Huon Tasmanian Salmon Port Esperance Regatta was conducted over the long weekend and John Lewis’s Adams 10 The Saint scored two outright wins to comfortably take the regatta.
The regatta began with a distance race out into the d’ Entrecasteaux Channel with a solid westerly breeze building. Hitting speeds of up to 20 knots Steve Harrison’s Thompson 7 WA Cromarty Engineers was the first out of the bay but seeing the increasing seas and wind decided not to proceed into the open waters of the channel.
The fleet enjoyed a fast kite run to Arch Rock, conditions which the Adams 10 reveled in, maintaining its place on the reach to Zuidpool Rock. With consistent 40 knots of breeze the fleet took a pounding on the beat back to Dover. One of the cruising boats was forced to turn back and run for cover at Alonnah on Bruny Island.
As the frontrunners entered the waters of Port Esperance four boats were in contention for the gun. The smallest of those, The Saint, played the shifts the best to beat home Red Jacket, Skins O’Neill’s Radford 12 by eight seconds, with Mick Rowley’s Huon/Barrrett 36 third across. Corrected time placings went to The Saint, from Pacific Flyer (Gavin Rigby, Adams 12) and Fine Cotton (Gavin Adamson, Knoop 36).
Race two was the Bowman’s Bash, a harbour sprint with skippers on the foredeck and bow-people on the helm. The Saint again took an outright with WA Cromarty Engineers second and Planet X third on corrected time.
Race three was the 64th Franklin Marine William Jackson Memorial Cup in the 153rd Port Esperance Regatta. The race started in a ten knot westerly which dropped, increased, dropped and shifted southerly during the day. The first three boats around the windward mark; Red Jacket, WA Cromarty Engineers, and Planet X opened up a big gap on the rest of the fleet with the T7 winning on corrected time from Red Jacket and Planet X. Sailing on WA Cromarty Engineers was former Boomer and current playing coach of the Hobart Chargers SEABL team Anthony Stewart.
The Rolly Tasker Sails at ISS Kingston Cruising Series was won by Tony Schofield’s Tasman 26 Patience, reprising his win in the 2010 event. The Boat Sails Tasmania Off-the-Beach Series was won by Chris Keil in his Sabre About Time, though it was the little Sabot of Ed Hargreaves in Starter Kit which stole the show in the prestigious Woodbridge Hill Hideaway B.K. Price Trophy.
The first race for the Noel Doepel Memorial Trophy for Classic Boats was fittingly won by Capricornia from the Living Boat Trust in Franklin. After retiring from Saturday’s race and fleeing to Alonnah, they had managed to recover and get the boat back from Bruny Island for the trophy race on Sunday. Capricornia won from Peter Manthorpe’s Catboat Trim, and John Brown’s Herreshoff ketch Windward Star.
The Huon Tasmanian Salmon Port Esperance Regatta is conducted by the Port Esperance Sailing Club in Dover Tasmania. This year’s event was to have celebrated 150 years of regattas in Port Esperance but a history book commissioned by the club has discovered that the regatta is 153 years old. Dating back to 1859 it is not only Australia’s southernmost regatta, but also one of the oldest. The 2012 event will be held as always at Easter.
Yachting Tasmania website