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SB20 national title fresh first day

by Lisa Ratcliff on 24 Oct 2013
SB20 nationals fleet small Teri Dodds Photography
Crews gathered at Sandringham Yacht Club for the 2013 Brighton BMW SB20 National Championship are rugged up in beanies and snugs as they make final preparations for the commencement of competition on Port Phillip tomorrow.

At 5pm it was a brisk 14.3 degrees in Melbourne. Tomorrow’s top temperature will be 17 degrees, forgetting the wind chill.

'At least the Tasmanians will feel at home,' said Australian SB20 class president Robert Jeffreys, himself an entrant. 'On the positive side the forecast is for breeze for all three days.'

The temperature is set to climb on the racetrack when 15 one-design sportsboats wind-up in the fresh conditions. The tempo will be frenetic early on and crews who adapt quickly, and avoid breakages, will be rewarded.

Cool weather is forecast for the three days with strong winds tomorrow, 15-25 knots from the west, slowly abating towards Sunday to a more manageable 10-15 south to sou’west for the closer. The class’ wind limits for this regatta are 25 knots from the S-NW or 28 knots N-SE.

A moderate sea-state and likely 15-20 knots at the northern end of the Bay tomorrow means at this point Race Officer Steve Aulich is confident of getting the sporty fleet away. Conditions will be monitored throughout the morning and at the 9am briefing race management team will discuss its intentions with competitors.

The talk is that Ian Brown from Sydney and his top notch 470 crew is the form boat. Their level of experience shone through at last weekend’s Sail Sandy, Brown’s One Design Sailing dominating the warm-up regatta to beat the locals, Chris Dare’s Brighton BMW and Nick Bez’ A-Play.


Four of six Tassie crews made it to the Spirit of Tasmania last night for an overnight ‘tropical’ cruise. Strong winds made for heavy seas and a cold and roly-poly ride across Bass Strait into Port Phillip, where conditions were as bad as the open ocean.

Local skipper Stephen Fries scrambled to find enough crew to join he and daughter Jess on WYSIWIG-V for the Australian title. Late call-ups Ben Frecheville, a keel-boat sailor, and lightweight Jack Furey, a13 year-old Opti and Cadet sailor, making up the newly formed crew who will have to find their feet quickly having never sailed together before.

'We believe we have the youngest crew member, the only female and given our first time on the boat will be tomorrow’s first race we would be the newest crew,' said Fries this afternoon.

Spot boat weigh-ins have finished at the SYC crane, and may occur during the regatta, and crew weigh-ins have certified that each team of three or four crew meets the weight limit of 270 kilos.

Tonight crews will gather for a pre-Nationals social occasion hosted by the SB20 class with series sponsor Brighton BMW as special guests. The three winners of a BMW for the long weekend will be given their keys at tonight’s function.

The first warning signal is 1045hrs tomorrow with up to four races per day scheduled.

Results will be posted daily on the Sandringham Yacht Club SB20 national website Facebook

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