Australian Sportsboat Championships Day 4 - Challenging conditions

Evergreen Hartley TS16 More Mischief from Wynard Yacht club won the trailable yacht division 4 national title - Australian Sportsboat and Trailable Yacht Championships 2012
Rob Cruse
Australian Sportsboat and Trailable Yacht Championships final day was another windy day on Hobart’s River Derwent. A broken rudder, followed by an out-of-control gybe and a spectacular ‘wipe-out’ yesterday cost the Queensland yacht Blokes World its second successive title.

Blokes World’s championship hopes came crashing down only 400 metres from the finish of the last race as she surfed downwind under spinnaker in a 20 knot south-westerly breeze.

The end result saw the Egan 727’s four-point pointscore lead after seven races change to a one-point loss to the much-travelled Western Australian yacht Kaito, a Melges 24, helmed by Heath Townsend from the Geographe Bay Yacht Club at Busselton.

Kaito’s winning crew was a multi-state team comprising joint owners Townsend and Kim Nisbett from Busselton, WA and Darren Spence from Mooloolaba, Queensland, Nisbett’s 13-year-old son Bryte, and Hobart dinghy sailor Henry Goodfellow.

Third place overall went to the Tasmanian boat Likety-Split, Sam Edmunds’ newly-launched Shaw 650. After a promising start to the regatta, Likety-Split had some gear problems in Sunday’s wild weather, but finished strongly with a seventh and a second place yesterday.

Kaito has contested every Australian sportsboat championship since 2008, crossing the country several times from west to east and, more recently, from north to south, being trailered down from Mooloolaba to Hobart, via a Bass Strait container ship.

'Conditions were challenging every day on the Derwent, but we concentrated on not making mistakes,' commented Kaito’s co-owner Darren Spence, who is also national president of the Australian Sports Boat Association. 'We had our regular crew, plus the good local input from Henry Goodfellow, and we ended up never worse than fourth and with three first places.'

Tasmanian boats won both trailable yacht divisions, although the heavy conditions saw fleets depleted by the end of the final race yesterday.

Priscilla, John Dryden’s Elliott 7.8 from the Kettering Yacht Club, south of Hobart, had a commanding victory in Division 2, scoring six wins out of eight races.

Priscilla finished with eight points, four clear of fellow Kettering club member John Penman, sailing Femme Fatale, an Elliott 7.4 which won the final race. Third place went to Octopussy, Danny Cunningham’s Clubman 8 from the host club, Bellerive Yacht Club.

Northern Tasmanian trailables dominated Division 4, with Mike Darby’s evergreen Hartley TS16 More Mischief from Wynyard Yacht Club, winning five races to finish with nine points.

Second place overall went to Kari, a TS18 skippered by Richard Grant from Tamar Yacht Club, on 12 points, third to another TS16 from Wynyard, Pure Steel (John McMahon).

Kaito, winner of the Australian Sportsboat Championship 2012 on Hobart’s River Derwent - Australian Sportsboat and Trailable Yacht Championships 2012
Darren Spence
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