Stand-in helmsmen steered the SB20 class winners in today’s final races of the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s Winter Series on the River Derwent.
Colin Dabner took over for absent skipper Nick Rogers to score two close one-design wins with Karabos. Dabner is Roger’s regular mainsheet hand with Paul Burnell stepping into that role for today’s two windward/leeward races.
Robbie Gough, the champion foiler Moth sailor (and arguably the fastest sailor on the Derwent) steered Steve Chau’s Ciao Baby III to a clear win and a deadheat for first under PHS handicaps.
Two close one-design wins today clinched the Cleanlift-sponsored Winter Series for Karabos with a net 19 points from an 11-race series that included five firsts, two seconds and a third.
“It was a perfect day for racing on the river,” said Paul Burnell, Karabos’ stand-in mainsheet hand. “The racing was really close but we were glad to win for Nick, who is currently overseas, as he really wanted to take out the Winter Series.”
Scott Brain sailed Brainwave into second overall on 23 points, his second place in the final race giving Brainwave second overall with a one point margin over North Sails, which until today had been helmed by Kirsty Skinner.
However, prominent Bellerive Yacht Club member Chris Sheehan bought the boat last week and, in his first race with a B20, finished second to Karabos, just 41 seconds astern. Third place went to Wedgewood (David Graney).
In the second race today Sheehan finished even closer, 32 seconds astern of Karabos, but in fourth place in a blanket finish which saw the first seven boats cross the line just 1 minute and 14 seconds apart. Karabos’ got the gun by just three seconds from Brainwave with Caio Baby III, a close third.
Brainwave won a tightly contested PHS Winter Series for the SB20 fleet, the last race dead-heat on corrected time with Ciao Baby II giving Scott Brain a winning margin of 2.5 points from Nautilus Marine Insurance, skippered by former Farr 40 owner/skipper Hughie Lewis.
North Sails also figured in a dead-heat on handicap for fifth place in the last race to take third overall by one point from Karabos.
On Saturday Robbie Gough was sailing his foiler Moth on the river; today he was just as skilful on the helm of an SB20 sportsboat, scoring two wins on handicap with Steve Chau’s Ciao Baby III. Over the winter, Caio Baby contested only four races so finished near the bottom of the pointscore.
A fleet of 13 SB20s entered the DSS Winter Series, with six different winners in one-design racing and eight winners under PHS handicapping.
However, there are now 23 SB20s in Tasmania and big fleets are expected once the Thursday twilight racing begins in October as the DSS early next year will host the 2015 Australian championship on the Derwent.
– Peter Campbell