Perfect start for DSS Winter Racing on the Derwent

Hobart today turned on perfect, albeit somewhat chilly, weather for the opening day of winter racing for 2015 on the River Derwent: a sparkling sunny morning with a 6-10 knot NNW breeze, warming from 5º temperature at start time to 10º by mid-morning.

Photo: War Games opened the DSS Winter Series with an outright win. Photo credit: Sean Teidemann.

Race officer ‘Biddy’ Badenach was able to set a good windward/leeward course, giving the fleet a testing windward leg up-river, then a fast spinnaker run down river to the Nutgrove Beach rounding mark, sailing the course twice.

Fresh from a last-race winning appearance in the DSS Autumn Short-Handed Series, sailing three-up, Wayne Banks-Smith’s Farr 40 War Games continued her winning form with a full crew aboard.

War Games quickly assumed control of Division 1, sailing away to a comfortable line and corrected time win from the Mumm 36 Madness (Gavin Adamson and Janene Frawley). Third place went to Wings Three (Peter Haros).

While Division 1 attracted a competitive fleet of eight, the other two divisions and the SB20s saw only five starters in each. However, bearing in mind that more than 60 boats entered the Autumn Short-Handed Series, a drop in numbers was not unexpected.

Division 2 saw a spirited contest for line and handicap honours between Rousabout (Derek Inglis) and Wildfire (Team Wildfire), with Rousabout winning line by just under a minute and handicap by a mere 24 seconds. Vasco (Graeme Harrington) finished a close third.

Veteran skipper Tom Kirkland sailed Ragtime to victory in Division 3, winning on corrected time by 24 seconds from Serenity (Graham Hall) and Kharis (Terry Dalby). Fastest time went to Which Way Up (Steve Davison).

The SB20 fleet sailed two races with Stephen Catchpool’s Hypertronics leading the small fleet home in both races and also scoring a win and a third under PHS handicaps.

In race one, Hypertronics won by 39 seconds from Export Roo (Michael Cooper) and Mind Games (Phil Reid), but in race two the winning margin was just 15 seconds from Mind Games, Export Roo a close third. Handicap winner in race two was Pez (Hunt Gore).

Unlike the Combined Clubs pennant racing during the summer, each of the three major clubs conducts its own winter series over alternative weekends.

Bellerive Yacht Club starts its winter series next Sunday, May 31 while the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s winter pennants won’t start until June 14 because of the June long weekend.

Peter Campbell
24 May 3015

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