RYCT Winter Series - Tassies heading for Hamilton Island SB3 division

Brett and Jacinta Cooper racing their first SB3. Today they sailed their new boat to victory on the Derwent. - RYCT Winter Series 2011
Rob Cruse
RYCT Winter Series - Four of the 13 boats entered in the SB3 sports boat division at the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will be sailed by crews from Hobart, which will host the Australian championships next autumn.

The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania will have a regular fleet of up to nine SB3s racing on Hobart’s River Derwent this summer, in the Club’s Friday evening series and in the Saturday interclub racing.

In just over a year, the SB3 has become the biggest one-design class in Hobart and probably the largest regular club fleet in Australia, due to the drive of champion International Dragon class helmsman Nick Rogers and husband-and-wife sports boat enthusiasts Brett and Jacinta Cooper.

The Coopers had their day on the Derwent today, their newly launched SB3 Please Explain leading the RYCT 42 South Winter Series fleet home after a light weather duel with the Division 1 ocean racer Whistler, skippered by David Rees.

They also won Division 2, beating their former SB3, now owned by Patrick Copeland, Ben Latham and Ross Mannering.

Six SB3 started today, but only three finished, the other skippered by David Graney.

The Coopers, David Graney and Nick Rogers, all from the RYCT, will be joined by Steve Chau, vice-commodore of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, in contesting the SB3 division at Hamilton Island.

'We will all be sailing chartered boats, but taking our own sails up to the Hamilton Island. Not only will Tasmania be strongly represented at Race Week, but this is a lead-up to when Hamilton Island hosts the world championship in late 2012,' Jacinta Cooper said today.

'We had three boats in the fleet last year and this year we have four,' she added. 'We have had regular fleet racing on the Derwent, but the competition will be tough up there in a fleet that includes Glenn Bourke.'

Bourke, the former Olympian and three-times world champion, is CEO of Hamilton Island and a great enthusiast for the high-performance one-design class.

Other entries have come from New South Wales, Victoria and other Queensland clubs.

A near windless River Derwent saw only seven boats finish the RYCT winter series race - RYCT Winter Series 2011
Rob Cruse

Only three Division 1 boats and four Division 2 boats managed to complete a shortened course in today’s RYCT Winter Series on the Derwent, with the river a glassy, windless sheet of water for most of the morning.

Third place on corrected time in Division 2 went to Neil Snare’s Jigsaw, enabling her to maintain a commanding lead in the Winter Series pointscore.

In Division 1, Whistler finished second to Please Explain around the course, beating Stephen Boyes’ Farr 40 Wired across the line by just 12 seconds. Whistler won on corrected time from Wired and David Taylor’s Pisces, which continues to head the Division 1 pointscore.

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