Record fleet of 133 boats for Bellerive twilight

Division 2 fleet in the BYC twilights starting last night below a misty mountain backdrop in Hobart - twilight race on the River Derwent – the ‘100 boat challenge’ which attracted 133 starters
Hobart’s River Derwent was awash with sails last night when a fleet of 133 yachts took part in Bellerive Yacht Club’s Wednesday evening twilight races.

The fleet, more than double the turn-out for regular twilights, was the outcome of the ‘100-boat Challenge’, by prominent yachtsman and long-time event sponsor Hughie Lewis to shout for the bar if more than 100 boats turned out for a twilight race.

His ‘big shout’ was a fish and chips meal and a drink voucher for every crew member of each competing yacht back at Bellerive Yacht Club with caterers estimating they served between 750 and 800 meals. Obviously, the bar staff were kept just as busy, if not more.

The fleet for the Lewis Marine/Nautilus Marine Twilights last evening ranged from a gaff-rigged ‘couta boat through to Sydney Hobart competitors Helsal III and Auch.

Spectators line Victoria Esplanade at Bellerive to watch the huge fleet of keelboats racing. - twilight race on the River Derwent – the ‘100 boat challenge’ which attracted 133 starters


Starting in a fresh 15-18 knot southerly seabreeze, the massive fleet is believed to be the largest number of keelboats ever to compete in one race on the Derwent. The race drew hundreds of spectators along the banks of the river as the yachts powered to the windward mark off Blinking Billy Point at Sandy Bay and around river marks before finishing off Kangaroo Bluff, Bellerive.

Division 1 went to Tony and Rob Fisher’s Helsal II, Division 2 to Sargris (Paul Dutton), Division 3 to Mako (Jim Bedford), Division 4 to Mojo (Terry Thompson) and Division 5 to Indigo (Angus McEwan).

The huge twilight fleet started a massive week of sailing and boating in Hobart, with the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, the 85th Bruny Island Race and the 173rd Royal Hobart Regatta over the holiday long weekend.

Spectators on the other side of the Derwent got a close-up view of Bellerive Yacht Club’s huge twilight fleet, too, as they tacked in close to Blinking Billy Point - twilight race on the River Derwent – the ‘100 boat challenge’ which attracted 133 starters


The Wooden Boat Festival begins tomorrow at 9.30am with a race for classic yachts from Blinking Billy Point to Sullivans Cove. On Saturday, at 9.30am, the 89 nautical mile Bruny Island Race will start from off the Royal Hobart Regatta grounds.

The Royal Hobart Regatta, which these days is very much a ‘fun fair’ event ashore, will see much bigger fleets of dinghies and keelboats racing, as well rowing events on Sunday and Monday.

Then, next Thursday, 16 February, a fleet of 44 cruising yachts and motor cruisers will set sail in the Van Diemens Land Circumnavigation Cruise.

Spectators on the other side of the Derwent got a close-up view of Bellerive Yacht Club’s huge twilight fleet, too, as they tacked in close to Blinking Billy Point - twilight race on the River Derwent – the ‘100 boat challenge’ which attracted 133 starters