Paul Boutchard and his wife Michelle today returned to yacht racing on the River Derwent in their J35 Mem after a break of more than a year, and scored four Division 1 wins.
Today was the first day of the Combined Clubs new Inshore Series and two of their wins were under IRC, the scoring system now adopted by Combined Clubs as the major handicapping system for racing in southern Tasmania.
Mem’s two other wins were under PHS scoring.
Mem is one of nearly 30 Hobart boats that have been measured for an IRC certificate for the first time this season.
Two other boats with new IRC certificates, Chris Sheehan’s Saga and Steve Chau’s Young Lion, both Young 88s, also had wins in Division 2.
Race officer Biddy Badenach ran two short races on the river for the two divisions, describing conditions as “typical of a westerly gradient on the river at this time of the year….challenging for both competitors and race officers” in a breeze than ranged from 0 to gusts of up to 20 knots.
Nevertheless, Badenach and his team were able set courses that reflected the concept of IRC racing and while Mem dominated the IRC results, four other yachts won their handicap categories and divisions on the day.
Paul and Michelle Boutchard and their crew showed excellent tactics in sailing Mem, a former Sydney Hobart racer, picking up time on the bigger boats as the wind varied in direction and strength.
In race one, Mem won Division 1 IRC from Shaun Tiedemann’s Sydney 36cr Philosopher and David Aplin’s MBD35 Whistler, both entered for the Australian Yachting Championships in Melbourne next January.
In race two, it was Mem first on corrected time, Whistler second and Philosopher third. Mem took top handicap honours under Division 1 PHS scoring in both races.
Philosopher won the first race in the AMS category from Whistler which reversed the order in race two.
The two Young 88s, Saga (Chris Sheehan) and Young Lion (Steve Chau) duelled all the way in both races for Division 2.
In race one, Saga beat Young Lion on IRC corrected time by just 34 seconds, in the shortened race two they crossed the line 14 seconds apart with Young Lion winning on handicap.
They each had a win under AMS scoring while Wildfire (Team Wildfire) won both Division 2 races on PHS scoring.
The Time Lord of Hobart yachting, Roger Jackman’s Doctor Who, yesterday sailed to a double handicap victory in the opening race of the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant on the River Derwent.
Flying her new masthead spinnaker, the Davidson 52 excelled in the light breeze, with helmsman Rod Jackman picking the right wind shifts to take corrected time honours under both Division 1 PHS and IRC scoring categories, although IRC results are provisional.
Designed and built in New Zealand in 1983, Doctor Who has been a consistent harbour and ocean race winner in Tasmanian waters and also won the IMS division of the 1990 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
A fleet of 41 keelboats contested yesterday’s first of nine Summer Pennant Races, sailed on a river course, starting and finishing off Castray Esplanade. Because of the light winds, the course was shortened for all divisions, the last boats crossing the line close to 5.00pm.
Derwent Sailing Squadron Vice Commodore Nick Connor described the quality and quantity of the fleet as “excellent” for the first race of the Combined Clubs season.
“Although the sun shined brightly on a beautiful spring day, the fickle winds of the River Derwent weren’t so pleasing for skippers and crews.
“Large holes in the wind appeared all over the course, with Division 1 boats in particular affected as the Eastern shore bore the brunt of the uncooperative breeze,” he added.
Doctor was fifth in fleet to finish and on corrected time took first place in the PHS category from Toby Richardson’s X&Y and Wayne Banks-Smith’s War Games.
With IRC results provisional because of some yachts not yet receiving new rating certificates, Doctor Who has been placed first from Hughie Lewis and Gary Cripps Farr 40 Guilty Pleasures and Gary Smith’s Fork in the Road, which finished less than a minute astern of Mike Pritchard’s Oskana at the finish.
War Games, another Farr 40, won the Division 1 AMS from The Fork in the Road and Don Calvert’s Intrigue.
For the first time, IRC scoring has been extended to Divisions 2 and 3, with Hobart yachtsmen embracing this rating system as the major handicapping category for Combined Club racing.
In Division 2, provisional IRC honours went to Wings Three, Peter Haros’ Northshore 38, from Illusion (David Brett) and Natelle Two (Glen Roper0.
DSS Commodore Steve Chau won Division 3 IRC with his Young 88, Young Lion, second place going to Footloose (Stewart Geeves), third to Moonshadow (Anthony Ellis).
Prominent Bellerive Yacht Club member Ian Stewart had a first-up win with his new boat, Southern Swordfish, an Northshore 38, taking out Division 2 PHS and finishing second under AMS scoring to Illusion (David Brett).
Runner-up in Division 2 PHS was Rumbeat (Justin Barr), third Pirate’s Pride (Peter Masterton). Third in AMS was Wings Three.
In Division 3 AMS, the two Young 88 duelled for first place on corrected time, with Young One (N Mills/J Nibbs) winning from Young Lion (Steve Chau). Footloose came in third.
The syndicate-owned Wildfire won Division 3 PHS from Young One and Trouble (Mark Millhouse).
Nigel Johnston’s metre-styled Ingenue had an outright in Division 4 after a close duel with Kindred Spirit (Peter Alcock) for line and handicap honours. Third was Mimi (Kevin Jacobson).
A total of 50 boats have so far entered the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant.
Next Saturday will see the first day of the Combined Clubs Inshore Series with a midriver starts.
Hobart yacht owners have embraced IRC as the major handicap system for the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant Series which starts on the River Derwent tomorrow.
So far 28 yacht owners have revalidated their IRC certificates or are in the process of getting rated under this handicap category, double that of last season.
The major objective is to prepare Tasmanian boat owners and race officers for the Australian Yachting Championships to be conducted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in January 2020.
The prestigious National event will follow next year’s 75th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and other offshore races finishing in Hobart, and is expected to attract a significant fleet.
IRC is the Tattersalls Cup deciding handicap system used in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and most other major yachting events internationally. but in recent seasons the Victoria-designed AMS system has proven popular, although only in Victoria and Tasmania.
Tomorrow’s race has attracted a fleet of 50 keelboats, a river race starting and finishing off Castray Esplanade, Battery Point.
The fleet has been divided into four divisions and all but Division 4 will have results based on IRC, AMS and PHS scoring. Division 4 results will be PHS only.
However, IRC results from today’s harbour race will be provisional as some certificates have not come through in time to be used in calculated corrected times.
It is possible some will not be here in time for the first Inshore Series race day on Saturday week, 20 October.
Combined Clubs’ sailing manager have agree that boats which have sent in new applications for IRC before race one in the Pennant will be scored in the series once their certificates arrive.
This means they will not be shown in the results on race days, but the results will be recalculated once the certificates arrive. This provision will only apply for race one in each series.
Published results will therefore be provisional until the certificates arrive, and the results are recalculated.
Division 1 of the Combined Club Summer Pennant has attracted an outstanding fleet of 18 boats of which all but one has entered the IRC category.
Heading the crack fleet are last season’s summer pennant winners Intrigue (IRC and AMS) and TasPaints (PHS), short course winner and Australian IRC champion Philosopher.
Fleet pace setters The Fork in the Road, Oskana, Doctor Who are also in the Division fleet, as well as Wild West and Crusader.
Five Division 2 boats and six Division 3 boats also now have applied for IRC ratings, indicative of the boost for club racing using this internationally professionally created rating system.
Many of the Combined Club Pennant entrants enjoyed excellent lead-up racing in the opening twilight races conducted during the week by Bellerive Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania/Derwent Sailing Squadron in delight sailing conditions.
Hughie Lewis and a team from Bellerive Yacht Club have finished the Magnetic Island Race Week with a second race win to place second overall in the Sealink Spinnaker Division 4.
Lewis and Garry Cripps chartered the Farr 40 Ponyo for the regatta, sailing against a mixed but competitive fleet in the six race regatta.
While they were the fastest boat in the fleet, corrected time results saw five different winners, the BYC crew winning two.
Ponyo’s placings were 5-1-8-8-2-1 for an overall total of 25 points, but not good enough to beat local yacht Calypso Magic’s more consistent performance.
Among the BYC crew joining Lewis and Cripps were BYC Commodore Graham Mansfield, Combined Clubs pennant winner Ian ‘Seaweed’ Stewart and his wife, and Chris Sheehan.
Hughie was loaned David Currie’s Farr 40, Ponyo. “It all started with us offering David our spare main when his was torn at Magnetic Island last year. Now he’s kindly loaned us the boat,” Lewis explained.
He and the crew opted out of IRC Racing and instead are in Spinnaker Division 4. “We want to have fun here – and using David’s boat we don’t want to put ourselves in any situation where we might damage it by sailing in the cut-and-thrust of IRC,” the Tasmanian admitted.
“We have a group that doesn’t always sail together, including some friends. We’re ‘Gerry and the Atrics’; we’ve got to get our Zimmer frames on the boat somehow,” he says amid laughter from the crew.
Trouble and Hot Prospect tuning their rigs in the gusy Northerly breeze on the river today.
The Bellerive Yacht Club/Hobart Jaguar Land Rover Winter Series for 2018 ended today in its freshest breeze and overall pennant wins for Tas Paints, Trouble and Moonshadow.
The 15-20 knot NNW breeze, with the occasional gust to 28 knots. had the skippers and crews’ adrenalin pumping after having experienced a light air series until now.
Half the fleet elected to stay ashore and those that raced were under reef mainsails and small jibs.
Gun boat Wild West was an early retirement just minutes after the start with minor damage, stand-in skipper Royce Salter taking a cautious approach in the absence of owners Mike and Michelle Denney overseas.
Filepro, with Matthew Denholm on the helm, led the fleet around the river course for an outright win in Division 1, while Ian Stewart steered Tas Paints into third place on corrected time to gain sufficient points to win the Winter pennant.
Coming up to the line for today's race.
Tas Paints finished the Division 1 series with a score of 1-2-3-(7)-3 for a net 9 points, three points clear of Commodore Graham Mansfield’s Black Magic on 12 points from a score of 3-3-(8)-1-5.
Filepro took third overall with 13 points from winter placings of 6-(8)-1-5-1.
“Division 2 again provided exciting, highly competitive racing with several boats swapping positions throughout the race,” BYC sailing manager Peter Watson commented.
“Any handling or tactical mistakes made by a boat saw them swiftly taken advantage of by their competitors.”
Trouble (Mark Millhouse), Saga (Chris Sheehan) and Rousabout (Derek Inglis) crossed the finish line less than two minutes apart.
B&G Advantage digs in on a windy Derwent.
Trouble also won the race by less than two minutes on corrected time from Rousabout to win the Winter Series Division 2 on a countback from Saga, with Rousabout third overall.
Trouble had a score of 3-5-1-(6)-1, Saga 2-(4)-2-3-3, both finishing with a net 10 points. Rousabout had a net 11 points from a series of 1-(7)-7-1-2.
Winning skipper Mark Millhouse summed up the final race and the BYC/Hobart Jaguar and Land Rover WInter Series pm facebook: "Great breeze indeed. Thanks for the pics Peter (Watson) and thanks to all organisers and volunteers for the series, BYC. Winter sailing is great on the Derwent!"
Division 3 also experienced competitive racing at the front of the fleet, joined in today’s windy race by the plucky little J24, Zest. “Matt Westland and his crew pushed Zest to the limit in the fresh breeze,” said Peter Watson who again shot some graphic photos of the racing.
Smallest boat in today's race, the J24 Zest about to broach in 28 knot gust.
Consistency proved the Winter pennant-winning formula for Moonshadow (Anthony Ellis) in Division 3, today scoring an outright win to finish the series with 7 points from a scorecard of (7)-1-3-2-1.
Jim Thorpe’s Hydrotherapy finished second today, placings of 3-(4)-1-3-2 for a net 9 points for second overall while third overall went to Southern Cross (Wayne Pitt) on 13 points whose scorecard read (6)-3-5-1-4.
Keelboat racing on the River Derwent, especially under IRC ratings, is to be boosted this coming summer in preparation for the Australian Yachting Championships in Hobart in January 2020.
The prestigious national event will follow next year’s 75th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and other offshore races finishing in Hobart, and is expected to attract a significant fleet, including a large local IRC fleet.
The Combined Clubs working group has just announced that a four-race day Combined Clubs Inshore Series using IRC style courses, and a weekend-long Tasmanian Yachting Championship, will be included in the sailing program for the summer season of 2018-19.
The traditional Combined Clubs Opening Day of the Yachting Season 2018-19 will be held on Saturday, 6 October and hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Hobart yacht owners will be encouraged and given incentives to have their yachts IRC rated, with the objective of more than doubling the number of boats currently holding an IRC certificate.
Details of the Combined Clubs 2018-19 Sailing programme have been communicated to yacht owners at the three major clubs, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Derwent Sailing Squadron and Bellerive Yacht Club and to members from other clubs who have competed in previous Combined Club events.
The full communication can be downloaded from the Derwent Sailing Squadron web site.
The Combined Clubs Summer Pennant will be a nine-race series, comprising five Saturday afternoon races in the river and four long day races.
Races will be scheduled approximately every second Saturday, with the first race of the season scheduled for 13 October.
The Combined Clubs Inshore Series replaces the Short Course Championships and will consist of four days of racing with a target of three to four races each day.
Courses will follow the format used for the Australian Yachting Championships with IRC style courses, a mix of ‘all points of sail’ to include river passage races, triangular and windward/leeward courses.
The Combined Clubs Inshore Series race days will be 20 October 2018, 8 December 2018, 2 March 2019 and 23 March 2019.
“The Combined Clubs believes short course racing is an important fixture in the calendar, particularly in the lead-up to the Australian Yachting Championships in January 2020,” yacht owners were told by the working group, chaired by Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore Steve Chau.
The inaugural Tasmanian Yachting Championship (IRC and PHS divisions), will be conducted by the DSS over the weekend of 8-9 December 2018.
This regatta, to be conducted under the auspices of Australian Sailing, will determine the Tasmanian Keelboat IRC and PHS champions across divisions.
For the 2018-19 season, the Combined Clubs have successfully negotiated a 50% discount off new IRC certification registrations for the season.
The Combined Clubs Offshore Trophy Perpetual Trophy will be award-based on the combined score from the Piper Opener Night Race, the BYC Overnight Race, the Maria Island Race and the Bruny Island Race.
The Derwent Sailing Squadron/Huon Yacht Club 50th Pipe Opener will be held over the weekend of 21-23 September.
Pennants for the season will be awarded as follows:
Group winners will be awarded a Combined Clubs Pennant for the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant Series.
Scores for the Combined Clubs Inshore Series will be combined with the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant river races to determine the Combined Clubs inshore pennant. This pennant will be awarded based on IRC only and Twill require interested participants to lodge a specific entry for this pennant.
Each club will determine which races from the Combined Clubs calendar will form their individual Club Pennant.
The communication to keelboat owners also includes an agreed final Combined Clubs programme with race days allocated around the traditional regattas and races held each summer on the Derwent and offshore.
The pennant race has been removed from the Royal Hobart Regatta public holiday which now leaves all long weekends free of Combined Clubs racing.
Young woman sailor Joanna Breen has achieved a unique double in the 2018 Tasmanian Sailing Awards, on Saturday evening being named as joint Female Sailor of the Year and winning the Bennetto Medal as Offshore Sailor of the Year.
Breen, 29, skippered her yacht Morning Star into second place in this year’s two-handed Melbourne to Osaka Yacht Race, a distance of 5,500 nautical miles from Australia to Japan.
Breen, Vice-Commodore of the Tamar Yacht Club, shared the Bennetto Medal with her crewman, Peter Brooks, a member of Port Dalrymple Yacht Club.
She is a very versatile sailor, a ‘Cape Horner’ in a cruise to the Antarctic, navigator of Bellerive Yacht Club member Richard Grant’s Sydney Hobart Race Corinthian Division winner Cromarty Magellan, and a highly regarded crew/helmsperson in the high performance SB20 sports boat class on Hobart’s River Derwent.
Breen shared the Female Sailor of the Year Award with youth sailors Jasmin Galbraith and Chloe Fisher, from Sandy Bay Sailing Club, who won the bronze medal at the 2017 Youth Worlds in the 29er girl’s class.
The young women, who also won the Outstanding Youth Achievement award, have since moved into the Olympic women’s class skiff, the 29erFX. Galbraith is an Hobartian but Fisher began her sailing at the Tamar Yacht Club at Beauty Point.
Jo Breen accepted her awards by video from Brisbane before setting sailing in the race to Keppell Island.
The Tasmanian Sailing Awards, announced at the Derwent Sailing Squadron, saw the Tasmanian Male Sailor of the Year award go to well-known Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member Michael Cooper, who skippered Export Roo into a close second in the 2017 SB20 World Championship at Cowes, UK.
Disabled Sailor of the Year is Wynyard Yacht Club’s Chris Symonds, silver medallist in the Hansa 303 dinghy class at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championship.
Steve Catchpool, the SB20 class Australian president, was named Yachting Personality of Year for his critical role in Hobart’s successful bid to host the SB20 World Championship 2018.
His wife, Jane Austin, was among four winners of the Volunteer of the Year award, for her media role in Hobart being awarded the SB20 Worlds.
Other Volunteer of the Year recipients were Paul Gray at Sandy Bay Sailing Club; Ken Gourlay, organiser of the Tamar Yacht Club’s Tasmanian Boat and Caravan Show; and Wynyard Yacht Club’s Sailability volunteer group.
Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at Beauty Point was named Club of the Year, William (‘Bill’) Brown as Administrator of the Year as secretary of Sailability Tasmania, Elliott Noye (RYCT) as Coach of the Year, while Josh Rag (RYCT) and Mike Darby (WYC) shared the Instructor of the Year award.
Two inductees into the Tasmanian Yachting Hall of Fame were also announced: Roger Jackman (RYCT), owner/skipper of Doctor Who, and the late Graeme ‘Frizzle’ Freeman.
Today was clearly Commodore’s Day in the Bellerive Yacht Club/Hobart Jaguar Land Rover Winter Series on the Derwent, with Graham Mansfield steering Black Magic to a fine win in Division 1.
With just one day of racing left in the Winter Series, the win has placed Black Magic within two points of Ian Stewart’s Tas Paints which placed seventh in the very, very light breeze.
The leeward rail got a ‘work out’ on each of the 24 yachts that competed in today’s drifting conditions, race four and penultimate race of the Winter Series.
“With a 29-35 knots nor-wester on top of the mount, you would hope and expect at least a moderate NW breeze on the River Derwent,” BYC sailing manager Peter Watson said.
“However, ‘she’ had other ideas and gave race officer Grant Sutton a very light, 2 knot SSW zephyr instead.
“Grant showed great intuition in realising that we most probably would not get a lot more wind, and sent the boats on their way.
“We managed only one lap before Grant shortened course,” added Watson, who still managed to get some fine photographs of the fleet and division winners.
With one day’s racing to complete a closely contested Winter Series, TasPaints heads Division 1 with 13 points, Black Magic is on 15, Wild West (Mike and Michelle Denney) 16, B&G Advantage (Jeff Cordell) 17 and Heat Wave (Matthew Keal) 18 points.
In Division 2, Chris Sheehan’s Saga maintained its consistency with a third place today and has 11 points on the board. Trouble (Mark Millhouse) is on 15 points, while today’s race winner, Derek Inglis’ Rousabout, is on 16 points, as are 42 South (Mark Ballard) and Footloose (Stewart Geeves).
In Division 3, Wayne Pitt’s Southern Cross won race four, but Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe) still holds the overall pointscore lead with 11 points after finishing third today.
On 13 points is Anthony Ellis’ Moonshadow while Southern Cross is third overall with 15 points.
The fifth and final BYC Winter Race day is Sunday, August 26.
42 South uses her two rudders to advantage and under perfect ontrol downwind. Filepro to leeward.
Bellerive Yacht Club race officer Grant Sutton again showed ‘nerves of steel’ in setting today’s course for day two of the BYC/Hobart Jaguar Land Rover Winter Series on the River Derwent.
Sutton disregarded the light northerly katabatic breeze and positioned the course for the predicted west-south-westerly breeze, with the windward mark off Nutgrove Beach.
A few minutes before the start of Division 1, the breeze dutifully filled in from the WSW, gradually increasing to around 12-15 knots before slowing fading away towards the finish.
“Division 2 is enjoying extremely competitive racing in this Winter Series, with the starts hard fought,” BYC sailing manager Peter Watson commented after today’s race. “Saga and Rousabout where both over the line prematurely.”
Watson said that although it was a relatively light wind race, some boats still managed “to have their moments of drama…particularly with crews pushing their yachts to the limit running downwind under big spinnakers.”
Hard-fought start for Division 2, with Rousabout and Saga over the line early.
Division 1 saw an outright win for Mike and Michelle Denney’s Wild West, taking corrected time honours from Ian Stewart’s Tas Paints and Black Magic, skippered by BYC Commodore Graham Mansfield.
Less than a minute separated the first three boat on handicap in Division 2 with Mark Ballard’s 42 South scoring an outright victory. 42 South’s twin rudders were used to advantage, giving her perfect control downwind.
Black Magic on a close reach under her famous rainbow rocket spinnaker.
Hydrotherapy (Jim Thorpe) again took fastest time in Division 3 but placed fourth on corrected time, with Moonshadow (Anthony Ellis) taking handicap honours from Off-Piste (Paul Einoder) by just 13 seconds. Third went to Southern Cross (Wayne Pitt).
Hobart’s winter yacht racing started today, in classic end-of-autumn/early winter weather – fog on the hills around the city, a wind chill factor of close to zero or below, and a shifty northerly breezes on the River Derwent.
Well rugged up for the weather, the hardy crews of 24 boats took to the river for a morning of close racing in Bellerive Yacht’s Club’s first race for its Hobart Jaguar Land Rover Winter Series.
“Derwent River at the beginning of winter…racing in 6 - 17 knots with 4 to 11 degrees.... eeek!” commented Michelle Denney, co-owner of Wild West with husband Michael.
BYC was first away with winter racing, the Derwent Sailing Squadron and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania running their winter pennants in consecutive Sunday mornings.
“The ‘Bridgewater Jerry’ was in full flight with the wind chill temperature close to zero degrees of below and the shifty northerly breeze of 8-15 knots made the upwind and downwind tactics critical,” reported BYC sailing manager Peter Watson.
“The ever-present down river current made the centre of the river problematic for setting a good course. Race officer Grant Sutton made the correct call in shortening Divisions 2 and 3 as not to exceed the 12 noon race time limit.
“We had an excellent fleet of 24 boats from all three main clubs.”
Wild West from the Derwent Sailing Squadron and TasPaints, skippered by retiring BYC vice-commodore Ian Stewart, had a close duel for line honours in Division 1, with the Mumm 36 finally overtaking Wild West to get the gun by 21 seconds.
TasPaints also took first place on corrected time from B&G Advantage (Jeff Cordell) and Commodore Graham Mansfield’s Black Magic. Wild West, top rating boat in the fleet, placed fifth.
In Division 2, Richie Upton’s Twist took fastest time, but was relegated to fourth in handicap results by Rousabout (Derek Inglis), Saga (Chris Sheehan) and Trouble (Mark Millhouse).
In Division 3, Paul Johnstone’s Skeme finished seventh in fleet but first on handicap, winning from Paul Einoder’s Off-Piste and Jim Thorpe’s Hydrotherapy which took fastest time in an impressive showing.