Derwent workout for SB20 Worlds contenders

Hobart yacht watchers will see some talent in action this  weekend, with five of the seven Tasmanian helmsmen entered for this year’s SB20 sports boat World championship taking part in the SB20 Mid-Winter championship on the Derwent.

The Mid-Winters are being conducted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and the Derwent Sailing Squadron with specifically in mind the 2017 Worlds, at Cowes, England, and the 2018 Worlds on the Derwent.

Seven Australian skippers have nominated for the 2017 Worlds in August-September, to be sailed on the famous southern England waterway, The Solent from the famous Royal Yacht Squadron.

Six are from the Hobart fleet:  Steve Catchpool (Hypertronics), Andrew Smith (Phantom Menace), Michael Cooper (Export Roo), Elliott Noye (Porto Rosso), Nick Rogers (Karabos) and Rob Gough (Difficult Woman).  The seventh Australian entrant is Jervis Tilley (Brazen) from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

In addition, Tasmanian Paul Burnell is flying to Cowes to steer an English-owned SB20 on which his brother Tim is a crew.

The strong Tasmanian showing at Cowes for the Cowes Grand Slam in late August, followed by the Worlds, is expected to encourage a strong European contingent for next year’s Worlds on the Derwent in January.

All Australian skippers, except Elliott Noye, Andrew Smith and Jervis Tilley, have entered for the Tasmanian SB20 mid-winter championship on Saturday and Sunday, along with other talented local skippers Scott Brain, Chris Sheehan, Richard Fader and prominent women helsmpersons Colleen Darcey, Jo Breen, Felicity Allison and Alice Grubb.

Darcey last weekend skippered the Tasmanian entrant, Absolut, an Archambault 35, in the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta on Port Phillip, with Breen key member of her crew.

Absolut won the IRC Division 1 and finished a close second in the AMS Division 1, twice taking out the IRC/AMS handicap double in the six races over the weekend.

Words: Peter Campbell

Photos: Jane Austin

16 June 2017


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