Cougar II heads keelboats fleet for Crown Series Bellerive Regatta

More than 80 keelboats have entered for this weekend’s Crown Series Bellerive Regatta 2015, headed by Sydney Hobart racing yacht Cougar II, with off-the-beach entries expected to exceed 50 boats.

Racing for the keelboats, both in the racing and cruising groups, starts with a twilight race on this evening, continuing with back-to-back racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Cougar II, Tony Lyall’s TP52, last weekend finished second across the line to the Reichel/Pugh 66 Alive in the Bruny Island Race, also winning the IRC category and finishing second to Stewart Geeves’ Footloose under AMS scoring.

Footloose, a Young 88, is also an entry for the Crown Series, in Group 2 as is Silicon Ship, Gordon Clark and David Wyatt’s Knoop 32 which last Monday won the Centenary race for the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy at the Royal Hobart Regatta.

Friday evening race will see the first encounter in Racing Group 1 between Host Plus Executive (Jeff Cordell), Tas Paints (Ian Stewart) and Madness (Gavin Adamson and Janene Frawley) for the ‘Mumm 36 World Championship.’

“You are right that its tongue in cheek event, but for all of us winning the Cup is probably the highest priority for all of us,” Jeff Cordell said today.

“Two years ago when it was Tas Paints versus Host Plus we both went into the final race with three wins each. The lead in the final race see-sawed with Host Plus just pipping Tas Paints in the last 200 metres of the race.

“Last year, with the addition of Gavin Adamson/Jenene Frawley’s Madness, we each went into the final race with twp wins each. Luckily for us, we pipped Madness in the final 200 metres of the race.

“The racing is so close that’s what it comes down to. The Tas Paints and Madness crews are really good sailors and you can never relax when you’re ahead, and you can count on them to make it very hard to pass them if you find yourself astern.

“The best part, for sure, is the friendships that have come from this rivalry. We’re usually found having a beer together after the racings done!” Cordell added.

In addition to keelboats, racing and cruising, the Banjos Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta has attracted a fleet of 14 SB20 in what will be a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the class’ upcoming state and national championships on the Derwent.

– Peter Campbell

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