Sailors competing in the Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta battled intense heat and challenging conditions during Saturday’s sailing, hosted by the Bellerive Yacht Club.
The keelboat racing groups started the racing program in a consistent northerly breeze, albeit with a stiff current, but as temperatures soared to 32 degrees, the River Derwent became a millpond, frustrating race officers and sailors alike, who were sweltering in the heat. The weather was so oppressive that several crews took to the water to cool off while waiting for the sea breeze to kick in. And kick in it did, suddenly building to a honking 30 knot southerly that resulted in mayhem on the water including two crew going overboard from SB20 Export Roo, leaving the one remaining crew person to get the spinnaker down and safely retrieve them.
As anticipated, competition is tough and there is already pressure at the top of the leader board across the keelboat divisions and in the SB20 Tasmanian Championship, which is being sailed as part of the Crown Series regatta.
After three races, Bellerive Yacht Club (BYC) Commodore, Jeff Cordell’s Mumm 36, B&G Advantage, is leading the Racing Group on performance handicap on seven points, four points ahead of Heatwave Fish Frenzy (Matthew Keal), Joint Custody (Ian Stewart) and Eye Candy, a new crew to the Crown Series from Sydney, skippered by Mal Leseigneur, who are each on 11 points.
Eye Candy has certainly given the locals something to look at in the ORC-WL handicap division leading on four points from Whistler Fish Frenzy (five points), with the positions reversed on IRC handicap. Results are subject to various protests with Race Four still to be included in the series scores.
SB20 Race Officer Ian Ross managed to get four races in, with the second race of the day shortened after one lap due to the failing breeze. SB20 World Youth Champion Ares Racing (Eddie Reid) and the current Tasmanian title holder, is leading the championship on eight points after three wins in the tricky conditions. Close behind is Karabos (Nick Rogers) on nine points and Rebellion, one point back on nine points. Cook Your Own Dinner, skippered by Australian Sailing’s Felicity Allision is on equal nine points on performance handicap with Rebellion.
In Division One of Performance Cruising, Brent McKay’s Bakewell-White Z39, Jazz Player and Chris Sheehan’s Melges 32, Assagai are locked in a tense battle with both boats equal on performance, while Assagai (five points) has a four-point lead on Jazz Player on ORC-AP.
The curiously named IYKYK (If You Know You Know), skippered by Steve Chau, is dominating Division Two, leading across performance, ORC-AP and IRC handicaps.
In Division Three, Ian Smith and Dean Aberle’s Compass 33, Innovator, is leading on performance handicap with two points after the first race of the day was abandoned, while Fine Cotton (Philip Adamson), Spare Time (Glenn Jordan) and Alumination (Ian Brett) are locked in equal place on 11 points in Division Four, putting pressure on the tacticians for the final day of sailing.
Sandy Bay Sailing Club member Faye Read, had a super day in the International Cadet Class, winning both races with crew, Olive Cooper on Impulse, while Luca Groves, sailing with Abi Smith on Seaya, is in second place.
Young gun ILCA 4 sailors Adelaide O’Donoghue, sailing Hells Bells, and Tom Fader, sailing Good Question, have one win apiece while George Pilkington is leading the Optimist Class.
Steamboat Willie, skippered by Richard Parker, leads the Sabres on three points from Halestrom (Dan Followes) on four points. The Sabre skippers are relishing the sailing as sailors who have grown up together, sailing through dinghy classes over the years.
A fresh southerly breeze is expected for Sunday’s sailing which gets underway at 11am for keelboats and 1pm for the Off-the Beach classes.
More Crown Series Results and info here.
Words and Images: Jane Austin