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2020 Tally Hobbs Memorial Regatta at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club - Overall

by Jonny Fullerton 11 Feb 06:55 GMT 8-9 February 2020
Start line at 2020 Tally Hobbs Memorial Regatta © Jonny Fullerton

The Tally Hobbs Memorial Regatta is named after a family of pioneers who introduced the class to Western Australia. The regatta this year was sailed on the open ocean off Fremantle, the venue for the 2021 Flying Fifteen World Championship which is scheduled to be sailed in exactly one years time.

Over the course of the weekend six races were sailed in glorious sailing conditions ranging from 12 to 20 knots. 19 boats competed from as far away as Esperance in the south west and Geraldton further up the WA coast. The majority of the fleet came from South of Perth YC and the host club of the 2021 Flying Fifteen Worlds, the Royal Freshwater Bay YC.

On Saturday three windward/leeward races were held in typical Fremantle conditions, cloudless blue skies and 12 - 14 knots of S/SW breeze. The course used was the same that will be used for the 2021 Worlds, called the Owen Anchorage course which is protected by offshore islands to the West forming a tropical lagoon, a sailors paradise!.

Race one started at 1300hrs with one OCS, none other than former world champion Nick Jerwood, crewed by Brad Sheridan sailing 'Ineffable'. Royal Freshwater Bay YC members Hamish Carnachan and Peter Mudford fought with another former world champion, Grant Alderson and crew Luke Paterson, all around the course. Carnachan and Mudford gained the lead on the final downwind leg to take the gun by a boat length from Alderson and Paterson. Andrew and Anne Knowles from South of Perth YC had an excellent race to finish third and another SoPYC member Jennifer Sims and Adam Semple sailed a great race to cross the line in fifth.

Race two of the regatta became a dog fight between the two former world champions with Hamish Carnachan and Peter Mudford pushing them all the way round the track. The fleet split tacks upwind and gybes downwind but there were streaks of pressure flowing down the course so the lead ebbed and flowed. In the final run to the finish Nick Jerwood and Brad Sheridan took the inshore route whilst Grant Alderson and Luke Patterson chose the offshore. The latter crossed the line with a boat length lead, Jerwood and Sheridan in second the Carnachan and Mudford in third.

The third race of the day started under black flag after general recalls. In the same weather conditions it became another battle of the same top three boats with David Yu and Chris Nelson (RFBYC) thrown into the mix. Again it came down to the last run and the race win went to Carnachan and Mudford, Jerwood and Sheridan second and Yu and Nelson third. In 5th a great performance by another family team, Adele and Andrew Jackson sailing Fractal.

After three races of around an hour in duration a tired but exhilarated fleet returned ashore to the sun lounge outside Fremantle SC, the host venue for the event.

Day two on Sunday had an earlier scheduled start time of 1000 hrs with a forecast for the sea breeze (Fremantle Doctor) to fill in by lunchtime. The breeze was a solid 16 - 18 knots at the start from 165 degrees.

Nick Jerwood and Brad Sheridan came out fighting on day two of the regatta needing to drop there OCS from the first race of the series. Some other crews came to the party to challenge for the chocolates in race four of the regatta. Jerwood and Sheridan led all around the course but the remaining top places would again be decided on the last run. John Hassen and Kevin Griffiths sailing the aptly named 'Final Fifteen Says She' pulled out all the stops to nudge over the finish line in 2nd from David Swan and Matt Elliot all the way from Esperance in 3rd. John Hassen suffered a broken mast ram before the start so another local F15 sailor rapidly made some mast chocks from a plastic bread board and fitted them just in time to start the race. They seemed to do the trick!

The penultimate race five started in slightly meatier conditions the pressure nudging up to 18 knots from the South. The upwind leg of 1.2nm was quite punishing with a number of shifts particularly at the top end of the course. Again it was the familiar sight of the bright red spinnaker of Ineffable, Jerwood and Sheridan, showing the way round the course. They won this one at a canter from Carnachan and Mudford and Greg Tonnison and Mike Dunbar from SoPYC in third.

After five races the discard came into play and enabled the Perth team of Jerwood and Sheridan to drop their OCS but still needing to sail a good race to beat Carnachan and Mudford and the consistent Alderson and Patterson.

The last race started at 1225 hrs as the dial again clicked up a couple of knots to a steady 20 - 22 knots with gusts of more. The PRO John Taylor shorted up the legs a little to please the weary sailors. There were a few retirements but at the front of the fleet it was a familiar story. Nick Jerwood and Brad Sheridan completed a master class with a start to finish win of several boat lengths with Grant Alderson and Luke Patterson taking 2nd and David Yu and Chris Nelson in third.

Nick Jerwood and Brad Sheridon ended up clear overall winners on seven points but second went down to the wire with Hamish Carnachan and Peter Mudford just holding onto 2nd overall with a 6th in the final race. This pushed Grant Alderson and Luke Patterson into 3rd overall by a single point.

The Tally Hobbs Memorial Regatta provided a superb opportunity for the West Australian fleet to practice racing on the course where the 2021 Flying Fifteen Worlds will take place.

Full results available here.

For more information on the 2021 Flying Fifteen Worlds visit www.flying15worlds2021.com.

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