Hutchins School launches two SB20 sportsboats

  • September 22, 2016

The Hutchins School for boys in Hobart has made a significant contribution to youth sailing in Tasmania over several past decades.

Many of its Old Boys and current students are competing successfully on the local, national and world stage as well as achieving an outstanding reputation in interschool teams sailing.

The most recent was this week when an RYCT/Hutchins team finished a close second in the Queensland Match Racing Championship at Mooloolaba.

Today The Hutchins School’s esteemed Sailing Academy took a significant step upwards in sailing for its students when it launched two SB20 one-design sports boats at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

Hutchins is unique among Australian schools with its Sailing Academy and has added the SB20s to its fleet of dinghies with a three-fold vision – keelboat training, match racing and fleet racing in the Hobart fleet that now total 43 boats.

The School’s long-term objective is to have its two SB20s, sailed by Hutchins boys, compete in the SB20 World championship on the River Derwent in January 2018.


Hutchins Headmaster Warwick Dean, Warwick Dean and Sailing Academy co-ordinator Greg Rowliing with young sailors at the launch of the SB20s. Photo Peter Campbell

Hutchins Headmaster Warwick Dean, Warwick Dean and Sailing Academy co-ordinator Greg Rowliing with young sailors at the launch of the SB20s. Photo Peter Campbell

In the meantime, apart from training and match racing, the two sailing captains Sam Abel and Will Cooper, will helm the school boats in the River Derwent SB20 Thursday twilight pennants and regattas against adult crew.

Abel, 16, is the current International Cadet World champion while Cooper is a member of the Australian Cadet teams to contest the 2016 Worlds in Argentina.

One of the  SB20s have been named ‘Warwick Dean’,  in honour of the headmaster of Hutchins whose strategic vision had a purpose built marine and sailing centre build on the School grounds.

The other boat has been named ‘Murray Jones’, recognising the great contribution given to coaching Hutchins School students in team racing which saw school teams, winning seven national  schools championships over the past 15 years.

Warwick Dean, Murray Jones are Royal Yacht Club members as are Michael and Pip Cooper who gifted one of the SB20s to Sailing Academy. Generous support also came from the late John W Burton.

Acquisition of the two SB20s followed the School Sailing Academy finding a void in its sailing program for students who had become too tall and heavy for dinghies or for those who wanted to do something different, such as match racing.

“The SB20s were a great fit for this gap, and the students will be training as well as racing with a view to competing in the 2018 SB20 World champions under the Hutchins flag,” Headmaster Warwick Dean said today.

In addition to the SB20s, the School has also mapped out a complete sailing pathway for aspiring sailors. The journey starts in Year 3 where students have the opportunity to try sailing Term 1 before undertaking a formal program in Term 4.

From Years 4- v6, the students have sailing a school sport elective that is held during school time in Term 4. As an accredited Discover Sailing Centre, the students are instructed by qualified Sailing Australia instructors using the national dinghy sailing syllabus.

From Years 7-12, the options are aplenty; the students can teams race, match racing fleet race (SB20s or their own boat) or attain qualifications like their powerboat handling, coxswain or deputy dinghy instructor certificates.

Peter Campbell

22 September 2016