In the off-the-beach section of the Crown Series 2011 Bellerive Regatta the first Tasmanian crew to win the Lightweight Sharpie national championship in eight years will return to racing on the River Derwent this weekend.
Sailing One Hump or Two, Drew Latham, Nick Carter and Nick ‘Camel’ Johnston won the invitation race and four heats of the championship, sailing against a fleet of 35 of the Sharpies at Black Rock Yacht Club on Port Phillip.
Unfortunately, the iconic Sharpie class sails only limited events this days and the national champions hope other boats will come out of the boatsheds for the Crown Series and the forthcoming ‘worlds’ at Swansea on the East Coast.
The Sharpie crew are among a line-up of champions from a wide variety of off-the-beach classes contesting the Crown Series this weekend. In total, 15 different classes of dinghies, skiffs, catamarans and sailboards will be competing along with more than 105 keelboats.
Other successful sailors in recent national championships competing this weekend include Sophie Chesterman, who was third placed woman competitor in the Laser 4.7 nationals and two-times Australian Mirror champions Jessie Atherton and Katherine Maher, who this year won the women’s division of the nationals and were second placed women’s crew in the worlds at Albany, WA.
They placed fourth overall in the nationals and seventh overall in the worlds.
The Sabot class has attracted the biggest entry for the Crown Series with prominent young sailors Dylan Van Drunen, Jacqui Walker and Thomas Cooper from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club in the 15 boat fleet.
Some spectacular sailing can be expected from the International Moth class as competitors such Will Logan and Ric Buchanan sail these high flyers, while Adrian Beswick heads the B14 skiff fleet.
Sailboards will be racing for the first time in the Crown Series with Henry Goofellow, Hugh Jones and Tim Jones taking a break from keelboat sailing to go windsurfing.
The Crown Series 2011 Bellerive Regatta begins this evening with a twilight race for keelboats, SB3 sports boats, trailable yachts and other sports boats.
The off-the-beach classes will race on Saturday and Sunday with multiple fleets each day, starting from 11am tomorrow and 10am on Sunday. http://crown.belleriveyachtclub.com.au/