Six of Hobart’s keenest SB20 skippers and their crews braved another day of strong and gusty winds on the Derwent today to contest the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s Sprint Series for the one-design sports boat class.
Winds of 30 knots plus gave trhe SB20 class some spectacular sailing in the Sprint Series.
It was a day of sailing of sailing on the edge as the west-south-westerly winds gusted to more than 30 knots, with boats at times surfing out of control and broaching under their big spinnakers.
Conditions were not as severe as on Saturday with galeforce north-westerly winds forcing the postponement to another day of the opening races of the Combined Clubs Harbour Series.
Today’s Sprint Series was the second last local race day for the SB20s before at least six of the 17 boat Hobart fleet heads for Melbourne for the national championships from October 24-27.
At least four of the six skippers who used yesterday’s race for some heavy weather sailing tuning are contesting the nationals.
Despite the strong winds, the competition was close with three different winners and only seconds separating first and second in each race.
Brett Cooper made an impressive return to the class, steering he and his wife Jacinta’s Three Musketeers to victory in race one, with a nine second win from Karabos (Nick Rogers) with just 10 seconds to Brainwave (Scott Brain) in third place.
Hypertronics (Stephen Catchpool) won race two from Three Musketeers, by just nine seconds, third place going to Karabos.
In the final race, with the WSW winds gusting to 35 knots, class newcomer Skinner Gray steered North Sails to a 15 second win from Brainwave, with Karabos just two seconds astern.
Overall, only two points separated the first five boats in the Sprint Series. Three Musketeers took first place on a countback of placings from the consistent Karabos after both finished on eight points.
Third place overall to Brainwave on nine points, followed by North Sails and Hypertroncs on 10 points each. The PHS handicap series winner was Hypertronics from Three Musketeers and North Sails.
Brett Cooper, Stephen Catchpool, Nick Rogers, Scott Brain and David Graney are expected to ship their boats to the SB20 nationals.