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SB20 national title to be held on the Bay

  • Race 1 of UON SB20 World Championships (Photo by Hamilton Island Photography)
  • UONSB20 fast downhill. (Credit Katie Jackson) (Photo by Katie Jackson)
SB20 national title to be held on the Bay

For the first time in Australian SB20 class history, the sportsboat fleet’s national title will be held on Victorian waters drawing up to 20 electrifying one-design 20 footers representing at least four states to ‘the Bay’ to vie for the prestigious crown.

Sandringham Yacht Club will host the Brighton BMW SB20 National Championship on Port Phillip from October 24-27, 2013.

Australian SB20 president, Robert Jeffreys, expects the class heavyweights to feature at the top of the final points tally, including Tasmanian Nick Rogers (Karabos), Sydney based Ian Brown (One Design Sailing) and local entry and former big boat skipper, Chris Dare (Flirtatious).
Rogers, an international Soling and Etchells sailor and Dragon world champion, regards every team a threat. “They will all be competitive; every crew is capable of winning on the day,” he warns.

“Port Phillip is a lovely place to sail, a bit different to Hobart with steadier breeze that hopefully won’t blow too hard,” Rogers added.

The hardy fleet of Hobart based SB20s race year-round on the Derwent River in various club series. During winter there can be snow on Mount Wellington and an icy 7 degrees greeting the 10-12 regular crews for their brisk morning starts. Of these, at least five teams are expected to ship their boats across Bass Strait to contest the Brighton BMW SB20 National Championship racing for the Derwent Sailing Squadron and Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

One of the Tassie skippers, Stephen Catchpoole, was itching for the federal election date to be announced, not so he could have his say on the nation’s future but because his wife, Jane Austen, is the Labor candidate for the electorate of Dennison. The early September election has freed Catchpoole to support his wife and make a commitment to join the strong southern team with his SB20, Hypertronics.

To recognise and incentivise interstate challenges, championship sponsor Brighton BMW is offering a unique opportunity. Once entries close on September 13th there will be a draw and three interstate teams awarded the use of a brand new BMW for the weekend, to get about town.

The class’ last notable competition was the UON SB20 World Championship held pre-Christmas at Hamilton Island. Multiple world champion Geoff Carveth took out the top prize for the UK while the best placed Australian team in second was led by triple Laser world champion Glenn Bourke.

Post-regatta Bourke sold his boat to Jeffreys who jokes, “I’m hoping Glenn’s boat will make me look good at the nationals”.

Victoria is expected to field the largest state team followed by Tasmania then NSW and Queensland.

Thursday 24th October has been set aside for registration and boat and crew weigh-ins. Racing will commence Friday 25th through to Sunday 27th. Up to 12 windward/leeward races may be sailed over three days with SYC’s Principal Race Officer Steve Aulrich overseeing the race management.

The weekend before the SB20 nationals Sandringham Yacht Club will host the Sail Sandy Regatta for kiteboards, J24s, SB20s and all off-the-beach monohull classes. All SB20 owners on the nationals register are invited to use Sail Sandy as a tune-up regatta.

Notice of Race and entry are now available online at http://www.syc.com.au/regattas/sb20-australian-national-championships/

Entries lodged after 13th September will incur a $100 late fee.

SB20 national website – http://www.sb20aus.org/

By Lisa Ratcliff