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20th Banjo's Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta officially launched today

by Jane Austin 14 Feb 01:05 PST 23-25 February 2024
(Left to Right) Minister Nic Street, Commodore Jeff Cordell, Tom Fader, Felicity Allison and Stephen Keal © Jane Austin

Sailors, sponsors, community and club members joined Bellerive Yacht Club (BYC) Commodore Jeff Cordell and the Hon. Nic Street MP, Minister for Sport and Recreation, today to launch the 20th anniversary of the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta.

The three-day 2024 Banjo's Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta begins with a twilight race for keelboats on Friday the 23rd of February while the dinghies and sportsboats join the racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Commodore Cordell said the excitement is building for the anniversary event.

"Imagine 20 years, it's gone so quickly. There's a lot of interest in the regatta with the Sabres and the SB20s coming, heaps of keelboats and off-the-beach boats - it's going to be fantastic," said Cordell.

The community spirit is not just evident onshore in the town of Bellerive, it runs across the entire regatta including on the water.

"The Crown Series is a fantastic community initiative, including [the involvement] of the other sailing clubs that give up their time and their volunteers to help us to run this event," said Cordell.

Felicity Allison, General Manager of Australian Sailing-Tasmania, said one of the highlights of the event was the range of classes included.

"Seeing more people on the water is our ultimate aim - the Crown Series that supports everybody on the water, no matter what age or what boat, is fantastic. For us, it's one of those events that we go, 'yes please and thank you!

"In some of the Optimist and Cadets you may have a six or seven year old in there or as a crew, or if they are really brave, may be skippering an Optimist, and then there may be people in their 70s and 80s sailing, so to have that age range, all on the water at the same time, it's just a wonderful sport," said Allison.

Tom Fader (16) is one of Tasmania's rising stars in the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) and competed in the world championship in Greece last year. Fader regards the Crown Series as an important regatta for young sailors in Tasmania.

"I've been doing the Crown Series for about four or five years now...I started in the Optimist and sailed those for about three years then I did the 29er, but last year I did the ILCA 4 and this year I'll be in the ILCA 6," said Fader.

Fader, who identifies Matt Wearn, Tom Slingsby and Tom Burton amongst his sailing heroes, is looking to strengthen his skills in the ILCA 6 before pitting himself against Australia's and the world's best in 2025.

"We have our nationals at the start of 2025 in Queensland and then the goal after that would be the worlds next year in the Laser Radial," said Fader.

The regatta also includes what will be a hotly contested 2024 SB20 Tasmanian Championship with the current Tasmanian, Australian and World Champion SB20 sailor Will Sargent expected to participate in the event.

This year's 20th anniversary of the modern-day format of the regatta marks the 11th year that Banjo's Shoreline Bakery Café has been the naming rights sponsor.

The event receives generous backing from a wide range of Tasmanian businesses and enjoys the assistance of other local sailing clubs providing a flotilla of support craft and an enormous contingent of volunteers.

Notice of Race for the 2024 Banjo's Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta is available here.

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