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Australian Measurement System (AMS) Championship to be held at Crown Series Bellerive Regatta

by Peter Campbell 31 Jan 15:48 PST 15-17 February 2019
Spinnakers fly in last year's 2018 Crown Series Bellerive Regatta. © Peter Campbell

Keelboat racing in Hobart has been given significant boost in next month's Banjo's Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta with the inaugural Australian Measurement System (AMS) Tasmanian Championships being held as part of the event.

The majority of up the 70-80 keelboats expected to contest the regatta will also race in the AMS championship, the first held in Australia.

The Crown Series is Tasmania's biggest keelboat regatta, as well as a major event for off-the-beach dinghies, skiffs and catamarans.

It is a unique regatta in that it starts on a Friday evening (15 February) with a twilight race for the keelboat divisions. The off-the-beach classes will join the regatta on Saturday and Sunday, 16-27 February.

The Crown Series Bellerive Regatta was officially launched at Bellerive Yacht Club today by three sailors who will be taking part in the regatta.

Lucy Rees, a 22-year-old crew member of the Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster winner, Whistler, was joined by 13-year-old Hugo Allison, recent winner of the Australian championship for International Cadet Dinghies, and by prominent owner/skipper Jeff Cordell, a veteran of 30 years of keelboat racing.

Welcoming the introduction of the AMS Tasmanian Championship, Cordell recalled that AMS was introduced in Victoria as a new rating (handicap) system that would be more affordable than other rules.

"AMS grew quickly throughout the Victorian fleets and was introduced to Hobart in 2009. The uptake has been astounding, with over 50 boats being measured," added Cordell, a staunch supporter of this rating system.

His Mumm 36, B&G Advantage, is among the 30-plus yachts with an AMS certificate already entered for the regatta.

Like other rating rules, AMS allows each yacht to compete on a level playing field with a time correction factor (TCF) calculated by using a mathematical formula based on hull, rig and sail measurements.

In addition to AMS, yachts in the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta will compete under IRC and PHS rating categories.

In fact, over its 14 years in the current format, the Crown Series has always been known as 'Performance Handicap Regatta', encouraging cruiser/racers and even cruising yachts to take part in an event that provides fun racing and great social activities ashore.

The Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2019 will also see some keen one-design racing in SB20 sports boats and classic International Dragons while big fleets of International Cadets, Lasers, Optimists and 29-skiffs are expected.

The SB20s will be racing for their Tasmanian State championships with a fleet of 15 to 30 boats expected.

While Lucy Rees (Whistler) and Jeff Cordell (B&G Advantage) will be competing in the keelboat Racing Group, Hugo Allison and James Gough will be racing the International Cadet dinghy Shmoken in the off-the-beach.

The regatta will be part of the training for Hugo and James in preparation for the Cadet Worlds in Poland in July, in what will be Hugo's sixth World Championship regatta in Cadets.

Hugo's Mother, Felicity, will racing in the SB20 championship, skippering the whimsically named Cook Your Own Dinner, while Felicity and Will's elder son, Jack, also will be racing on an SB20.

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