Big SB20 fleet for RYCT Showdown 2016

  • October 14, 2016

SB20 Export Roo. PICTURE Colleen Darcy

A fleet of between 30 and 40 SB20 one-design sports boats is expected to contest the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Showdown Regatta on the River Derwent over the weekend of 5-6 November.

Entries from Victoria are also expected, with the current Australian champion SB20, Robert Jeffreys’ boat Red, already shipped to Tasmania.
Online entry is now available on the RYCT website for the Showdown, a one-design off-the-beach and keelboat regatta on 5-6 November.

As the SB20 class continues to boom in the lead-up to the World Championship in Hobart in January 2018, a highly competitive fleet of 31 SB20s is already contesting the class Summer Pennants held on Thursday evenings as part of the RYCT/DSS twilights.

Prominent sailors competing in the pennant racing include world championship representatives Michael Cooper and Phil Reid, J24 sailor Greg Rowlings, Australian class president Stephen Catchpool, multi world champion in International Cadets as a teenager Paul Burnell, and International Moth masters champion Rob Gough.

Lining up again this summer are SB20 class stalwarts Brett Cooper and Andrew Blakney, former Sharpie champion Frazer Read, notable young sailors Elliott Noye and George Peacock,  former Tasmanian SB20 champion Scott Brain and the founder of the SB20 class in Hobart, Nick Rogers.

Making their pennant race debut last Thursday week were The Hutchins School boat Murray Jones with Sam Abel on the helm and Warwick Dean, helmed by Will Cooper. Another Hutchins senior student, Sam King is helming his father’s boat.

The SB20 fleet in Hobart, now one of the biggest in the world, has also attracted a number of women skippers and all-women crews, including Felicity Allison, vice commodore of Sandy Bay Sailing Club and Claire Cunningham, rear commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania who is helming one of the four Athena Sailing SB20s.

The other helmswomen of the Athena Sailing SB20s have been Sam Bailey, Jo Breen and Kirsty Gray.

Only one race was held on the first evening of the SB20 pennants (6 October) but last night (13 October) two races were held for the 27 boat fleet.  One-design heat winners were Hypertronics (Stephen Catchpool) and The Honey Badger (Paul Burnell) while Ed Fader’s The Monkey Boat won both races on PHS scoring.

Words:  Peter Campbell