The Crown Series Bellerive Regatta has quickly become Tasmania’s largest regatta for keel boats and dinghies, with racing on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday for the keel boats, while the dinghies sail on Saturday and Sunday. Last years regatta reportedly had 110 keel boats and over 100 dinghies competing on various race courses set on Hobart’s River Derwent.
Recently Crowned Paper Tiger National Champion Bruce Rose showing how its done last year - Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2013
The regatta is well placed as a major hit out for crews out following the various National Championships for many classes over the Christmas and New Year and with most classes having State Championships during March. The weather is usually warm, although last year's temperatures of over 35 degrees on both weekend days is unlikely to be repeated. The last few years have always provided a mix of wind strengths across the weekend, it would be quite normal to be waiting for the breeze come in on one day, and sailing in survival conditions in the next day.
These conditions have provided some memorable moments in the past, including Hughie Lewis getting king hit by the boom of his Far 40 in a Chinese Gybe and having to be rushed to hospital. He survived and returned to sailing shortly after but wearing a helmet under Doctor’s orders. Among the dinghies there are also numerous stories including Jack Work getting hit in the back by his Laser boom in a spectacular capsize, requiring him to be relieved of his boat and being rushed to shore in a RIB to be met by an ambulance. Oops – this is meant to be a story to get you to enter this great regatta, not scare you off!
The location of the race course allows dinghies to either trailer over to the well organised rigging area or to sail straight from their clubs to the race area. The regatta is held concurrently with the Clarence Jazz Festival on the adjacent Kangaroo Bay Boardwalk. This gives supporters and spectators the option of relaxing to the many performers and partaking of the varied offerings from the temporary food and refreshment stalls.
There are spot prizes drawn on Saturday and Sunday after racing, and of course there are food and refreshments available from the Bellerive Yacht Club. The major prize draw is on again this year with all competing crew members having the chance to win a five night Whitsundays bareboat charter on the Seawind 1000XL sailing catamaran Top Cat courtesy of Top Cat’s owners and Charter Yachts Australia. Last years winner Peter Bingham enjoyed his cruise, worth over $3,000 early this year.
For those who don’t win the major prize, Charter Yachts Australia are offering a bonus free night on any sailing monohull, catamaran or their power boats on any charter booked by a Crown Series Bellerive Regatta competitor during a non peak period this year. That represents a saving of between $400 and $1,475 depending on the time of year and vessel chartered.
Top Cat cruising the Whitsundays, awaiting this years major draw winner - Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2013
The Notice of Race, Online Entry, and further information is available from the regatta website while further information on Whitsunday bareboat charters is on the Charter Yachts Australia website.