by Steve Price
This weekend's annual Audi Showdown Regatta hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania will see a healthy fleet of Paper Tiger Catamarans take to the River Derwent. The class is experiencing a renaissance in Tasmania with sixteen boats regularly sailing out of the Lauderdale Yacht Club on Hobart's Eastern Shore and another three now sailing from the Midway Point Yacht Club.
Tasmanian Paper Tiger Association president Sean Keady is excited about the future of the class and with ten boats already entered for the weekend is hopeful that a few more will turn up and create a real spectacle.
'We have an active and passionate fleet.' he said 'We are really trying to grow the class and through a mixture of social media, come and try days and promotional events we are getting the word out there.'
The class has seen numbers grow from single digits to the high teens in the last couple of years and is probably now the biggest Paper Tiger fleet sailing out of any one location across the country. Keady puts the class’s resurgence down to a number of things but top of the list are 'the relatively low cost of boats plus the fact that they are a single handed high performance craft really helps. We have some great sailors that are more than happy to help newcomers which makes for a friendly welcoming environment as well' he said.
One of those 'great sailors' hitting the water is last year’s Showdown winner Bruce Rose on The Apprentice. Rose a three time national champion and international winner has had successful early season but won’t have it all his own way with challenges expected to come from Keady in Smokin Billy and association Secretary Mick Boyle in Mud Shark. Oliver Bailey and Patrick Amos are also capable of an upset should the conditions live up to the forecast which will make the overall winner all the more deserving come Sunday afternoon.
For more information go to http://www.catsailor.org/index.php/tptca.