Crown Series Bellerive Regatta preview

Close racing between the Farr 40 fleet will be a highlight of the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta this weekend
Rob Cruse
Crown Series Bellerive Regatta is being held this weekend on Hobart’s River Derwent which will be a sea of sail with more than 220 keel yachts, sports boats, trailable yachts, sailboards, catamarans and off-the-beach dinghies taking part.

The regatta starts with a twilight race for the keelboats and sports boats on Friday evening. The off-the-beach classes will join the regatta on Saturday and Sunday.

Arguably the biggest annual combined keelboat/off-the-beach dinghy regatta in Australia, this year’s event has attracted a record of more than 120 entries of keelboats, including the high-performance sports boats, SB3s and trailable yachts which are using the regatta for their State championships.

Cougar II, Tony Lyall’s Transpac 52 which has been unbeaten for line honours in races in Tasmania since an impressive performance in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, heads Division 1 for the keelboats.

However, this will be the first test for skipper Lyall and his crew in round-the-buoys racing with their new boat against Hobart’s leading harbour racing yachts, including five Farr 40s, Wired (Stephen Boyes), Voodoo Chile (Andrew Hunn), Tilford Auto Group (Hughie Lewis), POW (Craig Clifford) and War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith) which usually dominate the front of the fleet in harbour races.

Heading the SB3 fleet will be Nick Rogers, who won two races of last weekend’s national championship, finishing third overall. For the custom sports boats this will be an important regatta leading up to their national championships which Bellerive Yacht Club will host at Easter.

Adding spectacle to the regatta will be large fleets of Paper Tigers and other high-performance catamarans from Lauderdale Yacht Club, along with sailboards.

With the Australian and World championships for the International Cadets to be conducted by Sandy Bay Sailing Club next summer, the competition is already keen among the local Cadet sailors with a dozen or so entered for the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta. Heading the fleet will be national champion Samantha Bailey, helming Impulse.

Caitlyn Eggins will be one of a strong fleet of Laser Radials contesting the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta
Rob Cruse

The Lasers and Sabot will be out in strength, too, as will the popular Sabre class and the growing fleet of 420s.

Racing will start on Friday evening at 6.45pm, on Saturday at 11am and on Sunday at 10am for all classes on several courses, ranging from south of the Tasman Bridge down towards Howrah on the eastern shore and down to Nutgrove Beach on the western side of the river.

Event website