Youth sailors hit by 40 knot front in Hobart

A south-westerly front roaring up Hobart’s River Derwent and gusting to 40 knots hit the fleet before racing started on day two of the Australian championships for 49er, 49erFX and 29er skiffs, 420 dinghies and Nacra 15 catamarans.

Fortunately, only a third of the 102 boat fleet with their young crews were on the water when the front hit, with the Nacra 15s and 49er skiffs still waiting ashore.

The leading 29er crew after day one, with three wins and a second, Tasmanians William Wallis and Fynn Sprott, suffered a bent mast on their 29er skiff.

They were able use a spare mast when the 29ers and other classes were back on the water about 4pm to race in a 15-17 knots sou’easter, and retain the overall lead with a 2-3 result on day two for 9 points total after five races.

Archie Cropley and Max Paul (NSW) are second overall on 15 points, winning both races yesterday, while Tasmanians Oscar O’Donoghue and Rupert Hamilton are third.

The leader board for the 420s is wide open, with Victorians Lachlan Caldwell and James Hackett leading from NSW crew, Ryan Littlechild and Jack Ferguson.

The Nacra 15 catamarans sailed their first two races with just two points separating the first four crews, Ashleigh Swadling/Nathan Bryant (Qld) leading Georgia Payne/Kai Coleman (WA).

Peter Campbell

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