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Sailing history in Tasmanian Championships on the River Derwent

by Peter Campbell 15 Mar 2020 10:33 GMT 15 March 2020
Karabos (205) leads the fleet around the leeward mark in one of the races in the Dragon states. © Kristine Logan

Sailing history was made on the River Derwent today as crews and individual sailors raced for their Tasmanian championships in International Dragons, Sharpies and Lasers.

For the first time a woman, Kirsty Salter, won the Tasmanian championship for the iconic Sharpie class.

Champion Nick Rogers won yet another State championship in the International Dragons, this time with an unprecedented eight straight wins.

Kirsty Salter, with her crew of husband Julian Salter and Julian’s uncle, Stephen Salter, sailed Gun Smoke to win four of the six races conducted over the weekend by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, placing second in the other two.

Gun Smoke finished with six points, well clear of former Australian champion crew of One Hump or Two, sailed Drew Latham, Nick Carter and Nick (Camel) Johnston, on 10 points. They won two races.

Bonfires (Oli Burnell, Toby Burnell and Josh Brown) finished third on 13 points in near perfect day for racing the high-performance Sharpies.

Kirsty's Tasmanian Sharpie victory follows being women's champion at the 2019-20 Sharpie Nationals in Adelaide. A highly competent sailor, she crewed on Andrew Hunn's Farr 40, has skippered SB20s and the previous weekend to the Sharpie States won the B14 skiff series at Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at Beauty Point.

A fleet of nine Sharpies contested the series, with several boats helmed by newcomers to the class as it builds up towards sending a strong team to the 2020-2021 Nationals in Canberra and the following summer on the Derwent.

Nick Rogers, the current World Corinthian and Masters and Australian champion in the classic Dragon class outsailed a small but competitive fleet in the 2020 Tasmanian championship, winning all eight races in Karabos IX.

The regatta was not without drama for Nick with one of his crew going overboard as they hauled in the spinnaker rounding the leeward mark in one race on Sunday.

He hung on to the gunwale and was quickly hauled back into the cockpit, with Karabos barely losing any distance on her competitors astern.

West Australian, Sandy Anderson, flew in from Perth to sail her brand new, Tasmanian-build Ridgeway Dragon. Sandy gave Nick plenty of competition, finishing second in seven races with Andrew Blakney finishing a close third in Wicked.

The previous weekend, Nick had sailed his SB20 to third place overall and won the Masters title at the Australian championship at Triabunna on Tasmania's East Coast.

The RYCT also ran the State championships for the International Laser class over the weekend, with Sam King winning the Laser Standards, Tony Tate the Laser Radials and Daniel Maree the Laser 4.7s.

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