by David Allan
Blockbuster Weekend 2011 was once again staged on the Tamar River, Beauty Point, Tasmania.
B14's on the breeze - James Boag Blockbuster Weekend
This year’s event, being the 11th year of running, was one of Tasmania’s largest multi class sailing regattas, sporting Laser, NS14, Formula Windsurfer and B14 Classes. The Blockbuster race format promotes close competion and action, with rolling back to back starts across two short courses.
This years James Boag Blockbuster, was the first in the events history, where a race has been lost to abandonment. The breeze on Saturday picked up very rapidly shortly after the start of race 1, quickly reaching a point where the decision was made to abandon the race. After a long break, Race 2 started in a more even but still solid breeze. Competitors, once finished, showered and enjoying a spit roast and refreshments, were all looking forward to a more favourable breeze on Sunday
Day 2 of the 2011 Blockbuster was in stark contrast to day 1 with light shifting conditions testing crews on a different level to the 20-25 knots of day 1.A full program of four races were completed for a six race series for Invited classes with the Sabots and Opis getting in another two for a five race series.
Port Dalrymple Yacht club’s Tom Cooper, sailed for three wins and top for the weekend in Sabot/Oppi Club class, followed by Jack Waldron from Tamar Yacht club and Joshua Eggins, RYCT.
Local sailor Angus Barton performed strongly, in what at times were very difficult conditions. Over Blockbuster Weekend at Port Dalrymple Yacht Club, Angus posted five wins, sailing to a comprehensive win in the Laser class. Angus again out classed a strong field, including his younger sibling, coasting in ahead of Sister Emma and Darcy Rankin.
Laser sailors at the line L-R Micheal Nuttatelli, Angus and Emma Barton. - James Boag Blockbuster Weekend
Beautifully coordinated boat work and consistency saw Scott and Natasha Wilkie – 'Norwegian Blue' take the NS14 class, ahead of Nick McElwee and Jordan Martin – 'Cicada VI' and Darren Eggins and Gail Moreton – 'Pumpkin Eater'. 'Alaska' - Greg Rowsell & Jack Dally, sailed well, narrowly missing the podium. The Blockbuster is also part of the NS14 traveler series.
The Formula Windsurfer events saw some of most physical work done on the course. Blistering pace set up a win for David Morehead, ahead of Steve Charles and Stewart Gordon.
The B14’s were spectacular. The carnage of the Saturday races was soon left behind, as a highly completive field came to terms with the shifts in the lighter air of Sunday. 'Early Warning' - Ross Daley and John Genders put together 4 consecutive wins to secure top spot. 'Strait4devils' - Adrian Beswick & Jono Tobis held on to second despite a strong challenge from Chris Wells & Rani Dabner on 'Epic.
The James Boag Blockbuster Weekend, remains a 'must do' on the racing calendar.
Windsurfers josle at start line - James Boag Blockbuster Weekend