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Hobart's River Derwent Combined Clubs Winter Series racing resumes

by Peter Campbell 17 Jul 14:15 PDT 19 July 2020
Spinnakers will be hoisted on the River Derwent for the first time in months this Sunday. © Peter Campbell

Yacht racing on Hobart's River Derwent resumes on Sunday (19 July) with a large fleet of 55 boats entered for race one of the inaugural Combined Clubs Winter Series.

There has been no competitive sailing on the Derwent since March due to the COVID-19 restrictions, causing the cancellation of the autumn short-handed and individual club winter racing.

For the comeback, Hobart's major keelboat clubs have joined forces to conduct the Combined Clubs Winter Series of six Sunday races and the response from yacht owners and their crews has exceeded expectations.

"This fleet of 55 boats for this first Combined Clubs Winter series surpasses the total entry for the long-running Combined Clubs Summer Pennant Series," chairman of the Combined Clubs Committee, Richard Bevan, Vice Commodore of The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, said yesterday.

"In fleet quality it matches some of the best fleets we have seen racing on the Derwent," Bevan added. "Most of the yachts that we expect to compete in the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant Series have been entered showing the enthusiasm to get back to competition sailing.

"There has been an excellent response from each of the major clubs, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Derwent Sailing Squadron and Bellerive Yacht Club as well as entries from Kettering Yacht Club, Lindisfarne Sailing Club and Port Esperance Sailing Club.

Among the 55-boat fleet are prominent racing boats such as 2Unlimited, War Games, Oskana, B&G Advantage, Temptation, Whistler, 42 South, Midnight Rambler, Filepro, Rad, Saga and Young Lion as well as interesting newcomers Quest and Jazz Player and Crusader. The famous yacht Huon Chief will return to racing in the Winter Series.

The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania will conduct Sunday's opening race with four divisions, Division 1 starting at 9.40am off Castray Esplanade, sailing around a variety of river marks.

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