The Showdown annual spring regatta, hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, is being held from 4th to 6th November 2011.
From Sabots to SB3s, Lasers to Farr 40s, Paper Tigers to International Dragons, almost every class and type of yacht sailed in southern Tasmania will be out on the River Derwent this weekend for the event.
The regatta starts tomorrow evening with a full-on windward/leeward twilight race for the keelboats, International Dragons, SB3s and other sports boats.
On Saturday and Sunday the 30-plus keelboat fleet will be joined by about 110 dinghies, skiffs, sailboards and off-the-beach catamarans, with back-to-back racing on both days.
Division 1 promises some spectacular and close racing between four Farr 40s, Voodoo Chile, Wired, POW and War Games, for line honours, but with strong handicap competition from the likes of wily Don Calvert at the helm of his former Admiral’s Cup yacht Intrigue.
With a dozen SB3 sports boats now racing Hobart, a strong fleet is expected for The Showdown, although top skipper Nick Rogers has elected to sail his International Dragon, Karabos IX, as he prepares for the Prince Philip Cup on the Derwent in January.
One of the major concepts of The Showdown is to provide early season regatta racing for the various classes of dinghies in the lead-up to their national championships over the summer.
The Showdown has thus attracted strong line-ups from the International Cadets, Sabots, Lasers, Mirrors and the Paper Tiger catamarans with many talented young Tasmanian sailors among them.
A class attracting growing interest among the more mature dinghy sailors is the Moth foiler, certainly one of the most spectacular classes now seen regularly out on the river, especially in strong breezes.
While the Sabots, with 24 entries, are the strongest class, the International Cadets have a dozen entries, all contenders for a place in the Cadet World championships to be conducted by Sandy Bay Sailing Club in January 2013.
Racing in The Showdown starts at 5.30pm tomorrow, Friday, 4 November, and at 10am on Saturday and Sunday, 5 and 6 November. Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania website