Regatta season starts its run
THE regatta season in southern Tasmania starts next Tuesday, Australia Day with the 168th Sandy Bay Regatta followed by the 176th Royal Hobart Regatta over the weekend of February 5-8 on the Derwent River.
Although sailing events have been revived significantly at the Royal Hobart Regatta, there will be none at the Sandy Bay event. However, the program includes a windsurfer “dash for cash”, rowing, kayaking, canoeing and dragon boats events and a display of powerboats.
Meanwhile there are big fleets of sailing craft expected for one of the fastest-growing regattas in Tasmania, the high-profile, all-sailing Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive regatta run by the Bellerive Yacht Club over the weekend of February 19-21.
The Crown Series is now firmly established as one of the major sailing events on the Derwent River and is special in that it is open to all types of racing sailing boats from sailboards and Sabot dinghies to highperformance sports boats, cruiser/ racers and harbour and ocean racing yachts.
This year, entries will also be accepted from large multihulls as well as off-the-beach catamarans.
Up to 200 boats are expected to compete in the Crown Series which, as well as providing keen competition for a range of keelboats including onedesign classes, it is one of the few major regattas in Australia which also caters for off-the-beach classes.
Bellerive Yacht Club commodore Graham Mansfield said the regatta would provide “fierce and fair’’ onwater competition as well as onshore entertainment at the BYC clubhouse for crews, friends and families.
Spectacular sailing will centre on the Tasmanian championship for the SB20 Sports Boat class, Hobart’s largest one-design keelboat class with an expected fleet of 20 boats.
The championship will be the final lead-up for 10 of these boats which will be shipped to Victoria at the end of next month to compete in the SB20 Australian championship at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Port Phillip Bay from March 3-9.
The SB20 class is expected to expand rapidly in Tasmania over the next seasons with World championships to be sailed on the Derwent River in 2018 and expected to attract an international fleet of about 100 SB20s.
The Crown Series Regatta is supported with entries from clubs on both sides of the Derwent and keelboat racing always engenders cross-river rivalry between yachts from the BYC and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and Derwent Sailing Squadron.
Then there is the annual “world championship’’ series within the regatta between three near-identical Mumm 36s — Ian Stewart’s Tas Paints and Jeff Cordell’s B & G Advantage from the BYC and RYCT challenger Gavin Adamson’s Madness.
The regatta sailing fun is not only between highly-tuned dinghies and keelboats but also an opportunity for owners of production yachts such as Jeanneaus and Beneteaus to compete in the non-spinnaker and cruiser/racer divisions.
The notice of race/entry form is available from yacht clubs or can be downloaded from the BYC/Crown website: byc.org.au/index.php/ crown-series
Other upcoming sailing regattas include the Cygnet Regatta from March 11-14, the Port Esperance Regatta on March 26-27 and the Barnes Bay Regatta on April 2.
LOCAL tall ships Windeward Bound, Yukon and Rhona H have partnered with the Royal Hobart Regatta and Kettering Wooden Boat Rally organisers to offer members of the public sailing trips between two wonderful maritime events on Sunday, February 7 and Monday, February 8.
For the Sunday sailing, passengers will join their ship at the Elizabeth St Pier, Hobart for an early morning start allowing about three hours to reach Kettering in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and watch the day’s water events at the Rally from the boats.
In the afternoon participants can join in Rally events based around the Kettering Yacht Club before boarding a bus back to Hobart.
On the Monday, people can catch a bus leaving early from Brooke St Pier, Hobart to board the boats at Kettering for a cruise up the River Derwent arriving in time to be part of one of Australia’s oldest maritime events — the Royal Hobart Regatta — joining the parade of classic and wooden boats.
The whole two-day sailing program, dubbed the Channel Classic, is being co-ordinated by the Australian Wooden Boat Festival and full details on booking voyages can be accessed at awbf.com.au.
Ticket prices include the cost of coach trips to or from Hobart and meals and refreshments.
MEANWHILE in other AWBF news over the weekend of February 7-8, the festival is a national finalist in the major events category of the Australian Tourism Awards to be announced in Melbourne.
Festival organisers are also preparing for a visit to Hobart of Dutch Consulate officials wanting to see the waterfront site in preparation for participation by Holland in the 2017 festival which will run from February 10-13, inclusive.
The AWBF is also appealing for volunteers, particularly from the ranks of volunteer workers from past festivals, to help man an information booth at the Royal Hobart Regatta to distribute information sheets and early festival details.
THE Kingston Beach Sailing Club is offering adults the chance to discover sailing — for free — next Tuesday.
The club will be part of the Day on the Beach celebrations for Australia Day and experienced members will be available between 10am and 2pm to take people out for a sail (weather permitting). The club’s fleet of green and gold Pacer dinghies will be used for the introductory sessions.
Bookings can also be made on the day for younger sailors to sign up for the club’s Tacker classes which start next Thursday and Friday and thereafter on Saturday mornings.