No Sayonara for Nick
Win or lose, champion Hobart yachtsman Nick Rogers will enter the history books of yachting this weekend when he defends the historic Sayonara Cup on the River Derwent.
This will be the eighth time the International Dragon World champion and 11 times Prince Philip Cup winner has steered his own boat in challenges for or defences of the Sayonara Cup on behalf of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Since 1989, Rogers, mainsheet hand Leigh Behrens, and a variety of for’ard hands, have won the match-racing series against challengers from Victorian and New South Wales ‘royal’ clubs five times and lost twice.
No other yachtsman in the Cup’s history has achieved Roger’s record, although Victorian Ernest Digby raced his Eight Metre class yacht Frances (later named Brigitte) in six Challenge Matches, winning three and losing three, in 1953 to Tasmania’s Erica J skippered by Neall Batt.
Rogers is leaving nothing to chance for this weekend’s defence against the challenger from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Whimsical, skippered by Matt Whitnall with a crack crew of David Chapman and David Giles.
The long-time team of Rogers and Behrens have been joined by young Hobart sailor Oliver Burnell for the best-of-seven match race series and have been training on the river in Karabos IX almost every late afternoon for the past fortnight.
Racing for the Sayonara Cup is scheduled to start from 13:30 hours on Saturday and from 10:00am Sunday if further racing is required.
In addition to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania conducting the Sayonara Cup on the Derwent, the Club is also running the second last Combined Clubs Summer Pennant race.
Sandy Bay Sailing Club is running Tasmanian championships for International Cadets, Optimists, 29ers and Windsurfers.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Nick Hutton, Peter Campbell, RYCT
14 March 2019