Season blasts off in style
IT has been a week of wonderful sailing on the River Derwent as the season kicks, and the action continues today.
On Opening Day of the sailing season last Saturday, nearly 300 boats, ranging from a Laser dinghy to ocean-racing yacht Black Sheep and even a square-rigged ship, backed up by a huge fleet of motor yachts, motor/sailing through Sullivans Cove.
Then on Sunday morning a smart fleet of keelboats provided a colourful sight as they ran down the river under spinnakers in the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Channel Race, traditionally the first day race of the season.
The “Wednesday Wonders’’ were out for a fine sail midweek, and on Wednesday evening Bellerive Yacht Club set the pace for twilight racing with a fleet of 38 keelboats.
On Thursday evening the first combined Derwent Sailing Squadron/Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania twilight event was held, with 36 keelboats competing, plus 10 to near gale-force conditions on at times stormy Sydney Harbour, the Tasmanians, representing the RYCT, improved with every flight in what was Will’s first as SB20s also enjoying the first two pennant races.
Today it will be the off-thebeach opening day at the Sandy Bay Sailing Club, with International Cadets, 29ers, Optimists and Lasers lining up on Nutgrove Beach.
After the official opening, there will be a trophy race for all classes.
The Combined Clubs Summer Pennant Series also begins today, with a 1.30pm start off Castray Esplanade. AFTER another hugely successful sailing season in both Australia and around the world, athletes, clubs, officials and contributors will be honoured at the 2018 Australian Sailing Awards and Hall of Fame Induction dinner in Sydney on Friday.
Three Tasmanians have been nominated. Matthew Bugg, from Hobart, and Chris Symonds, from Wynyard, are both in line for the Australian Disabled Sailor of the Year award, while Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s sailing manager Nick Hutton is a finalist for helmsman in an open matchracing regatta.
Will Allison sent the Mercury’s yachting writer Peter Campbell a brief update after two round-robins, in the Sport Professional award.
Australian Sailing received a record number of nominations for the Female Sailor of the Year, with 49er team Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot again nominated after a stellar year as part of the Australian sailing team.
The first female skipper to ever win an ocean race, Wendy Tuck, who won the Clipper Round the World Race, is also nominated.
Last year’s Male Sailor of the Year, Glen Ashby, has again been nominated for the award. The America’s Cup sailor will face tough competition from Australian Sailing Team members Nathan Outteridge and Matt Wearn, world match-racing which they finished fifth, just one point from making the semi-finals.
“We had only one loss today and nearly completed a really good comeback,” Will champion Harry Price, and renowned ocean sailor Matt Allen.
The para-sailing scene has been big across the world, with Australians being front and centre of the action. Last year’s winner, Tasmanian Matthew Bugg, has been nominated again for his outstanding performance throughout the year in the 2.4mR class.
Bugg, a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and the Derwent Sailing Squadron, will face competition from Victorian 2.4m champion Neil Patterson and HANSA 303 world champion Chris Symonds (Wynyard Yacht Club).
This year the awards will also feature the Offshore Sailor of the Year Award. reported. “Being the youngest helm in the regatta, it has been a really [good] regatta, it has been a great experience in racing against the best from Australia and the world.
Wendy Tuck’s efforts in winning the Clipper Round the World Race have seen her earn a nomination, along with Sophie Ciszek, who was aboard the Volvo Ocean Race second place-getter MAPFRE.
Matt Allen, who set race records in winning both the Sydney to Hobart and Brisbane to Gladstone races, as well as posting wins in the IRC and ORC Australian championships, is also nominated, along with Melbourne to Osaka winners Rupert Henry and Greg O’Shea.
A hot field for the Youth Sailor of the Year Awards includes Laser Radial world champion Zac Littlewood, 420 World Youth Championship silver medallist Otto Henry, AST 49er skipper Natasha Bryant, and Australian 420 champion Cole Tapper.
Finalists for the Sport Professional Award include Nick Hutton for his amazing work for the sport around his home state of Tasmania, Jordan Reece for his successes as the head coach of the Cruising Yacht Club of
“As an inexperienced team we were more than happy with that result and pleased to know that before now the best Tasmania had done at this regatta was seventh.” Australia’s Youth Sailing Academy, and Pam Scrivenor for her dedication to building the CYCA’s Youth Sailing Academy to the successful program that it is today.
The gala dinner will also feature the induction of five new inductees to the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame.
Chris Symonds Matthew Bugg Nick Hutton
WHAT has become an important and poignant date on Tasmania’s maritime calendar will be celebrated on the East Coast next weekend.
The 22nd Tasmanian Seafarers Memorial Service and Blessing of the Fleet will be held on the Triabunna waterfront from 11am next Sunday (October 21).
Another plaque will be added to the memorial wall, which honours Tasmanian seafarers lost at sea anywhere in the world, as well as seafarers from all countries lost in Tasmanian waters.
For more information phone Kath Fergusson on 6257 1667, or Cheryl Arnol on 0419 533 615.