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Warming up for SB20 Worlds in Hobart

by Peter Campbell 17 Oct 2017 07:14 BST 17 October 2017
SB20s running down wind, from left, Fire of Athena (Clare Brown), Cook Your Own Dinner (Jill Abel) and Karabos (Nick Rogers) during the SB20 Sprint Series in Hobart © Michelley Denney

With less than three months to the SB20 sportsboat World championship in Hobart, competition is hotting up within the local River Derwent fleet.

So far there have two twilight Pennant races on a Thursday evening with up to 18 starters and yesterday 14 boats contested two races on day one of the SB20 Sprint Series.

The four races have produced three different winners, Rob Gough (Difficult Woman) and Elliott Noye (Porco Rosso) in the Pennant races and Scott Brain (Brainwave) in Sunday's Sprint Series.

In the four races sailed so far this summer, there have been eight different placegetters, with seconds separating the top boats.

Brain, a former State champion, steered Brainwave to consecutive wins yesterday after Derwent Sailing Squadron race officer Ian Ross was forced to abandon race one when the breeze flicked from north to south midway through the race.

The next two races were sailed in a steady 12-15 knot south-easterly seabreeze with just seconds separating the leading boats across the finish line.

In the first race, Brainwave had a comfortable 48 seconds win from Honey Badger (Paul Burnell) and Difficult Woman (Rob Gough), who crossed the line two seconds apart.

In the second race, Brainwave's winning margin was just 10 seconds from Pinch (Frazer Read) with another 10 seconds to Hypertronics (Stephen Catchpool).

Four women skippers sailed in yesterday's 14-boat fleet with teenager Issi Declerk steering Power of Athena into seventh in fleet and first on PHS handicaps in race one. In race two, she placed fourth on handicap to head the overall PHS pointscore.