Australian Yachting IRC & PHS titles to Philosopher

River Derwent racing yacht Philosopher, skippered by Shaun Tiedemann, yesterday became the first Tasmanian boat to win an Australian Yachting Championship.

In a boat-for-boat, last race finish on Melbourne’s Port Phillip,  the Sydney 36cr from Derwent Sailing Squadron won the IRC category of Division 3 of Australia’s premier yachting event on a countback of placings.

“It was a hard regatta, a hard last day and a hard last race, but my crew of under 25-year-olds sailed hard and we won by the narrowest of margins,” said skipper Tiedemann, who is general manager of the Derwent Sailing Squadron in Hobart.

“I had a brilliant crew and a brilliant little boat which now won three Australian IRC championship, 2008, 2011 and now 2017,” he added in an interview from Sandringham Yacht Club after the last of the eight-race regatta on Port Phillip.

Apart from the 50-year-old owner/skipper and mainsheet hand, the crew of Philosopher are all aged under 25 and includes three International Cadet Australian champions.

Shaun Tiedemann, owner/skipper of Philosopher.

All from Hobart, they were Elliott Noye (tactician), Sam Tiedemann (helmsman), Alec Bailey (upwind trimmer), Lewis Noye (downwind trimmer), Samathana Bailey (pit), Tom Stearnes (bow), Oli Burnell (mast) and Elson Brown (floater).

Going into the final day of racing Philosopher was one point behind Victorian yacht Executive Decision, Trevor Neitz’s Adams 10,  but  won the first two short windward/leeward races to be one point ahead.

“In the final race we covered Executive Decision all the way, and although she won on corrected time, we had the numbers to win on a countback,” Tiedeman added.

Philosopher finished with a scorecard of (3)-1-2-2-3-1-1-2, while Executive Decision’s placings in a series-long duel were 2-2-(3)-1-2-2-2-1, both boats finishing with a net 12 points.  The countback favoured the Tasmanian boat with its three first places.

Yesterday’s final three races began in a 15 knot south-westerly breeze…”perfect for us, but it dropped right out for the last race and that made it really tough going,” recalled Shaun Tiedemann.

Philosopher also won the PHS category of Division 3 of the Australian championships, beating Rhapsody (Andrew Smith) by five points.

Rolex Sydney Hobart winning skipper Matt Allen sailed his Botin 52 to victory in Division 1 IRC while Division 2 IRC winner was local yacht Ikon (Bruce McCraken).

The 2019 Australian Yachting Championships will be sailed on Hobart’s River Derwent from 3-6 January.

Words: Peter Campbell

Photos: Stacey French, Peter Campbell

21 January 2018


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