Champion SB20 sports boat sailor Nick Rogers survived a blood-letting crack on the head from his boat’s boom to go on to win that race but also lead the class after today’s day one of the Audi Showdown regatta on the River Derwent.
Sailing Karabos, Rogers’s head was split open, blood pouring into the cockpit as the crew was gybing the high performance yacht at the end of the first run in the third race of the day.
“I just failed to duck enough and ‘whack’ it hit me on the top of the head,” Roger said back ashore at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania after completing five races with three wins and two seconds.
Fellow competitors said Roger’s called for the first aid kit but his crew said ‘shut up…just keep sailing.’ Which he did and went on to win that race, following with another win and a second to finish the day with 7 points, nine points clear of his nearest rivals Balios (Matthew Pilkington) on 16 points and 2Unlimited (Greg Prescott) on 23 points.
Three more races are scheduled to be sailed tomorrow to complete the regatta of eight races for the SB20s and other off-the-beach classes.
A fleet of more than 125 boats were on the water for the opening day of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s with racing getting under way in near perfect sailing conditions.
With Hobart’s temperature climbing to 20ºC, racing got under way mid morning in a 10 knot NNE breeze, gusting to 16 knots. As the first races finished the breeze had backed to the N at a consistent 10 knot but then swung to the east, freshening to more than 20 knots during the afternoon.
In fact, the gusty conditions caused the retirement of a dozen boats from various classes, mostly with minor gear breakages.
In the strong Laser Radial off-the-beach class, Sam King had an excellent regatta with three wins and two seconds to hold a comfortable overall lead from Angus Price and Joshua Ragg.
Leading the Laser 4.7 class after five races was Max Gluskie with four wins and a third while Zac Pullen had three wins and two second in the Laser standard class.
Australian Paralympic sailor and national champion Matt Bugg won all four races in the 2.4mR single-handed keelboat class.
The International Cadet class turned out 16 boats, many of the crews stepping up from the Optimist and other junior classes. Brothers Charles and William Zeeman had four straight second places to lead at the end of day one from William Cooper and Hugo Allison.
The Sabots were out in strength with Tamar River sailor Bailey Edmunds opening up a big overall lead with three wins and a third on day one.
Biggest fleet was in the Optimist junior single-handed class with close racing between Ethan Galbraith, Rupert Hamilton and Alice Buchan who shared the winner’s list after five races.
After five races, Peter Davis was leading the NS14 class, Drew Latham the Sharpies, Bruce Rose the Paper Tigers and Jasmine Galbraith and Chloe Fisher the combined 29er/420 class.
– Peter Campbell