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Tasmanians off to fantastic start at SB20 nationals

The Tasmanian contingent got off to a fantastic start on Thursday’s day one of the 2016 SB20 Australian Championships, being hosted by the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.

PRO Kevin Wilson briefed the fleet at 10 am on the details of the 11-race regatta, with two races scheduled for the first day and three each day thereafter.

Race one got underway at 1pm with an individual recall for Glenn Bourke (Red) and Nic Bez (A-Play).

Bourke, the reigning SB20 Australian champion, was made to pay, with the gate left open for the highly experienced and competitive Tasmanian sailors Michael Cooper (Export Roo), former Dragon world champion sailor Nick Rogers (Karabos), and Bellerive sailing identify Hughie Lewis (Nautilus Marine) finished first, second and third respectfully. Bourke finished in fourth place.

The forecast was for a 10 - 15 knot south to south-easterly and conditions were consistent with the forecast. Race two got underway in sunny conditions in a good breeze of 12-15 knots.

During the top mark rounding, Michael Cooper (Export Roo) infringed on Glenn Bourke (Red) and took the penalty. Red) went on to win the race, with Nick Rogers (Karabos) second and Michael Cooper (Export Roo) third.

Series results from two races sees Michael Cooper (Export Roo) leading from Nick Rogers (Karabos), equal on 4 points, closely followed by Bourke (Red) one point behind.

David Chapman, Export Roo crew member, said that they enjoyed today’s conditions and were really happy with the race course set by PRO Wilson.

Chapman said that for Friday’s races they would be looking to find their groove early to stay in phase with the fleet, and maintain their lead.

Red and Karabos duelling on day one. Photo Colleen Darcy.

Red and Karabos duelling on day one. Photo Colleen Darcy.

Chapman dedicated today's racing to his mentor Roger Hickman who passed this week. In a show of respect for this much-loved ocean racing yachtsman the fleet sailed with black ribbons to mark Roger’s incredible contribution to all forms of sailing in Australia.

Newly elected SB20 Australian Class President Stephen Catchpool from Tasmania acknowledged that Hickman was lost from the world of sailing far too soon.

“Roger was a well-respected and talented sailor who was a fixture of the Sydney to Hobart race scene,” Catchpool said. ”He offered many upcoming sailors the opportunity to join his crew and was a great supporter of increased female participation in sailing, which was something we are working on with the SB20 Class. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts go out to Roger’s family, friends and all in the sailing community,” said Catchpool.

Race results: http://www.bys.asn.au/2016-sb20-australian-nationals/

Facebook updates are available at: @SB20Tasmania / @SB20Australia.

The SB20 one-design sailing class is the fastest growing one-design fleet in Australia with Tasmania having the largest fleet of 25 boats. The Tasmanian SB20 Association in conjunction with The Derwent Sailing Squadron and The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania will host the 2018 SB20 World Championships in Hobart.

Colleen Darcy
3 March 2016

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