Derwent Sailing Squadron's Opening Winter Series Day 1

A gust catches some of the fleet in the Derwent sailing squadron race - Derwent Sailing Squadron Winter Series 2012
Rob Cruse
Derwent Sailing Squadron Winter Series got underway today, 27th May 2012, with the first day of racing on Hobart's River Derwent. Hobart yachtsman Paul Burnell, a two-times International Cadet dinghy world champion as a teenager, took up a new sailing challenge and came out a winner.

Paul Burnell and sons - Derwent Sailing Squadron Winter Series 2012
Rob Cruse
Burnell, immediate past commodore of the Sandy Bay Sailing Club with sons now sailing Cadets, skippered a high performance SB20 sportsboat for the first time in the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s opening winter series.

Steering Sailing Shack, Burnell finished third in the first of today’s three races for the 10 boat SB20 fleet, only seconds astern of race winner Toll Shipping, skippered by Nick Rogers.

Race two saw Sailing Shack place seventh, but in the final race Burnell’s sailing skills really came to the fore, snatching first place in a blanket finish between four boats.

Although not an SB20 owner, Burnell took advantage of an offer by State champion Nick Rogers to Hobart yachtsmen to try sailing one of the increasingly popular one-design yachts in a club race, making available for ‘ready-to-sail’ boat named Sailing Shack.

Another race winner today was former Lightweight Sharpie Australian champion Drew Latham, sailing Nest Property, also a newcomer to the SB20 class. Third race winner was Rogers, sailing Toll Shipping.

Overall, the top placed SB20 on the day, with results calculated on handicap, was Toll Shipping on seven points, with a countback needed to decide second, third and fourth places, each boat finishing on 11 points. Balios (Peter Langford) got second, Nest Property third and Wicked (Blakney Andrew) fourth on the countback. Sailing Shack finished fifth on 12 points.

The opening race of the DSS winter series was sailed in a light south-westerly breeze with some gusts sweeping down from Mount Wellington. A fleet of 36 boats, including the 10 SB20s, raced today.

Natelle II leads Archie around the leeward mark - Derwent Sailing Squadron Winter Series 2012
Rob Cruse

In the keelboat divisions, the veteran Sydney Hobart ocean racing yacht Natelle II (Glen Roper) won Division 1 from Planet X (Mike Rowley) and War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith).

DSS commodore Ron Bugg helming Buggbear in todays winter race - Derwent Sailing Squadron Winter Series 2012
Rob Cruse

Division 2 went to Wildfire (Team Wildfire) from John Hunn’s Atilla and Shane Powell’s Spare Time. In Division 3, Serenity (Graham Hall) led the fleet home for a double win from Anthony Ellis’ Moonshadow and Buggbear, skippered by DSS commodore Ron Bugg.

At Medemblik, Holland, Bugg’s son, Matthew, finished eighth overall in the ISAF World Sailing Cup in his lead-up to the London Paralympic Games sailing in the 2.4mR class.