'll be having a go, anyway.
"I went up to Big River and did a regatta there against the Queensland champion and we had a good tussle, although he got the better of me. But he's an accomplished sailor.''
Lewis won't be going to the Australian championships regardless of what happens here this weekend.
"They're at Mornington straight after Christmas and early in the New Year and that's just a little bit too much money for me,'' he said.