Australian Sportsboat and Trailable Yacht Championships are currently underway. Sportsboat sailors revel in speed and strong winds, and Hobart’s River Derwent today gave them the ideal ingredient – and more.
Femme Fatale which is second overall in trailable yacht division 2 - Australian Sportsboat and Trailable Yacht Championships 2012
With north-westerly winds howling down the river, turning the broad expanse of water into a sea of whitecaps, one boat was dismasted, two others broke rudders and many sails were blown out of shape, to say the least.
After two races in winds of 20 knots-plus, with squalls exceeding 30 knots, and prospects of stronger winds later in the afternoon, Bellerive Yacht Club race officers called it a day.
They plan to run two final races tomorrow when winds are expected to back to the south-west and moderate to 10-15 knots – with a maximum temperature of just 12 degrees forecast, with snow on Mount Wellington!
The champion Queensland sportsboats Blokes World (Brett Whitbread) and Kaito (Heath Townsend), along with the newly launched New South Wales entrant, Tickety-Boo (Mike Hinchey), excelled in yesterday’s strong breezes, surfing downwind at 20 knots plus to dominate the results in the premier division.
Kaito, a Melges 24, won race five while Tickety-Boo, a Shaw 650, took out race six with some spectacular downwind sailing.
Blokes World sailed consistently with a second and a third to lead the series with 15 points, just one point ahead of Kaito. In third place overall on 25 points is Tasmanian boat Likety-Split, Sam Edmunds’s Shaw 650 from Port Dalrymple Yacht Club, which yesterday placed sixth and 10th. Tickety-Boo is fourth overall on 29 points.
Shaw Contracting, David Shepherd’s Elliott 780 from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club broke its mast in the first race yesterday. 'Running downwind, she nose-dived off a wave; the boat stopped but the spinnaker kept going and the backstay snapped and the mast went too,' race officer Chris Sheehan said.
Another casualty in the sportsboat division was Hobart boat Fang to the Max, skippered by Fred Barrett. In the trailable yacht divisions, six boats either did not race or retired with damage.
In the trailable yacht division 2, John Dryden’s Elliott 7.8 Priscilla from Kettering Yacht Club won both races yesterday, giving it five firsts out of six races,
Wynyard Yacht Club’s More Mischief, Mike Darby’s Hartley TS16 also won both races in trailable yacht division 4 to hold a commanding pointscore lead from Kari (Richard Grant) from the Tamar Yacht Club.