Twilight race to start Tasmania's biggest sailing regatta

Strong entries for the Racing Division of this weekend’s Crown Series Bellerive Regatta underline a notable boost in competition on the Derwent this summer.

The Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series, Tasmania’s biggest sailing regatta, has attracted more than 20 of Hobart’s most competitive yachts for the Racing division, more than double the number last year.

The Cruising with Spinnakers Division, for cruiser/racer yachts, has drawn close on 30 boats which, along with SB20 sports boats, International Dragons and trailable yachts, will see a total fleet of more than 80 yachts, plus close to same number of off-the-beach boats.

The strong support for the regatta this year follows the successful changes this summer to the Combined Clubs pennant racing, drawing regular Saturday fleets of up to 50-plus on the river.

The 2018 Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta is unique in Australia in that it starts with a twilight race this evening for the keelboat divisions.

This year Bellerive Yacht Club has for the first time made the twilight event a full-on windward/leeward race with spinnakers, providing a colourful spectacle Friday evening, starting from 5.45pm.

Heading the fleet is Toby Richardson’s Barrett/Richardson designed X&Y which took line honours in and first place under PHS scoring in the Lipton Cup race at the Royal Hobart Regatta last Monday.

Michael and Michelle Denney’s Z39 Wild West has moved up to the Racing division after winning Class 1 of the Cruising with Spinnakers division last year, while Wayne Banks-Smith’s Farr 40 War Games also will be one of the pace-setters.

Already making its mark on River Derwent racing is the Melges 32 Crusader with owner/skipper Scott Sharp steering the boat into third place in fleet in last weekend’s Bruny Island circumnavigation race.

The Racing Division fleet includes four Mumm 36 racing, within the regatta, for the Mumm 36 ‘world championship”: B&G Advantage (Jeff Cordell), TasPaints (Ian Stewart), Heat Wave (Matthew Keal) and Madness (Gavin Adamson).

Among the smaller boats expected to do well in the Racing Division are Matthew Denholm’s Farr 30 Ceopatra, Team Mem’s J35 Mem, Brent McKay’s Radford 35L Rad and Planet X, Michael Rowley’s modified Huon 10.5.

The SB20s, Dragon, trailable yachts and a large fleet of off-the-beach racing dinghies and skiffs will join the regatta for back to back racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Racing on Saturday will start at 11am and on Sunday at 10am, with back to back races on both days for all classes.

– Peter Campbell

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