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Sports Boats and the Festival of Sails – where it all began

by Darren Spence on 22 Jan 2013
Game On crew relaxing dock side - Festival of Sail 2012 Teri Dodds © http://www.teridodds.com
The Australian Sports Boat Association (ASBA) is celebrating five years of racing under the SMS Rating System this week at the Festival of Sails, in Geelong. The first ASBA National Titles where held at the same event, in 2008 after a hectic 2 days of measuring boats and sails, in conjunction with the first Australian Melges 24 Titles.


A lot has changed five years on, in the Australian sports boat fleet – ASBA now hosts its own National and State Titles and has over 100 boats racing around the country. Some things though remain the same, with three skippers who lined up in 2008 trying to put their name on the trophy at this anniversary event.


Geelong local, Cam Rae (Monkey Business) finished fourth in 2008 in his old boat Weapon of Choice (Thompson 8) which is now racing as Game On. Cam and his crew have travelled far and wide to sports boat events since 2008, purchased his current Shaw 650 Monkey Business in 2011 and will be looking to go one better than their second place in 2012.

Julian Newton (Game On) is another original competitor from 2008 and another that has changed boats since. Game On was refurbished in late 2011 and recently earned a new rig. The trip to Geelong is an annual event for the South Australian crew who enjoy both the racing and social aspects of this long standing regatta.


The 2012 regatta was dominated by the Sports 8, Kiss which has had an ownership change and will be competing in Geelong with Melbourne local Greg Scherwinski at the helm.


Another 2008 original is Paul Heyes and his crew on the T7, Foamfast. After finishing third in 2012, they will be amongst the leaders from day one and a boat to loo out for.

Two others to keep an eye on will be the crew on Vivace (Noel Leigh-Smith) from the Gold Coast who heading south for their third Geelong event. Vivace finished third in the 2011 ASBA National Titles and most recently fifth at the 2012 QLD Titles at Mooloolaba.

The other boat is the Viper 640, Circus School (Mark Griffith) from Sydney sailing his first sports boat event in his new boat.

It is a truly national fleet this year with entries from South Australia, New South Wales, ACT, Queensland, Tasmania and the home state, Victoria.

It’s not all serious though. As with all ASBA events, the crews will heading off to Hogs Breath Café for a fleet dinner or 'Talk it Up' event during the regatta and there will also be daily 'presentations with a difference', on the dock with some great Gill Clothing and other prizes to be handed out.

For all the latest Sports Boat News, Results and Events find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sportsboatsaus?ref=hl or visit our web site www.asba.org.au

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