Crown Series Bellerive Regatta was held this weekend, 25th to 26th February, on Hobart’s River Derwent. Young Tasmanian dinghy and sailboard sailors today gave a fine exhibition of their racing versatile skills and seamanship in winds that ranged from eight knots to 30 knots in a demanding day.
Cruise liner The World dwarfs the dinghy fleet in the Crown Series as she berthed in Hobart this morning - Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2012
Being on the water did little to reduce the oppressive 36 degrees heat and near gale-force northerly winds sweeping down the Derwent Valley, yet few of the young off-the-beach sailors voluntarily pulled out of the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta.
The annual regatta attracted just over 100 entries from off-the-beach classes and 110 keelboats, sports boats and trailable yachts, making it Tasmania’s biggest regatta with nearly 800 sailors, young and old, competing over the weekend.
International race officer Nick Hutton, who was principal race officer for the off-the-beach classes, praised the ability of the young and adult sailors in the off-the-beach classes to handle the conditions which, he said, reflected the sound seamanship training received at their clubs.
'When the northerly begun gusting over 25 knots we sent the younger sailors back to Bellerive Yacht Club, although the dozen Cadets hoisted their spinnakers and headed back down the river their home club, Sandy Bay Sailing Club,' Hutton said.
'Eventually, we abandoned racing in the other classes for older sailors, except the Laser Radials, but not before some spectacular capsizes among the Paper Tigers catamarans and B14 skiffs.'
Sailing with the Laser Radials in a yardstick division was Angus Barton from the Tamar Yacht Club in an Olympic Finn class boat, a dinghy seldom seen in Tasmanian waters.
Despite being a newcomer to the single-handed Finn, Barton easily won the division, with Rohan Langford, Sophie Chesterman and Amelia Catt the best-placed Laser Radial sailors in the fleet.
Bruce Rose sailing his Paper Tiger in the Crown Series - Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2012
Other impressive performances in the senior off-the-beach classes were Alec Bailey with five wins and a second, sailing VMG in the 420 class, Bruce Rose’s five wins with and a third sailing The Apprentice in the Paper Tiger catamarans.
Pumpkin Eater (Darren Eggins) scored a close victory in the NS14s from rival Dennis Leitch sailing Sea Breeze while in the Sabre class Jeremy Fish, sailing XS, beat Matt Westland in Essence, by just one point.
In the other classes, The Phantom (Stephen Miller) won the B14 class by one point from Straits4Devils (Adrian Beswick) while Hugh Jones, sailing his Bic Techno sailboard won this class by one point from David Moorehead.
Sabot winner Tom Cooper checks his boat before a race start - Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2012
Another northern sailor to do well was Port Dalrymple Yacht Club junior membr Tom Cooper, sailing Snap-E-Tom to victory in the strong Sabot class. A close runner-up was Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Sam King, sailing Red Herring.
Hugh Hickling won the Optimist class, sailing Are We There Yet, from Hugo Hamilton sailing Downunder.
In the International Cadets, Little Devil (Nicola Armstrong) sailed impressively to win the seven race series from more experienced sailors in the 12 boat fleet. Little Devil won two of the seven heats to win from Sirocco (Charlie Connor) on 21 points and Meltemi (Oliver Burnell) with 27 points.
Australian champion Samantha Bailey won three heats, but also had three OCS disqualifications to finish seventh overall.
The Laser 4.7 class saw consistency pay off for Ed Hargreaves, sailing RPG, winning two heats and with a worst score of sixth. Three points back in second place was Gabriel Morrison, sailing 2fast4u, with just one point to Topaz (Anna Vaughan).
B14 Smokin, sailed by Clare Cromarty - Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2012