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Top sailors chase Australian SB20 crown

by Jane Austin 4 Mar 21:38 PST 6-8 March 2021

The scene is set for three days of intense racing in the 2021 Harcourts Hobart SB20 Australian Championship in Hobart. Sailors from New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania will contest the three-day event which will be sailed on the River Derwent this long weekend from the Derwent Sailing Squadron.

The star-studded, 20-boat field includes some of Australia's best match-racing talent and several world champion sailors including David Chapman, Ben Lamb, Nick Rogers and Darren Jones.

Last year's winner, Tasmanian Institute of Sport sailor Will Sargent, will be defending his title with Eddie Reid, Ed Broadby and Hugo Allison, but the young guns will have their work cut out for them as they vie to make it two in a row.

"We are really stoked to be racing a top-class fleet in Tasmania once again. We aren't putting ourselves under any pressure on the results... but we will see if we can surprise a few people with our new and even younger crew," said Sargent.

Sargent will face tough competition from in-form team, current SB20 Tasmanian Champion and former SB20 Australian Champion, Chris Dare (Ambition Sailing), sailing with his son Lockie and international sailor and former America's Cup tactician, Ben Lamb.

Also on the hunt for the 2021 title will be Brett Cooper (Aeolus) and Michael Cooper (Export Roo). Both skippers are previous title holders and are among the world's top SB20 sailors.

Competition will also be tight in the Women's Division. Cook Your Own Dinner, skippered by Felicity Allison, the defending champion, will face stiff opposition from 2017 title holder, Clare Brown, sailing with Jacinta Cooper and Scott Brain (Brainwave), and Claire Cunningham, sailing with another team of young sailors, Jorja and Indy Cooper and Jack Allison (Obi Kenobi).

Teams from the Hutchins School Sailing Academy and the Fahan School will be building their experience in the quality SB20 fleet with Hutchins alumni, Frazer Read, rumoured to be onboard Warwick Dean-THSSA, which will be skippered by Oskar Henry.

The fleet will sail up to ten races over three days competing in the Open, Masters, Women's and Youth Divisions. The fleet also includes two entries from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club. The fleet is growing in northern Tasmania with nine boats now based on the Tamar River.

The SB20 is a 20-foot one-design sports boat designed by Tony Castro. The one design class has a crew weight limit of 270kg, allowing either three or four crew.

Follow the regatta at www.facebook.com/search/top?q=sb20%20australia

Race results will be at dssinc.org.au/2021-sb20-nationals

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