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SB20 Summer Sailing sees wind, rain, thrills and spills

by Jane Austin 25 Jan 23:28 PST
Mind Games (Phil Reid) is leading on PHS - Post-Xmas SB20 Summer Pennant Series © Jane Austin

The Tasmanian SB20 fleet had a wild time on the River Derwent on the second night of sailing in the Post-Christmas Summer Pennant Series. While the forecast thunderstorm didn't eventuate, the fleet was buffeted by shifting winds of up to 30 knots, causing havoc during downhill runs. Race Officer Scott Price got the fleet away cleanly in around 20 knots of breeze with most of the boats favouring the west side of the course.

Honey Badger (Oli Burnell), who is leading the series, was in a tight race to the top mark with Rebellion (Steve Catchpool) and Mind Games (Phil Reid). Rebellion rounded the top mark in first place but lost speed with a slow kite hoist, forcing Honey Badger to sail to leeward into their wind shadow. Mind Games was next around and hoisted cleanly, sailing over Honey Badger, but skipper Burnell sailed deep and managed a narrow lead to sail through the bottom gate in first place after a thrilling downhill run. Mind Games rounded second while Rebellion played it safe, dropping the kite early, going around in third.

Further back in the fleet, Cook Your Own Dinner (Felicity Allison) had a spectacular broach after catching the boom on the backstay during a gybe, and Blue Gull (Scott Glanville) followed suit, broaching and hitting the gate mark, costing the team a penalty turn and some time.

From there, the top three places didn't change, for what was to be the only race of the night, however, there was more action to come on the course. Wedgewood (David Graney) and Porco Rosso (Paul McCartney), were in a virtual match racing dual on the last leg to the finish line, with Wedgewood holding Porco Rosso out. They finally gybed just as a strong gust came through and they both broached directly in front of a keelboat racing in another division. It managed to sail behind the two boats as they scrambled to get their kites under control, narrowly avoiding a mid-river pileup.

Mind Games is leading the series on PHS on six points from Honey Badger (nine points) and Wedgewood (10 points). Honey Badger leads the series on one design on four points from Porco Rosso (nine points) and Rebellion (10 points).

The fleet has two more race days before the Tasmanian titles which are sailed as part of the Bellerive Yacht Club Crown Series Regatta.

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