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Tasmanian SB20 Championship 2020 on the River Derwent - Day 1

by Jane Austin 15 Feb 07:01 PST 15-16 February 2020
Chris Dare (Ambition) leading the Tasmanian SB20 Championship © Jane Austin

Victorian father and son combination Chris and Lochie Dare with Oliver Tweddell (Ambition) are leading the Tasmanian SB20 Championship which is sailed as part of the Banjo's Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta on the River Derwent in Hobart.

The first day of the two-day championship was sailed in rough conditions in a 15 to 20 knot south easterly breeze, gusting to 30 knots at times in the late afternoon. The forecast one to two metre swell coupled with the hefty wind caused havoc on the racecourse with the fleet reduced from 16 to 11 boats at one point. Dare started the day as he wished to go on winning the first race from Imp (Andrew Smith) and Frazer Read (Pinch).

Chaos reigned in Race Two with shredded spinnakers, a dismasting and a collision. Dare was safely to the top mark, closely followed by Aeolus (Brett Cooper) and Porco Rosso (Paul McCartney), when a ten-degree wind shift hit Cooper and McCartney meaning neither boat was going to lay the mark.

Cooper was ahead but to leeward of McCartney and couldn't tack until they did. McCartney managed to scrape in front of the youth boat, Obi Kenobi (Charlie Goodfellow) but Cooper, a boat length behind, was unable to bear away and t-boned the youngsters, causing minor damage but resulting in Jorja Cooper going overboard.

Ironically, Goodfellow's father Richard and Jorja's dad Brett were sailing together on the offending boat. Jorja was back on board safely in minutes but the boat did not finish the race and retired for the day. The collision caused damage to the spreader brackets on Aeolus, who also retired. Both teams are expected to sail on the second day of the championship.

But there was more to come with Nick Rogers (Karabos), the SB20 Australian Master's Champion, losing his mast after hitting a big wave on the downward run to the bottom mark. The boat was towed to shore for repairs but will not return to the championship. Imp managed to shred a spinnaker and was taken to shore to get a replacement kite.

Seton Lewis (Sudden Impulse), helming an SB20 for the first time in very difficult conditions, wiped out on the approach to the finish line and was unable to bring the boat upright and back through the line, so was scored DNF. The results for Race Two was Ambition, Rebellion (Stephen Catchpool) and Porco Rosso.

The start line for Race Three was down to 12 boats with Imp, Ambition and Mind Games (Phil Reid), taking the top three places across the line. The wind picked up in Race Four with gusts of up to 30 knots recorded for the last race of the day, but these conditions presented no challenge to Ambition winning their third race of the day.

Catchpool had a very consistent day finishing in second place in the final race with McCartney in third with these the final standings after four races in the one-design division. Ambition (five points), Rebellion (14 points), Porco Rosso (18 points) and Pinch on 19 points.

There is one discard after six races in the eight-race series. Racing gets under way at 1100 on Sunday 16 February 2020.

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